House of Representatives
28 June 1904

2nd Parliament · 1st Session



Mr. Speaker took the chair at 2.39 p.m., and read prayers.

page 2691

QUESTION

PUBLIC SERVICE CLASSIFICATION

Mr JOHNSON:
LANG, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I wish to ask the Prime Minister, without notice, if his attention has been drawn to the glaring anomalies existing .under the Commonwealth Public Service classification scheme in regard to the salaries of officers, performing similar duties in the various ‘States. Can he give an explanation of the reason for the wide difference between the rates of remuneration paid to officers of similar grade in Victoria and New South Wales?

Mr WATSON:
Prime Minister · BLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– The officers affected by the classification of the Public Service Commissioner have the right under the Public Service Act to appeal against it. My attention has not so far been drawn to the anomalies complained of, but if the honorable member will place a question upon the notice paper, pointing out the anomalies alleged to exist, I shall have the matter inquired into. As I have al-, ready indicated, the Government do not hold themselves responsible for anything but the policy involved in the scheme of the Public Service Commissioner.

Mr CHANTER:
RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES

– Is the Prime Minister aware that anomalies exist in respect to the granting of living allowances to some officers in Riverina and the denying of them to others? The conditions of life in Hay and Deniliquin, for instance, are practically the same, yet living allowances are granted to officers in one town and not to officers in. the other. I ask the honorable gentleman to cause inquiries to be made to see whether these necessary allowances cannot be given to all officers stationed within a similar area.

Mr WATSON:

-It is impossible for me or for the Minister in charge of the Departs ment to be aware of the reasons which actuated the Commissioner in arriving at his decisions. The officers concerned have under the Act the right to appeal, and I imagine that if their case is as stated they will exercise that right. I shall be prepared to answer any question of which notice is given on the business-paper in time to enable me to obtain the information asked for.

Mr JOHNSON:

– I desire to ask the Prime Minister whether he will agree to set apart a time for the examination and discussion of the classification scheme ‘ recently submitted to the House. Many grave injustices have been inflicted, regarding which I have a mass of information to lay before honorable members.

Mr WATSON:

– The honorable member must see that the machinery of the Act itself allows of any anomalies being corrected in a proper way. The offioers have the opportunity to appeal and surely it is ordy to be expected that they should exhaust the machinery which the Act ‘ itself provides before taking up the time of Parliament. If any number of honorable members desire to discuss the policy embodied in the scheme, I shall be quite willing to facilitate a discussion upon any motion which may be tabled with that object in view. But I ask honorable members not to precipitate a discussion, and take up the time of Parliament in debating whether individual members of the service have been properly treated.

page 2692

QUESTION

ALIEN RESTRICTION AD MINISTRATION

Mr BAMFORD:
HERBERT, QUEENSLAND

– During a debate which took place on Thursday last, concerning the contemplated importation of Italians into Queensland, I made certain statements which are fully corroborated by the following paragraph’, which has since appeared in the Sydney Daily Telegraph of Saturday last, and is headed -“ White Labour for Sugar Plantations “ : -

The Treasurer recently made inquiries concerning the amount of white labour available in the sugar districts for employment in connexion with the Central Mills. The Treasurer has. received a reply indicating that already there is plenty of white labour available in most sugar districts, and that at present, at any rate, there will be no need for the Labour Bureau to send men from the metropolis.

Has the attention of the Minister of Home Affairs been directed to that statement ?

Mr HUGHES:
Minister for External Affairs · WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP

– My attention has not been directed to it; but I am glad that the honorable member has brought it under my notice, and I shall, be guided by it in the action I take.

page 2692

MILITARY PROMOTIONS

Mr SALMON:
LAANECOORIE, VICTORIA

– I wish to know from the Prime Minister if he has made inquiries regarding promotions in the Defence Force. He will remember that I brought the matter under his notice last week.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

-I have had a chat with the Minister of Defence on the subject. He is at the present time going into the matter.

page 2692

QUESTION

PACIFIC CABLE

Sir JOHN QUICK:
BENDIGO, VICTORIA

– Has the Prime Minister made arrangements for the representation of the Commonwealth on the Pacific Cable Board? If so, have, instructions been given to the representative of the Commonwealth to protect the interests of the partners in the Pacific Cable.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

-The matter referred to is under the control qf the. Minister of External Affairs ; but I may say that the Cabinet last evening decided to ask the Right. Honorable the Earl of Jersey to undertake the representation qf the Commonwealth upon. the Pacific Cable Conference.

