Note A, Page 65.
As a corollary to my remarks
on the treatment of the aborigines, I have extracted the following letter
which appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald shortly after my chapter was
written. It needs no comment. The case is not overstated:—
The Condition of the
To the Editor of the Herald.
Slr,—Will you kindly allow me
a little space in your columns to bring before the attention of the public
of this colony the deplorable condition of the remnants of the aboriginal
race, and the necessity of something being done speedily in the direction of
ameliorating that condition ? Stationed as I am in the far interior, I can
speak from personal observation of the wants and woes of the poor
Even as regards their temporal condition, theirs is a most wretched
existence. I have recently visited some of their camps on the Murrumbidgee,
and found black women and numbers of their half-caste children in a state of
the most melancholy destitution, deserted by the male members of the
tribe—for I find that when the black girls are ruined by white men (so
called) they are then as a rule left to their own dread resources—without
food, and nearly naked, not having even a single blanket to cover them at
night. And these miserable creatures I found were at the mercy of every
white scamp and vagabond; and what, I ask, is the conscquence? The
uprising-of a race of wild half-castes in the very midst of a Christian
community. And, sir, I speak within bounds when I say there are hundreds of
these young half-castes on the creeks and rivers of Riverina, running as
wild as the emu and kangaroo, with no idea of anything above or beyond
themselves and their immediate surroundings.
"Like brutes they live, And
like brutes they must die," unless rescued by tine Christian charity.
With respect to their moral
state, need I state ft is simply one of chaotic darkness, and hitherto
little or nothing has been done to enlighten them. With all our loud
professions of Christian charity, and with our manifold missionary
enterprises to enlighten and elevate the dark and degraded heathen far away,
there is a standing reproaeh at our very doors—absolute neglect of the
heathen in our midst.
I should like to know the
reason why more has not been done, either by the Churches or Government of
this colony, to ameliorate the condition of the blacks. In several of the
sister colonics vigorous efforts are being put forth in this direction, and
these efforts are already crowned with much success. In Victoria alone,
where they have not as many hundreds of blacks as we have thousands, there
are no less than six stations in full operation, while here there is not a
single Church or Government institution. Why this unexplainable contrast? Is
it not as much our duty to "rescue the perishing and care for the dying"
aborigines, as the duty of our neighbours across the border? I maintain that
it is. And if these unfortunate beings are allowed to continue, as they now
are, in physical wretchedness, and "no man caring for their souls," it will
be to us as a Christian colony a crying disgrace.
In conclusion, may I express
the hope that through proper influence being brought to bear upon the
Government this question may soon be taken up, and successfully dealt with.
I am, yours truly,
John B. Giiibble, Independent Minister.
Jcrilderie, Riverina, June 5.
Note C, Page 273.
Agreement for 1874, between
the Associated Colliery Masters and the Officers and Delegates of the
Coal-miners' Association of the H. R. District. At the request of the
Delegates of the Miners' Association we have much pleasure in again
publishing the following agreement, with the additional clauses thereto :—
Whereas, on divers occasions
since the 23rd day of July, 1872, the proprietors or representatives of the
A. A. Company, Wallsend, Waratah, New Lambton, and Co-operative Colleries,
hereinafter styled the Associated Masters, have either directly or through
the officers and delegates of the-Coalminers' Association of the Hunter
River District, entered into various agreements with the miners employed at
said collieries, with respect to the wages to be paid for hewing coal and
other work usually done and performed by the miners, the hours of labour to
be observed at the said collieries, and the mode of settling any disputes
that may arise in reference thereto. And whereas it is deemed expedient that
these said several agreements, copies of which are hereunto annexed, should
be remodelled and embodied in one general agreement. Now, therefore, it is
hereby mutually agreed and declared by the Associated Masters of the one
part, and the Officers and Delegates of the Coalminers' Association of the
Hunter River District of the other part. 1st. That the minimum rates of
wages payable for hewing and all other work usually performed by miners at
each of the above-named collieries, shall be the rates current thereat prior
to the 22nd day of July, 1872, when the selling price of round or best coal
was 8 per ton, and of small coal 3s. 6d. per ton. 2nd. That, subject to the
above limit, the wages payable at each of the said collieries for hewing and
all other work usually performed by the miners, shall be regulated by the
price of coal, and rise and fall with it. 3rd. That the following shall be
the scale on which the wages shall rise and fall, viz.: A. Hewing, by the
ton, 2>d. for every Is. of the selling price of coal. B. Yard work, 3d. per
yard for every Is. of the selling price of coal, in the case of the maximum
rate paid for headings, and a proportionate sum in the case of other yard
work for which lower rates are paid. C. Filling small coal, either in places
wrought by the yard or in the wide places, 1 d. per ton for every Is. of the
selling price of small coal. 4th. That at least a fortnight's notice shall
be given by the Associated Masters of their intention to reduce the price of
coal. 5th. That in the event of any difference of opinion arising as to the
necessity of such reduction in the price of coal, the question shall be
settled by conference or arbitration, in pursuance of the clauses for that
purpose hereinafter contained. 6th. That the hours of labour to be observed
at the said collieries shall be for, the year 1873, and 10 for the year of
1874, including in each case an hour for meals. 7th. That all doubts,
differences, or disputes whatsoever that may arise at any time hereafter
between any of the parties to this agreement, shall be settled by conference
or arbitration in manner following, that is to say : When and so often as
any doubt, difference, or dispute shall arise, the dissatisfied party may
demand a conference, at which the miners shall be represented by the
district officers and delegates of the Coalminers' Association, .and the
associated masters by any number of persons not exceeding one from each
colliery, and the manager of each of the said collieries, who shall meet not
later than twenty-eight days from the date of such demand, for the purpose
of discussing the matter in dispute, with the view to an amicable
settlement; and, in the event of no amicable settlement being arrived at by
such conference, then and in that case, the matter in dispute shall be
reduced to writing, and submitted to a council of arbitration, to be
constituted as follows :—The council of arbitration shall consist of four
disinterested persons and an umpire. Each party to this agreement shall
appoint two arbitrators, who shall appoint an umpire, conjointly in writing,
before they enter upon any matter referred to them, who shall decide on all
points on which they may differ, and whose decision shall be final; and, in
default of such appointment by either of the parties hereto, the Minister
for Lands for the time being may appoint the arbitrators and the umpire in
the event of the arbitrators being unable to agree.
The council of arbitration
shall meet not later than fourteen days from the date of any conference
failing to settle any matter in dispute, unless the time be extended by
mutual agreement. The council of arbitration having met, each party shall
have the privilege of being represented by not more than nine
representatives, for the purpose of giving evidence and arguing the matter
in dispute before such Council of Arbitration. Any dispute having been
settled by the Council of Arbitration, shall not again be revived by either
party within a period of twelve months from the date of such decision. If,
at any time, during the settling of such arbitration any arbitrator die or
become incapable to act, the party by whom such arbitrator was appointed
shall appoint some other to act in his place within seven days after notice
in writing from the other party for such purpose; and, if they fail to do
so, the remaining arbitrators may proceed to hear and determine the matter
in dispute, and in such case the award of such arbitration shall be final.
The cost of any Council of Arbitration shall be defrayed by each party
paying their own arbitrators, and the umpire to be paid conjointly. The
secretaries to each party shall conjointly arrange the time and place for
all meetings relating to this agreement. This agreement shall be in force
until the 31st December next ensuing, and thereafter from year to year,
unless, on or before the 30th September in any year, notice shall have been
given of its discontinuance on the 31st December then following.
Signed by the Associated
Masters and the Officers and Delegates of the Miners' Association.
Additional Clauses to the
Agreement of 1873, between the Associated Colliery Masters and Miners'
Present:—On behalf of the
Masters : Messrs. Merewether, A. Brown, jun., Winship, Neilson, Moody,
Fletcher, and Thomas. On behalf of the Coal Miners' Association : Messrs. W.
Davies (chairman), J. Wood (secretary), and E. Davies (treasurer).
The conference was held for
the purpose of framing an additional article to the General Agreement of the
1st December, 1873, defining the deficient work for which the miners shall
be entitled to claim consideration, and also providing for the more speedy
settlement of disputes arising out of such claims.
After a full and careful
consideration of these questions, it was resolved that, in the opinion of
the Conference, the following regulations would meet the requirements of the
case, and that they be submitted to the Associated Masters and the
Coal-Miners' Association for approval and confirmation; which was agreed to
on the 21st of June, 1875, viz.:—
" 1st. Consideration to be
paid for stone or roof coming down— extraordinary.
" 2nd. Consideration to be paid for crossing faults.
" 3rd. Water to be taken out as per A. A. Company's local rule, No. 8; if
not consideration, to be paid.
" 4th. Consideration to be paid for an unusual quantity of water coming from
" 5th. Cutting sumps to be paid for when sunk by miners, by order of
manager, overseer, or deputy.
" 6th. Consideration to be paid for soft or tender coal in close proximity
to faults and tender coal (extraordinary) in other places.
" 7th. Consideration to be paid for sets of timber, when prepared and set up
by miners, by order of manager, overseer, or deputy. And
" 8th. That all disputes arising out of any of the above matters be settled
by local arbitration—such arbitration to consist of two persons appointed by
the owner or manager, and two persons appointed by the workmen at the
colliery where such dispute should occur. In the event of the arbitrators
not agreeing, they shall appoint an umpire, whose decision shall be final."
Edward C. Merewethek,
Chairman, (On behalf of the Associated Masters). John Wood, Secretary,
William Davies, Chairman, Enoch Davtes, Treasurer, (On behalf of the
Note D, Page 333.
New South Wales.
Anno quadragesimo secundo Victoria Reginze.
An Act to secure the Protection of certain Birds and Animals.
[Assented to 12th March, 1879.]
Whereas it is expedient to
encourage the importation and breeding of game not indigenous to the Colony
of New South Wales, and also to prevent the destruction of native game
during the breeding season. Be it therefore enacted by the Queen's Most
Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative
Council and Legislative Assembly of New South Wales in Parliament assembled,
and by the authority of the same as follows :—
1. The words, "imported
game/' shall mean and include the animals mentioned in the first schedule,
and the words, " native game," shall mean and include the animals mentioned
in the second schedule to this Act, and the eggs and progeny of any such
2. If any person shall
wilfully shoot, capture, kill, take, or destroy any native game or imported
game, at any time between the 1st day of August and 20th day of February
next following, or shall use any means whatever within the same period for
the purpose of capturing, killing, or destroying any such game, he shall be
liable to a penalty not exceeding 21.
3. No description of
fire-arms shall be used for the purpose of shooting any of the game
mentioned in eitker of the schedules hereto having a greater length of
barrel than six feet, or with the bore exceeding one inch in diameter. And
no fire-arms of any description, intended to be used for such purpose,
having the barrel or bore exceeding such dimensions, shall be affixed to
boats, punts, or floating vessels of any kind during any period of the year.