Mr Glynn:

– He is a member of the Pacific Cable Board.

Mr WATSON:

– Not at the present time. He acted as a member of the Pacific Cable Board for a little while, when locum tenens as Agent-General for New South Wales for the late Mr. Henry Copeland.

Mr Glynn:

– He might possibly be biased. I do not say that he would be.

Mr WATSON:

– It must be remembered that three States have undertaken pecuniary responsibilities in respect to the Pacific Cable, and we must have regard to their interests. I do not think that it is likely that’ the Earl of Jersey will be biased. He has had a good deal of experience, and. is recognised everywhere as a shrewd man. Seeing that he knows the feeling of the Commonwealth oil the subject fairly well, it is more than unlikely that he will do anything to which we can take exception. Furthermore, the work of the Conference is purely consultative, not legislative. Its members will act on instructions from their respective Governments, and can do nothing effective without the consent of those Governments.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:
HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I have within the last few minutes received a letter from the late Mr. Henry Copeland, in reference to the Pacific Cable Conference. In that letter he stated that he had just arrived in England, and had not received his commission to sit on the Board, but that Lord Jersey was about to retire, and that the effect would be that New South Wales would have only one representative on the Board, instead of two. I hope that the Prime Minister will make inquiries into the subject, so that New South Wales may have the representation to which it is entitled. I will give him a copy of the statement made by Mr. Henry Copeland.

Mr Crouch:

– It is Australia that is represented, not New South Wales.

Mr Watson:

– No; the three contributing States, through the Commonwealth.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE:

- Sir Horace Tozer, I understand, represents Queensland. I may add that I read Mr. Copeland’s letter hurriedly, so that I am not fully seized of its contents, but I wish no time to be lost in ascertaining whether the arrangement agreed to is being carried out.

Mr WATSON:

– A “distinction must be drawn between the representation on the Pacific Cable Board and the representation on the Pacific Cable Conference about to assemble in London. We have asked the Earl of Jersey to represent the Commonwealth on the Conference. He has also acted as the representative of Australia on the Pacific Cable Board. There is no permanent appointment, but he is. and has been for some little time, acting for the Commonwealth.

Mr GLYNN:

– I desire to ask the Minister of External Affairs whether, in view of the fact that the question to be submitted to the Pacific Cable Conference is the adoption of the proposed agreement with the Eastern Extension Company, and that the Pacific Cable authorities are not likely to look with favour upon such a proposal, he does not think it would have been better to appoint as representative of the Commonwealth some one who had not recently been connected with the Pacific Cable Board ?

Mr HUGHES:
ALP

– As the Prime Minister has already pointed out. our representative on the Conference will be instructed definitely to pursue a certain course, and he will be expected to confine himself to his instructions. These will be prepared by the Cabinet, which will therefore be responsible. At the same time, I am not aware that the Earl of Jersey would be in any way biased. Indeed, we are somewhat circumscribed in the area of our choice.’ We must have a representative who can proceed to the Conference immediately, because a meeting is .to take place before the end of July. Under these circumstances we think we may safely rely upon the Earl of Jersey to carry out the instructions which may be conveyed to him by the Government.

page 2693

QUESTION

MAJOR-GENERAL HUTTON’S REPORT

Mr CROUCH:

– I wish to know from the Prime Minister if he is aware that Major-Genera^ Hutton’s report on the Military Forces of the Commonwealth for the year 1903-4 has been sent to the Defence Department, but that before being received by the Department its contents were published in a newspaper. Will he cause inquiries to be made as to why the newspaper obtained a copy before the report was received by the Defence Department, and before it was” laid before Parliament ? When will the Prime- Minister have the report laid upon the table?