Nor shall the charge, when loaded, exceed four drachm of gunpowder and three
ounces of shot. And any person offending against the provisions of this
section shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 10?.
4. Any animals known to be
destroyers of snakes, vermin, or insects which are injurious to vegetation,
may, by the authority of the Colonial Secretary, by a notice published in
the Gazette at any time, be added to the lists of animals set forth in the
first or second schedule; and after publication of such notice all the
provisions of this Act (so far as they may be applicable) shall be held to
apply to the animals therein mentioned. Provided that the Colonial Secretary
may, by like proclamation, withdraw any such animal from the schedules.
5. If any person, within the
period stated in the second section, shall buy, sell, or knowingly have in
his possession, or under his control, any dead game, whether native or
imported, he shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 51., unless it can
be proved, to the satisfaction of the justices hearing the case, that such
dead game were imported from any neighbouring colony; and the burthen of
such proof shall rest with the accused.
6. Whenever any sheet of
water, island, or enclosed land has been dedicated to the public, or
otherwise set apart by the Government or any private person, for preserving
any of the animals mentioned in either schedules, the Colonial Secretary may
declare, by notice published in the Gazette, such dedication or setting
apart and the names of the animals intended to be preserved; and thereafter
any person taking or killing, or otherwise destroying any such animals
therein shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding 51. Provided that the
Colonial Secretary may, by a like notice, cancel any dedication or setting
apart as aforesaid.
7: All penalties imposed by
this Act, or sums of money made payable thereunder, may be recovered before
any two justices in a summary way. Provided that the provisions of this Act
relating to native game shall not extend to any aboriginal native, nor (as
regards animals included in the second schedule) to any person authorized by
the Colonial Secretary to collect specimens of natural history for any
8. Every person feeling
aggrieved by any conviction or order under this Act may appeal against the
same in the manner provided by the Act passed in the fifth year of King
"William IV. numbered twenty-two, as the same is enforced or amended by the
Act passed in the thirty-ninth year of her Majesty, numbered thirty-three.
9. This Act may be eited for
all purposes as the "Animals Protection Act of 1879."
Note E, Page 370.
The following account of the
Debate on the question of Privilege is extracted from the Sydney Morning
Sir Henry Parkes said: Mr.
Speaker,—I consider it my duty to call the attention of the House to what
may be regarded as a most unusual occurrence in our proceedings of
yesterday. Of course, I shall be prepared to put myself right by concluding
with a motion. The feature in our proceedings which I call an unusual
occurrence consists in the explanation which was offered by the member for
Camden, Mr. Garrett, and the subsequent explanation which was offered (hear,
hear) by the member for the Upper Hunter, Mr. M'Elhone. We all of us
recollect that when the hon. member for Camden was absent from this country
a very grave charge was made against him of conduct during the time he was a
Minister of the Crown, and I for one recollect, and I think, sir, that you
must recollect in that chair, having heard the words that the
Premier—meaning the member for St. Leonard's, Mr. Earn ell}—had documents in
his possession to prove these charges. These charges were of a character
which, if proved, must necessarily ruin the hon. member to whom they
referred. On the hon. member for Camden returning to this country, he took
the course, which he described himself as the only proper course open to
him, to vindicate his character, and he told us last night, on the authority
of the opinions of three gentlemen who must be considered as the leading
members of the Bar in this country, that he was restricted from proceeding
in his action to defend his character, and disprove these charges by the
defendant in the case—the hon. member for the Upper Hunter, Mr. M'Elhone,—putting
in a plea of his privileges as a member of this House. I, of course, have
nothing to do with the proceedings of the hon. member for Camden, and I
apprehend no hon. member has anything to do with that. But I think I may be
pardoned in expressing my entire satisfaction, and I am sure I must
represent other hon. members in that respect, that he lost no time in trying
in the Supreme Court of the colony to sift these charges. (Cheers.) I have
nothing to do, nor has any other hon. member much to do, with the rules by
which the hon. member for the Upper Hunter chooses to govern his conduct,
but we all have to do with this; we all have to do with the position of a
member of this House (hear, hear) being used to destroy the position of some
other person, whether a member of this House or one of the public out of
doors; and then when that other person seeks the only course open to him by
law to vindicate his character, and to disprove the charges made against
him, the plea of ,a member of Parliament is set up as a bar. (Hear, hear.)
Anxious as I am for the proper privileges being conceded to this .House, to
secure to it the utmost freedom of speech, I think it is a course of conduct
so atrocious—(hear, hear)—so entirely and purely infamous— (hear, hear)—to
abuse the privileges of Parliament for blasting the reputation, destroying
the fortunes, ruining the family of any person, be he a member of this
House, or the poorest person living out of doors, and then shrinking from
the necessary consequence of this—(hear, hear)—I think the abuse of this
power so utterly indefensible, so damnable in its nature, that it exhibits a
desire to wound other persons' feelings without any desire to do any public
good,—a desire to wreak cruelty upon persons without the slightest twinge of
conscience as to the suffering it causes, and a kind of feeling that might
belong to the lowest creature in the reptile part of creation—(hear, hear)
—but only belongs to mankind in shrinking from the just consequences of
these infamous charges. (Hear, hear.) We ought to consider whether the
Standing Orders cannot be so amended as to prevent any person standing up
here and making charges against another unless he makes them in some form
where evidence can be taken, where proof can be given, where the person
charged may defend himself, and where, if the charges are not proved, the
infamy shall recoil upon the reckless and unprincipled author. (Hear, hear.)
I think, if we cannot do that, at least, until we can find some proper
remedy, we ought once, and for ever, to refuse to hear these charges made,
come from whatever lips they may in the future. Surely an hon. member,
merely because he is a member of this Legislative Assembly, is not, on a
motion for adjourning the House, to make these wild, and reckless, and cruel
charges, and then to set up the plea, the shameful plea in this ease—(hear,
hear) — that he is protected by his privilege, when the person thus cruelly
wronged seeks to vindicate his character in a Court of Justice. (Hear,
hear.) I think I should fail altogether in my duty if I did not call
attention to a case so obviously proved, so completely proved before us.
[Mr. Greenwood: And move some resolution.] I am not prepared to take that
course. I think I am fully justified in speaking, in order that hon. members
may have their attention specially called to the subject—(hear, hear)—and
may be prepared, when the time properly comes, for us to see in what way we
can most effectually take steps to prevent this thing in the future. There
are two courses thatpresent themselves to my mind: the one is to amend the
standing orders, so as not to allow any person, on a motion of adjournment,
to attack another—(cheers)—that is fair and manly, and in accordance with
every principle that is right and just—and that he should not be able to
attack another, or bring a charge against another, unless he makes it in
some form where the other will be heard, and where the charge can be proved
or disproved. (Hear, hear.) These are two courses that seem to suggest
themselves. But I think I should ill perform my duty if I made a motion
without hon. members having time to deliberate within themselves; I think I
should ill perform my duty if I did not take the first opportunity for
calling attention to what has now taken place on clear proof, and which
never did take place on this clear and conclusive proof before—that is, the
proof that the person so charged sought to vindicate his character, and the
proof that the plea of Parliamentary privilege was set up as a bar to his
vindication. "We have never had these things proved before; but we have them
proved now, and just in proportion to the outrage that may be committed will
be the bending down to seek shelter from the consequences. If hon. members
desire it, I shall conclude by making a motion. [Mr. M'Elhone : I insist on
your doing so.] The hon. member cannot insist on it, but I shall do it with
the greatest willingness. [Mr. M'Elhone: By the rules of the House you are
bound to do so.] I am not bound to do anything of the kind, but I have
intimated my perfect willingness to do it. [Captain Onslow : Don't rush this
thing through the House as you did last night.] I do not know what the hon.
and gallant member means, nor am I disposed to be diverted from the one
object I have in view by any irrelevant remarks. (Cheers.) The object I have
in view is sufficiently clear and important, and certainly is deserving the
attention of eVery hon. member of the House. (Hear, hear.) In a special
manner it is deserving the" attention of those members who wish to preserve
the character of the House. [Captain Onslow : And to cheer the hon. member
for the Upper Hunter.] The hon. member himself, I am sorry to say, does not
much contribute to that by his interruptions at any time, and I cannot
understand the relevancy of his interruptions now. The case which I shall
summarize now, in consequence of the interruptions, and which I want to call
the attention of the House to, is that we have an hon. member making a
charge of the darkest character—[Mr. M'Elhone: Did you not do it in
Twaddell's case?] I deny the relevancy of the interruptions. I never was in
the position to which' I call attention. "What I wish to draw attention to
is that we have an hon. member making a charge of the darkest character
against another person—I do not care whether a member of this House or not;
that other person seeks to vindicate his character in the Supreme Court of
the country; and the person who has made this charge then sets up the plea
of his Parliamentary privilege, and I say that that brings about a state of
things which ought not to be allowed to go on without our taking some steps
to prevent charges of this reckless character being made in this wanton way
for the future. I beg to move that this House do now adjourn.
Mr. M'Elhone said that Mr.
Gray and Mr. Charles had charged the Colonial Secretary with abusing his
position to rob the country by taking up coal land. Why did not the hon.
member proceed against these hon. members?
Sir Henry Parkes: That has no
application to my case.
Mr. M'Elhone said that he
never was accused of going about the back slums to get information to damn
Mr. Garrett's character; and when Mr. Dransfield came before the House the
parties who brought him here would not give him an indemnity. The reason Mr.
Garrett did not prosecute Sir Henry Parkes was because he knew that he could
get nothing out of him. He recollected when Sir Henry Parkes cheered the
statements he made about Mr. Garrett after that gentleman returned from
Melbourne, and when they wanted to get Sir John Robertson out of office. He
recollected Mr. Hoskins saying that he would not take the word of Sir John
Robertson, and demanding that Mr. Garrett should leave office.
Sir Henry Parkes: Does the
hon. member say that he pleaded Parliamentary privilege?
Mr. M'Elhone: The hon. member
had done things that he would be ashamed to do. He had not robbed the widow
and the orphan. He was never accused of robbing James Wilshire —of getting a
promissory note for 4000/., which he never paid—
Mr. Speaker: If the hon.
member is applying his words to any member of this House he is not in order.
Mr. M'Eliione repeated that
he was never accused of obtaining 4000/.
Mr. Speaker: Does the hon.
member apply his words to any hon. member of this House?
Mr. M'Elhone : I do not see
how they can apply.
Mr. Speaker: If the hon.
member intends his words to apply to any hon. member he is not in order.
Mr. M'Eliione: I don't see
ho\v they can apply.
Sir Henry Parkes: Chair !