Mr.- WATSON. - I am not aware of the facts referred to by the honorable member, nor have I seen the report myself, but I shall cause inquiries to be made on the subject. I see no objection to laying the report upon the table.

page 2693

QUESTION

CONTRABAND OF WAR

Mr MCDONALD:
KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND

– I desire to ask the Prime Minister whether his attention’ has been drawn to a paragraph which appeared in the Age this morning under the heading “ With Contraband to Japan - Voyage of the Cloncurry.” The information is published in the form of a telegram from Brisbane, which reads as follows : -

Among the passengers who arrived yesterday by the steamer Changsha was Captain W. R. Clack and twenty-seven members of the crew of the steamer Cloncurry, which was recently sold to the Japanese Government. Captain Clack) when interviewed, said he took the Cloncurry, 1 with a cargo of contraband, namely, 57,000 bales of compressed fodder, to Japan, by a circuitous route, in order to avoid any Russian war-ships that might happen to be on the look-out. . . . Captain Clack is returning to Melbourne, where he expects to be placed in charge of another of Mcllwraith, McEacharn and Co.’s steamers.

I desire to know whether the Prime Minister does not think that the action taken in this case’ has been in direct violation of the laws of neutrality, which we are expected to observe, and, further, whether such action on the part of citizens of the Commonwealth is not likely to lead us into trouble ?

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– The question of observing neutrality in the war between Japan and Russia came before the Ministry almost immediately after they had assumed office. I daresay that it had also engaged the attention of our predecessors. Of course, there is no intention, so far as the Ministry are concerned, to permit of any action that would constitute a breach of the neutrality regulations laid down by the King. We have received proclamations on that head from the Imperial Government, and nothing has occurred, so far, which, in our view, has in the slightest degree broken the neutrality which it is so desirable to observe in a case of this kind. As to this particular allegation, I have no knowledge, nor has the Minister of Trade and Customs, of any clearances of vessels carrying contraband of war for Japan, during the time “we have been in office. Of course, if people clear their vessels for other ports, and, after arriving there, determine to send their goods on to Japan at their own risk, that is a matter with which we have nothing to do. So far as I am aware, there has been no breach of the neutrality regulations by British citizens going from Australia, and the Minister of Trade and Customs informs me that every step has been taken to guard against any breach of the character indicated.

Mr McDonald:

– Captain Clack boasts of what he has done.

Mr WATSON:

– I- am not responsible for the utterances of private individuals. The question whether the cargo of the Clon curry was contraband, is perhaps a matter for argument. Personally, I am inclined to think it was. I have no knowledge that it was taken from Australia; but in any case it did not go direct from here to Japan. Therefore, we are not responsible for what occurred.

page 2694

QUESTION

REVENUE FROM CABLEGRAMS

Sir LANGDON BONYTHON:
BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA

– In reply to the right honorable member for Swan last week, the Postmaster-General stated that as the result of cablegrams being sent by the Pacific Cable, instead of by the Eastern route, the revenue of the South Australian Telegraph Department had been affected to the extent of only £3 is. 4d., during a period of eleven months. I should like to know what we are to understand from that answer. Prior to the existence of the Pacific Cable the whole of the cable business was transmitted by the Eastern route, and, therefore, passed over the South Australian lines. I desire to know whether it is intended to convey that the opening of the Pacific Cable has had no substantial effect upon the revenue of .the South Australian Telegraph Department ?

Mr MAHON:
Postmaster-General · COOLGARDIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · ALP

– I regret that I have not had an opportunity of reading fully the papers upon which the answer was based. If the honorable member will give notice of his question, I shall be very glad to give him. a reply in detail to-morrow.

page 2694

PAPERS

MINISTERS laid upon the table the following papers: -

Despatch from the Secretary of State for the Colonies in reference to the resolution agreed to by the House of Representatives on 22nd March, 1904, in respect to Chinese labour in the Transvaal.

Statistical Customs reports for the States of the Commonwealth, 1901 and 1902.

Report upon opium smoking in Tasmania.

Amendment of financial and allowance regulations under the Defence Act, to come into operation on 1st July.

page 2694

DISCREPANCIES IN CASH OF POSTAL OFFICIALS

Mr BAMFORD:

– I wish to ask the Postmaster-General whether the statement which recently appeared in the daily newspapers to the effect that any postal or telegraph official who proved to be short in his or her cash, w,ould in future be most rigorously dealt with, irrespective of the amount involved, was authorized by him. Further, whether he does not think that such a regulation is too drastic, in view of the fact that in financial institutions, and in Government Departments, where officers have to receive11 and pay out cash, mistakes are frequently made- in giving change.