Mr. Speaker: It is only on
the assurance of the hon. member that he does not so apply them that he will
be in order.
Mr. M'Elhone had never been
accused of robbing the widow and orphan.
Sir Henry Parkes: Chair!
Mr. Speaker: I understand the
hon. member to assure the House that he is not applying these words to any
hon. member of the House. If the hon. member does apply them to any member
of this House he is clearly out of order, and cannot proceed.
Mr. M'Elhone: I cannot see
how they can apply.
Mr. Speaker: Then I
understand the hon. member does not apply them?
Mr. M'Elhone: I cannot say
so, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. Speaker: Then the hon.
member is not in order.
Mr. M'Elhone: Then I will not
He forgot the words used by
Sir Alfred Stephen when Chief Justice, in regard to a prominent man whom he
said ought to be at Cockatoo instead of walking the streets of Sydney. Sir
Henry Parkes made the speech he had done this evening to curry favour with
Mr. Garrett, and he never made worse charges against Mr. Garrett than Sir
Henry Parkes had done in the Twaddell case. He had never gone to Mr. Barker
to get declarations witnessed against Mr. Garrett. He had never made a
statement in the Opposition room, which he had immediately afterwards denied
in the House. "What he had said in this House he could prove. He never said
that Mr. Garrett had sold a situation, but what he said was that Mr. Garrett
had borrowed money of Somers which he was not in a position to pay. He had
no wish to rake this matter up again, but he might say that he had defended
one action and won it, but, although he got a verdict, he had had to pay
200/. He had never lived on his position as a politician, borrowing money
from people, thousands of pounds, and when asked to pay, had gone up King
Street. He had never been charged with drawing two sorts of cheques, one
marked for payment, and one which was not to be paid. Sir Henry Parkes could
tell whether he had or not. If his character were 50,000 times as bad as it
was, he would not change it for the character of the hon. member at the head
of the Government. The hon. member borrowed money of Mr. Scholey on more
than one occasion, which he never paid.
Sir Henry Parkes asked the
Speaker to rule whether the hon. member, in explaining his own conduct in
the matter which he had .brought under the notice of the House, was in order
in making charges against him, most of which were either wholly or in part
unfounded, but to which he could not refer. The hon. member was aggravating
the offence to which he had called the attention of the House.
Mr. M'Elhone said that the
question before the House was the adjournment, and said that it would be
beneath him were he to notice the hon. member.
Captain Onslow thought the
Premier had laid himself open to this line of reply by not moving a
Mr. Speaker said that great
latitude was no doubt allowed on motions for adjournment. He had endeavoured
at all times to put down charges against hon. members made on motions for
adjournment. It was not in order for an hon. member to make charges against
another hon. member on a motion for adjournment. That could only be done on
a specific motion.
Mr. M'Elhone did not wish to
break through the Speaker's luling. He was only defending himself.
Mr. Speaker: The hon. member
at the head of the government did not make any attack upon the hon. member,
although, no doubt, his speech had direct reference to the hon. member. The
initiation of the matter out of which this debate had arisen was in
committee, and when it came before him in the House, on the personal
explanation made by Mr. Garrett, he ruled : " I have on many occasions said
that on a question for adjournment no hon. member is at liberty to attack
another hon. member in the way in which the hon. member for the Upper Hunter
is now attacking the hon. member for Camden. That can only be done in a
specific motion. The hon. member is out of order in making these attacks
under cover of a motion of adjournment." He had always held that ruling, and
he had endeavoured to the utmost of his power to discourage these attacks.
In regard to persons out of doors, he had no control, because attacks on
persons out of doors did not interfere with the freedom of debate; but he
again said that these attacks on motion for adjournment were not in order.
Mr. M'Elhone was very sorry
that he should have again broken Mr. Speaker's ruling, and it was with no
set purpose to do so. The hon. member did not like his past sins raked up,
but there was nothing in his past life to call up the blush of shame. What
had it to do with the hon. member—any plea that he might plead in the
Supreme Court? He acted there not as a member of this House, and he did what
he had a perfect right to do, and he would have been a fool if he had acted
otherwise than he had done, when the hon. member was going about the city
with Mr. Sutherland—
Sir Henry Parkes appealed to
the Speaker as to whether the hon. member was in order in making charges on
a motion for adjournment.
Mr. Fitzpatrick: What is the
point of order?
Mr. Speaker: I have decided
two or three times that it is not in accordance with Parliamentary rule to
make charges on a motion for adjournment.
Captain Onslow: The hon.
member at the head of the government made a charge against the hon. member
for the Upper Hunter.
Mr. Speaker did not hear him,
and if the hon. member implied that he had ruled differently in regard to
different hon. members, the hon. member must know veiy well that he had not
done so. (Cheers.)
Captain Onslow: I certainly
did not intend the observation to apply to you, Mr. Speaker.
Mr. M'Elhone: The Premier had
compared him to one of the vilest reptiles on the face of the earth.
Mr. Speaker understood the
observation to have been made generally, and not by way of personal
allusion. If he had understood it otherwise, he should have stopped the hon.
Mr. M'Elhone challenged the
hon. member to say that he did not use the words of him. He would sooner
have the character of the poorest labouring man or woman than that of the
hon. member. Sir Henry Parkes had gone about to get up charges against Mr.
Garrett, and had said worse things of Sir John Robertson than he had of Mr.
Garrett. Sir Henry Parkes loved. Mi\ Garrett no more than the devil loved
holy water. At heart the hon. member was afraid of Mr. Garrett going- over
to the Opposition. He should look up the whole of this matter between Sir
Henry Parkes and Mr. Garrett. He was very much mistaken if Mr. Garrett had
not the same opinion of Sir Henry Parkes as he had, and so had Mr. Gray,
although he sat behind him and voted with him. They did not support Sir
Henry Parkes because they loved him, but it was because of Sir John
Robertson that they swallowed the leek.
Captain Onslow regretted very
much that this question should have been raised upon a motion for
adjournment. He agreed with every word that had fallen from the Colonial
Secretary, and he was astonished that the hon. member for the Upper Hunter
should have been cheered when he made his statement last night. It was
unworthy of any one who had the honour of the House at heart. He could not
understand this new-born love on the part of the Colonial Secretary for Mr.
Garrett. There must be something behind that they did not know of, and the
Colonial Secretary was so astute that it was impossible to know what his
motives were. He was certain that it was not to clear Mr. Garrett's conduct
that the Colonial Secretary had taken this course.
Mr. Hungerford explained that
the House had cheered the hon. member because he confessed, in an almost
magnanimous manner, that he was not justified in making the attack upon Mr.
Garrett that he did. He conceived that the Colonial Secretary was entitled
to the thanks of the House for the steps he had taken to protect hon.
members from the slanderous attacks made upon them.
Mr. Buchanan said he never
saw the hon. member for Camden more correct than when he stated it was
degrading to the House to have cheered the hon. member for the Upper Hunter,
but he believed those cheers only came from one person. Here they had a man
grossly libelling another man, and when he brought him into a court of law
he was not man enough to face him. Instead of cheers, the author of such
conduct ought to have been hooted from the Chamber. Was there a member of
that House who did not respond in corroborative adherence to every word
uttered by the Colonial Secretary in denunciation of such baseness? Not only
did he slander a person in this way, but he said another person had the
proofs of it in his pocket. And then, when Mr. Garrett was so aggrieved that
he had no means to defend himself, but had to bring the other before a
tribunal of his country, that other, when he had an opportunity of
substantiating his charges, put in a cowardly plea of privilege to stop all
inquiry, and prevent the person whom he had libelled from vindicating his
character. A man who exhibited himself in such a character as that ought to
be hooted and scouted out of society everywhere he went. It was a most
degrading and humiliating position, especially when that person rose and
seemed so utterly insensible of the degradation of the position he occupied.
This hon. member seemed to think very little about libelling men, because he
confessed, as if it were a species of merit, that he had libelled several
others—as if it were nothing —and saying that he did not say it of Mr.
Garrett. Why did he not go to Mr. Garrett's solicitors and make an apology
for it? [Mr. M'Elhone: I wanted to get you a brief.] That would have been a
candid, upright way of dealing with the matter; but, instead of doing this,
he went and put in this wretched plea of privilege. He did not wish to
exceed any of the rules of that House, but he would just put this before
them :— Suppose they were to encounter in any Assembly in the world— say in
the British Parliament, if that were possible—a low-bred, ignorant,
illiterate ruffian, destitute alike of truth and common rectitude, and
wholly unable to understand the meaning of either; whose very nature was
made up of falsehood and malice —a living, moving, incarnated lie; whose
whole public action was occupied in the basest slander of better men than
himself; who publicly proclaims himself a liar, with an utter insensibility
to the accompanying degradation; who, when met by one of his
fellow-representatives whom he had insulted with " Hold up your hands, you
mean, despicable coward, and I will strike you to my foot and trample your
base unworthy carcase under it! " crawls away from the encounter in the
spirit of a craven and a dastard; who stands pilloried in the universal
opinion as a common slandermonger and a dealer in falsehood, and who, when
dragged before the tribunals to answer for his vile calumnies, basely
shelters himself behind the cowardly plea of privilege. He asked what more
appropriate treatment could you offer such a ruffian than to allow him to
sink out of sight, deep in your contempt, covered with your scorn, and
enveloped in the hatred and detestation of all true men.
Mr. Greenwood rose to order.
The hon. member was making use of terms which, if applied to any member of
that House, was likely to lead to great disorder.
Mr. Speaker said if the hon.
member applied this language to any member of that House he was grossly
disorderly, but he certainly understood the hon. member to say, "Suppose any
member of the House of Commons." If the hon. member applied the words to any
member of that Assembly, he was grossly exceeding the rules of debate.
Mr. M'Elhone: Never mind.
Anything he says is quite harmless.
Mr. Day said there could be
no doubt whatever that the hon. member for Mudgee was applying these words
to the hon. member for the Upper Hunter. He did think language like this
ought not to be used in that House.
Mr. O'Connor said he did not
think the House would have to regret the Colonial Secretary's having moved
the adjournment, and he thought every member present would endorse the
sentiments of the Colonial Secretary so far as concerned his pointing out
the cowardly character of any man who would avail himself of his position
there to slander men outside. He never saw any man in that House so badly
treated as the hon. member for Camden had been. That gentleman had been a
very valuable member of that House. No matter what the subject might be, Mr.
Garrett was able to shed a lustre and a light and a luminosity on all
questions. (Laughter.) And the Colonial Secretary was right in defending
him. But they found this fact: Mr. M'Elhone had made an act of contrition.