Mr MAHON:
ALP

– The regulation to which thi honorable member refers was made by the late Government I have not seen the exact terms of the minute in question, but since I have presided over the Department all these cases have been sent on to the police court. In one instance I know that an officer was suspended for being short in his cash to the extent of 30s., and others were similarly treated for minor deficiencies. Every case in which any defalcations have been disclosed, or in which an officer has embezzled money, has been sent on to the police court. Whether or not the regulation is too drastic is a matter of opinion. All I can say at present is. that I will reconsider it, with a view to ascertaining if it is possible to modify it.

page 2695

QUESTION

LETTER DELIVERIES.

Mr CHAPMAN:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I desire to ask the Postmaster-General whether he will instituteinquiries with a view to providing Sydney with four letter deliveries daily ? When the Postal Department was under State control there were four deliveries daily, but the number has been reduced owing to the necessity which exists for shortening hands.

Mr MAHON:
ALP

– Obviously, a statement as to the matter to which the honorable member refers would require a knowledge of detail. Under the circumstances he would be doing both the Department and himself more justice’ if he would put his question upon the notice-paper.

page 2695

QUESTION

TITLES

Mr CROUCH:

– I wish to ask the Prime Minister whether the present Ministry, or its predecessors, have recommended or concurred in the granting of titles to citizens of the Commonwealth by the Imperial Government ?

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– I have no knowledge on the subject. I understand that in such cases recommendations are usually forwarded by the Governor-General.

page 2695

SUPPLY BILL

Mr WATSON:
Treasurer · Bland · ALP

.- I desire to intimate to honorable members that I intend, if possible, to-morrow - certainly not later than Thursday - to ask the House to go into Committee of Supply for the purpose of ‘granting a sum for the Treasurer’s advance vote, which will be available during the first month or so of the next financial year. As honorable members are aware, the financial year closes upon 30th June, and all votes for the current year lapse upon that date. In the absence of some such provision as I propose, the Treasurer would find himself without any money with which to meet emergencies. The same practice was adopted last year.

Mr Conroy:

– And objected to.

Mr WATSON:

– It was not emphatically objected to. I do not think that even the honorable and learned member was very emphatic about the matter.

Mr Conroy:

– It is a very bad practice.

Mr WATSON:

– I do not know of any better. That is the trouble. I admit that any system which intrusts the spending of money to the discretion of an individual is bad. But a better plan is not easily evolved. Some time ago I promised the honorable and learned member for Corinella to make the sum that is annually voted for the purpose of clothing the military forces - which represents £1 or 30s. per head - available as soon as possible this year, so that they might proceed with the ordering of their uniforms. That will involve a sum of ,£50,000 in anticipation of the vote which is granted every year. These two sums I propose to include in the Supply Bill, and nothing more.

page 2695

QUESTION

COMMONWEALTH FLAG

Mr CROUCH:

asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

  1. Whether he is aware that, in consequence of. the recent resolution of the House approving of the use of the ‘Australian flag by the Commonwealth authorities, the Postmaster-General and the Minister of Home Affairs have directed that the national flag should be used in their Departments in future?
  2. Whether he is aware that the Minister of Defence has, in consequence of the resolution, given instructions for the flag to be flown’ from vessels ?
  3. Whether he is aware that the Defence Department does not propose to alter the regulations, which exclude the flag from the Commonwealth forts, “ until the question of whether we should continue to use the present flag or adopt another, which, in our opinion, is more appropriate has been further considered “ as is stated in a letter of the 14th inst. ?
  4. Whether he will cause immediate consideration to be given to this apparently inconsistent practice of the Departments?
  5. Whether he does’ not consider the practice inconsistent and confusing which recognises the national flag, as good enough to fly on ihe public buildings of the Postal and Home Affairs Departments of the Commonwealth, and the ships of the. Defence Department, but not on the forts of the Defence Department?
  6. Is it true that the military authorities refused to permit their regulations to be altered to comply with the resolution of the House?
Mr WATSON:
ALP

– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -

  1. I am aware that instructions were issued by the Postmaster-General that on all occasions when flags are used the Commonwealth flag should, if possible, be flown from Post Offices, provided no additional expense were incurred; and that the Minister of Home Affairs has also given instructions for the Commonwealth flag to be flown from the Commonwealth Offices in Sydney and Melbourne on occasions when flags are used.

    1. No. Instructions were given to display the Commonwealth flag from the vessels of the local Naval Forces immediately after the adoption of the flag ; and therefore a considerable time before the resolution of the honorable member.
    2. The Commonwealth flag is regarded as an ensign to be used in the same way as the British ensign. The British ensign is not displayed from forts ; it has been the custom to display the ‘ Union Jack ; and, without further consideration, the Defence Department does. not propose to alter the regulations which, while they do not exclude the Commonwealth flag from the forts, provide for the display of the Union Jack.
    3. The practice of using the flag as an ensign, and displaying it in the way that ensigns are displayed, is not inconsistent with the practice of the other Departments.
    4. No.
    5. No.

I may further state that the question of adopting a more appropriate flag is under the consideration of the Government.

page 2696

QUESTION

DEPUTY POSTMASTERS-GENERAL

Sir JOHN FORREST:
SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -

  1. Is it to be understood from his reply to Question No. rj, of the 22nd inst., that the reports of the Deputy Postmasters-General of the States for 1003 have not yet been received ?
  2. If so, what is the cause of the delay?
  3. Will .he place the reports for 1901 and 1902 on the table?
Mr MAHON:
ALP

– The answers to the right honorable member’s questions are as follow: -

  1. Yes, only two reports for 1903 have been received.
  2. Pressure of other work.
  3. There is no objection to place the original reports on the Library table, but they are too voluminous to be copied for the table of the House.

page 2696

QUESTION

VICTORIAN TRANSFERRED OFFICERS

Mr ROBINSON:
WANNON, VICTORIA

asked the Minister of Home Affairs, upon notice -

  1. What was Hie total amount of the salaries paid to all the officers transferred from the Victorian Public Service to the Commonwealth Public Service at the date of their transfer?

    1. What is the total amount of the salaries payable to such officers now under the classification by the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner ?
Mr BATCHELOR:

– The answers to the honorable and learned member’s questions are as follow: - i- ;£.344>975-

  1. ^389,232. It may be explained that of the increase shown above, the difference is largely due to the payment during the three years the Commonwealth has been in existence of the ordinary statutory increments and increases to the salaries of officers through the operation of the minimum wage clause.

page 2696

QUESTION

STATISTICAL INFORMATION

Sir JOHN FORREST:

asked the Minister of Trade and Customs, upon notice -

Whether he will place the “ elaborate statistical information “ for 1901, 1902, and 1903, referred to in his reply to Question No. 7, of 22nd inst., on the table, and have it distributed among members as soon as possible?

Mr FISHER:
Minister for Trade and Customs · WIDE BAY, QUEENSLAND · ALP

– I have laid on the table a complete set of “ Interchanges or Customs Statistical Reports “ from all the States for the years 1901 and 1902. These contain the information referred to. For 1903 the Commonwealth Statistics, including returns from all States, have been compiled by Mr. Coghlan, the Government Statistician of New South Wales, and will shortly be published and distributed.

page 2696

QUESTION

PENNY POSTAGE

Mr BAMFORD:

asked the Postmaster- General, upon notice -

What is the amount of revenue per annum lost to the State of Victoria owing to the introduction of penny postage within the State?

Mr MAHON:
ALP

– The amount has been estimated at varying sums ; ,£55,000 may be taken as the mean average.

page 2696

MINISTERIAL STATEMENT

Mr REID:
EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

– I wish to ask the Prime Minister if he has any statement to make to the House in regard to what occurred in Committee upon the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill on Friday last.

Mr SPEAKER:

– I cannot allow that question to be put at this stage. Upon any suitable opportunity in Committee the Prime Minister may make a Ministerial statement, but not at this stage.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– I thought I could do so in Committee.

Mr REID:

– I shall raise no objection, but I doubted whether it would be in order.

page 2697

FIRE INSURANCE PREMIUMS

Motion (by Mr. Hume Cook) agreed to-

That a return be laid upon the table of the House showing -

The total sura paid by the Commonwealth in fire insurance premiums from 1st January, 1901, to 1st January, 1904.

The total loss sustained during the period named.