Had the Colonial Secretary done so? He paused for a reply. (Renewed
laughter.) The hon. member for Mudgee had pointed out the cowardly nature of
the attack made upon Mr. Garrett in that IJouse. This from a man who had
made the wildest attacks upon the Lord Bishop of Sydney, and who had accused
the head of the Wesleyan denomination of robbing the public purse. What
would this sort of thing be considered in the House of Commons? It was
impossible to conceive of a man occupying a position in the House of Commons
who would be such an embodiment of meanness and cowardice as the hon. member
Mr. Speaker said the hon.
member was now applying these expressions to a member of that House, and he
was clearly out of order in doing so.
Mr. O'Connor bowed to the
ruling of the chair, but he wished to point out that the man who stood up
there and denounced these attacks was himself the greatest sinner. And they
knew how Mr. Garrett had been attacked in the most cowardly manner by the
Colonial Secretary. He said : Let the Colonial Secretary do as the hon.
member for the Upper Hunter had done, and make an apology to the hon. member
for Camden, who was one of the most valuable members that had ever been
here. He was delighted that this question had been opened, and he only
trusted that the doctrines that had this evening been laid down would be
fully carried out.
Mr. H. Hurley said that
during the time he had been in this House he had never witnessed a more
humiliating spectacle than that presented by the hon. member for the Upper
Hunter, who came here and admitted and apologized for having maligned, not
only the hon. member for Camden, Mr. Garrett, but also many other hon.
Mr. M'Elhone said he had
never said he had made an apology. He appealed to the Speaker, if the hon.
member was in order.
The Speaker ruled, that if
any previous statements were alluded to, they must be correctly quoted.
Mr. Hurley read the report of
what Mr. M'Elhone had said, and said he took it from that that the hon.
member had apologized.
Mr. M'Elhone : I don't admit
the statements I made .were untrue, and I made no apology.
Mr. Hurley said he understood
the hon. member had apologized; at all events, it was quite certain there
was no hon. gentleman who took his gruel so badly, and no one so ready to
say things regarding other members. It was a free fight fought, and in place
of doing- harm would do good. The hon. member had made charges against Mr.
Garrett that were both unjustifiable and untrue. The hon. member had
distinctly said Mr. Farnell had in his possession documentary evidence
sufficient to damn the character of the hon. member for Camden. He had
attended on Mr. Wangenheim to see that documentary evidence, and there was
not one tittle to show that Mr. Garrett was in any way connected with Mr.
Somers in regard to the sale of a billet. The documents showed that a
certain office had been disposed of, but there was nothing to show that Mr.
Garrett was connected with Mr. Somers, and, as far as he was concerned, he
saw nothing that implicated Mr. Garrett.
Mr. M'Elhone: You saw enough
to convince you though that Somers sold a billet.
Mr. Hurley said that Mr.
Wangenheim, on his oath, said that Somers had received a sum of money for
procuring an appointment in the Lands Office, and there was no doubt that
Somers did act as an agent, a political agent, in procuring Government
situations and receiving pecuniary rewards. He regretted that his name had
been drawn into this affair, and he could not help feeling that it was
extremely reprehensible when an hon. gentleman admits that he has spoken
when his temper had got the better of him, and when he looses his temper
again to make most malicious remarks with reference to persons in this
Chamber. There was nothing worse than for an hon. member to take up cudgels
against the private life of another. It seemed, however, that those hon.
members who made such attacks could not themselves stand scourging. He
sincerely trusted that some measure would be passed to prevent these
slanderous expressions being used when they are untrue, and when they are
sympathized with by hon. gentlemen merely because they sit on the same side
of the House. He said that, whether in Opposition or not, they should never
attempt to shield an hon. member when he makes unwarrantable charges against
another hon. member.
Mr. Gray said the hon. member
for the Upper Hunter had persistently aceused him of having charged the
Premier with committing a public robbery. He most emphatically denied that,
but he did say that Sir Henry Parkes, Mr. John Sutherland, Sir James Martin,
Mr. Butler, and a host of others, who had selected public lands while they
were Ministers of the Crown, had acted illegally, and he believed he was
right in saying that.
Mr. M'Elhone : Sir Henry
Parkes and your brother-in-law were nearly fighting over the table about it.
Mr. Gray said that he had not
considered that Ministers had done the correct thing in selecting, and that
matter he had brought before the House, not as a charge, but to have it
stopped. But the hon. member, in attempting to defend himself, himself
charged other hon. members with slander; and it appeared as if he had
suffered severely from the expressions made use of regarding him. He thought
the hon. gentleman's feelings, however, would be the worst punishment that
could be inflicted on him. He had been accused of supporting the Government
after he had made charges against them which he denied having made. He
supported this Government in just the same way as he had supported the last
Government, and when, as was the case with the last Government, he could not
justify their actions he would vote against them. Before he sat down he
could not help congratulating the hon. member for Camden. He remembered when
the hon. member for the Upper Hunter so unjustly attacked him, and attacked
him so as not to give him a fair chance of reply, and therefore it was that
he endorsed every word that had fallen from the hon. the Colonial Secretary.
He thought that the hon. member, who was not prepared to substantiate the
charge he made in the Supreme Court, ought never to have made the charge at
all in this Chamber. If the charge had been substantiated in the Supreme
Court, no damages could have been given against him, and there would have
been no necessity for his pleading privilege, and hence he thought that the
language used by the Colonial Secretary was justified. He hoped, however,
that the matter would not drop here. Already it had done great service in
being brought forward, for it was high time that this House should pass a
resolution condemning the manner in which not only hon. members' characters
have been dealt with, but also the reckless way in which unfortunate people
outside had been dealt with. Hon. members might blast the character of
people outside without these people having any redress, and hon. members
knowing they were protected in that way, ought to be the more careful how
they spoke. He hoped the Colonial Secretary would follow the matter up, and
put a stop to this reckless manner of making charges without any attempt to
substantiate them. Members must be protected in their speeches, but it
seemed to him that having that protection was a cause why something ought to
be done to prevent the abuse of privilege.