The sums received from fire insurance companies as against such loss. ‘

page 2697

CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION BILL

In Committee (Consideration resumed from 24th June, vide page 2690) :

Clause 48, as amended -

The Court, by its award, or by order made on the application of any party to the proceedings before it, at any time in the period during which the award is binding, may -

prescribe a minimum rate of wages or remuneration, and in that case shall on the application of any party to the industrial dispute or of any organization or person bound by the award make provision for enabling some tribunal specified in the award or order to fix, in such manner and subject to such conditions as are specified in the award or order, a lower rate in the case of employees who are unable to earn the minimum wage so prescribed ; and

direct that as between members of organi zations of employers or employees and other persons offering or desiring service or employment at the same time, preference shall be given to such members, other things being equal ; and

appoint a tribunal to finally decide in what cases an employer or employee to whom any such direction applies may employ or be employed by a person who is not a member of any such organization.

Provided always that before any preference to members of organizations is directed as aforesaid, the President shall, by notification published in the Gazelle, and in such other publications, if any, .13 the Court directs, specifying the industry and the industrial matter in relation to which it is proposed to direct such preference, make known that all persons and organizations interested and desirous of being heard may, on or before a day named, appear or be represented before the Court; and the Court shall, in manner prescribed, hear all such persons and organizations so appearing or represented.

And provided further that no such preference shall be directed to be given, unless the application for such preference is, in the opinion of the Court, approved by a majority of those affected by the awards who have interests in common with the applicants.

Mr WATSON:
Treasurer · Bland · ALP

.When the Committee, on the occasion of its last sitting, decided in favour of the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corinella, I asked that you, sir, should report progress, and thus give the Government an opportunity of considering the effect of the alteration that had just been made in the clause. I stated then that in my opinion - hurriedly arrived at - the proposal cut into the heart of the clause, and affected materially the general purpose of the measure. The Government still hold that view. We think that the clause in its present shape absolutely fails to meet the desires of those who are anxious to see this Bill passed into law in an effective shape. We propose to ask the Committee to reconsider that position so soon as we arrive at the recommittal stage. In the meantime we propose to go on with the other clauses of the Bill, and, having considered those, we trust that the Committee will arrive at a conclusion different from that at which they arrived on Friday afternoon. I have only this to add - that in my view it is more than probable that if the matter had been argued out on Friday a number of honorable members would have arrived at a different conclusion. Of course, I admit that’ we had a considerable amount of discussion on the general question of preference to unionists, but in the laudable anxiety to get the Bill through there had been no attempt made to analyze the phraseology of this particular clause and the additions to it.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– There had been considerable argument regarding the giving of a voice to a majority instead of a minority.

Mr WATSON:

– Yes ; but there had been no attempt to analyze the’ particular phraseology used. However, as I have said, the Government still consider this particular alteration to be of great importance, affecting materially the whole purpose of the measure, and we shall certainly give honorable members an opportunity, when the recommittal stage is reached, of reconsidering the position at which they arrived on Friday last.

Mr REID:
East Sydney

– Of course, we all know, in our parliamentary experience, that it is a very rare thing for the Minister in charge of a measure to move the Chairman out of the chair and to suspend business in relation to that measure upon a certain division being arrived at. It is an unusual procedure. It is a procedure to which grave significance must attach; and I said at the time - speaking, as the Prime Minister did, hurriedly - that I thought he had taken the proper course. I made that remark because it did seem to me that from the point of view of the Ministry the amendment carried was a vital matter, and must be a vital matter. That was the view I took. . But it is of course for the Ministry to decide for themselves all these matters- as to whether they will regard as vital any amendment that is made. This request for an opportunity - or rather, this intimation of a desire to have another opportunity - of- putting this matter before the Committee, may not be based upon very substantial grounds in so far as there may be any anticipation of any different result ; but it is a course which every Ministry is entitled to take, and no fair-minded man who opposes a Ministry will endeavour for a moment to interfere with such a course. Every Ministry in charge of an important measure, which comes to think that there is a vital difficulty in their way, created by an alteration of their Bill, is entitled to have another opportunity to submit the matter to the .Committee. I think the members of the two Oppositions, who sit here - I ‘ can usually speak only for my own friends, but I think that on this occasion I can also speak for honorable members generally upon this side of the Chamber - agree that, while there may be no possible prospect of a change in the decision of the Committee being arrived at. the Ministry are fully entitled to ask us to consider the propriety of recommitting the Bill with a view to reconsider this particular matter. I must frankly .say that if I were in the position of the Prime Minister, I should take exactly the same course. There is always a difficulty in these matters in a Prime Minister’s way. He wishes to be candid, and he wishes, also, to emphasize fully the significance of the matter, and yet, at the same time, he naturally does not desire to seem to exercise any sort of compulsion, or to offer any sort of threat in connexion with the subject to which he proposes to invite the attention of the Committee. I admit the difficulties of such a position, as I think every one must do; and I think that the Prime Minister has taken the proper course. So far as I am concerned, I offer no objection to it.

Sir JOHN QUICK:
Bendigo

– I move -

That the following words be added : - “ In any case in which the Court directs that preference shall be given it may subsequently suspend or qualify the direction for such time or subject to such conditions as it thinks fit if it be proved that the rules of the organization are burdensome or oppressive or do not provide reasonable conditions foi admission to or continuance in membership or that the organization has acted unfairly or unjustly to any of its members in the matter of preference.”

In speaking at an earlier stage of the debate upon this clause, I pointed out that, whilst I did not wish to- go to the extreme length of voting against preference altogether, because to do so might impair the efficiency of the scheme, I desired that it should be surrounded with certain safeguards and securities to prevent its operating injuriously or oppressively, it might be, to those workmen who were not members of a registered organization. The tendency of I he clause would naturally be to force men to join the organizations. We have recently noticed what the effect was in a case in Sydney in connexion with the Wharf Labourers’ Union. It occurred to me that when men entered organizations under pressure, so to speak, they might not receive that fair play to which they are undoubtedly entitled. I have been shown clauses in awards made by the New South Wales Arbitration Court, in which the secretaries of the registered organizations are required to prepare lists of their members who are capable and willing to accept work. These lists are produced to the employers, and the workmen are picked out from them. I think it is quite possible that in the preparation of these lists, Which practically place the patronage in the distribution of employment in the hands of the secretaries of the unions, rather than in the hands of the employers themselves, a certain amount of favoritism might creep, in, and that, perhaps, men who were not in the inner circle of a trades union might be elbowed out of work, while those who were in the confidence of the union might receive preference from the union officials in obtaining employment. That is the reason why I am anxious that if, after, a preference has been conceded by the Court, it is found that the rules of a union are unjust, or oppressive, or that any workmen are treated unfairly or harshly bv the timors, those who have ground for complaint mayhave a legal right to ask the Court in a summary manner to suspend or modify the preference. The Court would then dictate terms to the trades union. If it found that the union had exercised the preference in an unfair way, or that the effect of its exercise would be unfair, the Court might suspend the preference, and if necessary wipe it out altogether. I can see no reasonable objection to a modification such as this, which does not in any way impair the efficiency of the grant of preference, but merely provides that if, after the grant of preference, it is found that an organization is acting in a tyrannical or aggressive manner, the Court may interfere to stop it. That is only a fair power to give to the Court, and no reasonably minded trades unionist could object to such a modification of the clause.

Mr WATSON:

– I have no objection to the amendment. I had already indicated a willingness to accept from the honorable and learned member for Ballarat an amendment of an almost similar purport, though certainly it was proposed to insert it at a later stage in the Bill. The effect aimed at in this amendment is the same. The feeling the Government have in this matter is that there should not be an attempt to make a union a close corporation, or at any rate, that if such an attempt is made, it should not be assisted by the provisions of this measure. We are quite at one with the honorable and learned member for Bendigo and other honorable members in that view. I am, therefore, quite prepared to accept the amendment.

Mr ROBINSON:
Wannon

– I should like to suggest a verbal amendment of the amendment. If the phrase, “if it be proved,” be strictly interpreted, it might have the effect of placing very great difficulties in the way of any employe’ who desires to show that an organization is acting unfairly towards him. He may have to come from a great distance to give strictly technical proof that the object of the section is being defeated’. I suggest, therefore, that the expression used should be, “ if in the opinion of the Court.”

Mr Watson:

– “ Proved to the satisfaction of the Court “ is the same thing.