Mr. Greenwood said he could
not think anything more reprehensible on the part of the head of the
Government than that he should have taken the course he had without
submitting a definite motion, and on the only evening for private business
that they had too. To a man of honour nothing eould be more excruciating
than that he should be subjected to charges, and when he attempts to put
them to the proof finds that there is a shrinking away from the test. This
was not a matter only between the hon. member for Camden and the hon. member
for the Upper Hunter; and whatever the merits of the case between the two
hon. gentlemen, it was for this House to ascertain whether the charge was
true, and if so, punish the member who sold the office, and if not punish
the slanderer who had dared to utter such a slander. They had lost the
Privilege Bill, and by the highest legal authority they were told that such
a matter could not be tested in the lawcourts, and it could not be tested in
this House,where no power existed to summon witnesses. He sympathized
greatly with the hon. member for Camden that sueh charges should be made,
and yet when he did his best to put them both to the test, he finds he
Mr. Farnell said the subject
was an important one, and was in effect whether members were able to slander
others without being brought to the test. They knew now that members were
privileged as to the language they used both regarding people inside and
outside the House. That being the case, no hon. member could obtain redress
against another who chose to make charges against him. He thought,
therefore, there should be some action to remedy this state of matters. He
was not going to discuss the Privileges Bill at present, but he thought the
hon. the Colonial Secretary had made a mistake in calling the attention of
the House to the matter, and reviving what had taken place on the previous
evening. He admitted that a remedy was required, but was this the right way
to do it by moving the adjournment of the House? Either a resolution or a
bill should have been brought in.
Mr. Wisdom said that it would
not be disputed that the privileges of Parliament should be defined. He
thought there should be liberty of speech, but those who made charges
wantonly should be made responsible for them, outside. It had been decided
that many privileges we thought we enjoyed, and were enjoyed by the House of
Commons, in reality we did not. It could be no benefit to any one to discuss
the private character of any member of this House. If the hon. member could
have proceeded further they might have got a decision from the Court here,
and if it were thought that the Court had decided improperly, the Privy
Council in England would have settled the dispute as to what was the right
of speech held by members of the Assembly. Unfortunately that had not been
obtained; and now, taking all things into consideration, it was the duty of
the Government, very early next session, to introduce a bill which would
place beyond all doubt what not only were the rights and privileges of the
Assembly as such, but what were the rights of members in the House, and
people out of doors.
Mr. Garrett said, with regard
to the matters submitted by the hon. member for Morpeth, he wished to point
out that it was utterly impossible for him to take any other course but what
he did take. (Hear, hear.) He made a declaration, and was met by a certain
plea. The opinion of his counsel was taken in reference to this plea, and by
those opinions he was bound. He did not see that he could have acted
differently in any way. He took the only course open to him, and the only
person who barred that course was the person who made the charges. He had
nothing whatever to do with this matter being brought before the House
to-night. [Sir Henry Parkes : Hear, hear.] He was quite content to let the
facts and circumstances speak for themselves. From this time forward he
should consider himself as utterly cleared from the charges involved in this
case, and from others of a similar character. He had done all he could, and
he was not going to let these slanders against his character in public and
private life stand as they had done up to the present time.
Sir Henry Parkes, in reply,
said his object had been to call attention on the first day after the
occurrence to what was entirely new in our proceeding's—(hear, hear)—bad and
irregular as sometimes they had been; and it was singular how entirely the
object of his rising had been misunderstood by the hon. gentleman mostly
concerned. He did not rise to abuse the hon. member, nor to please the hon.
member for Camden, but to call attention to the fact that a gentleman who,
in this House, had been most conspicuous in trying to take away men's
characters, when he was met by the only means within men's power of ever
making him prove his assertions or punishing him, set up his privileges of
member of Parliament as a bar to the other obtaining justice. That had never
been done before, and that was the one fact that called upon uŁ to take some
step to put a stop to this licensed system of slander, or rather privileged
system of slander. As to the hon. member for Camden he had never approached
the hon. member in any way to seek his support or propitiate him. [Mr.
Garrett : Hear, hear.] He had only discharged his duty, though he admitted
he had only in part discharged his duty. (Hear, hear.) He would follow this
matter up (hear, hear,) and allow the House an opportunity for putting a
stop to this system of privileged slander, whether the persons slandei'ed
were members of this House or persons out of doors. He called attention to
it in order that hon. members might give attention to it and be prepared to
give effect to what he apprehended was the feeling of everybody on an
occurrence of this kind. It was no use his attempting to repeat what he had
said before, but he could not find language sufficiently strong to
characterize a charge made against anybody without sufficient inquiry, and
an' entire shrinking from the responsibility of that charge. (Hear, hear.)
That sort of thing certainly ought not to exist. (Hear, hear.) He entirely
concurred in every word that fell from the hon. member for Morpeth, and he
believed that while we ought to be clothed with ample privileges to protect
ourselves, we ought not to be clothed with privileges to assault the
characters of innocent persons out of door. (Cheers.)
The motion for adjournment
was negatived on division by 18 to 13.