Mr ROBINSON:

– The expression used in the amendment is, “if it be proved.” “ If in the opinion of the Court,” is the usual phrase, and I suggest that this phrase should be used here, if the honorable and learned member for Bendigo has no objection.

Sir John Quick:

– I have no objection, if the Prime Minister has none.

Mr Watson:

– I have no objection.

Mr ROBINSON:

– I move-

That the amendment be amended by leaving out the words :1 it be proved that,” with a view to insert .in lieu thereof the words, “ in the opinion of the Court.”

Mr CARPENTER:
Fremantle

– I hope that, in accepting this amendment, the Government are not losing sight of a possible danger which it involves. While I am quite with them in agreeing that unions should not be allowed to become close corporations, I point out that in the matter of craft unions the members of those organizations are to a very great extent responsible for the qualification of their men as tradesmen. That is to say, they insist upon a man giving evidence of some skill and fitness in the particular trade represented before he can become a member of a craft union. It sometimes happens in connexion with all craft unions that without being in any way qualified to call themselves tradesmen or mechanics, men make application to become members, because they have a smattering of knowledge of one branch of the trade. In such a case, craft unions do the industry they represent a service by saying to such an applicant - “ No ; in our opinion you are not qualified to become a “member of this society, and to take work as a tradesman in this particular industry.” No one will object, I am sure, to a power exercised by craft unions which tends to maintain the standard cif workmanship. But there is a danger underlying this amendment. An applicant of the kind I have referred to-

The CHAIRMAN:

– I remind the honorable member that we are not now discussing the whole amendment.

Mr CARPENTER:

– I am discussing the amendment moved by the honorable and learned member for Bendigo.

The CHAIRMAN:

– The matter immediately before the Committee is the amendment of that amendment, submitted by the honorable and learned member for Wannon. ,

Mr CARPENTER:

– I point out that the amendment of the amendment makes the proposal more drastic, and is calculated to accentuate the evil to which I am referring. I repeat that craft unions do good service to employers, as well as to employes in various industries by keeping out men who are not really qualified to become members. But an applicant of the kind I have mentioned having been refused admission to a union would have power, under this proposal, to move the Court to inquire into his individual case. That, to my mind, might’ involve interminable work for the Court, and it might put unions to considerable cost and trouble in causing inquiries to be made into each particular case, though it maybe a matter of very small moment in itself. I do not desire that the unions should be harassed in this way by every individual who happens to form an opinion that, because he has not been allowed to become a member, he is suffering injustice. I should much prefer some other safeguard. If we are going to give every man who does not happen to be pleased with a union this power to move the Court against it, we shall be giving the Court a lot of work which it should not have to do, and we shall be imposing upon unions a lot of trouble and expense which they ought not to have to bear. I ask the Government to consider this aspect of the question, and to see whether something cannot be done to prevent frivolous matters from being brought before the Court, under this proposal.

Mr WATSON:

– In reply to the honorable member, I desire to point out that this proposal does not interfere with the right of unions to insist upon proper qualifications being shown by intending members. I take it that no Court would regard as burdensome or oppressive a rule which insisted on intending members showing some knowledge of the craft or trade the union of which they wished to join.

Mr Carpenter:

– - -Numberless cases of this kind might be brought before the Court.

Mr WATSON:

– We trust the Court with a very great deal of discretion, and we must trust it in (his matter also to carry out the proposal with justice and common sense.

Mr Mauger:

– And we must impress the public with the view that the unions are ready to receive men anxious to join them.

Mr WATSON:

– Quite so. I think, on the whole, that the fears of the honorable member for Fremantle will prove- to be without foundation as affecting artisans. In respect to others, the decision of the New South Wales Court the other day in regard to a union of unskilled, or comparatively unskilled labourers, was that any man of respectable character and fit for work should be allowed to join.

Mr Hughes:

– -And reasonably competent.

Mr WATSON:

– And reasonably competent. I think that is all’ that is aimed at by every member of the Committee* Of course, artisans have the additional requirement that they must have a proper knowledge of the’ trade tlie union of which they desire to join.

Mr. REID (East Sydney).- There are only two things that I wish to refer to. One of them is that in this amendment, which, I think, is a great improvement on the Bill, there is something not provided for. I do not propose to ask the Committee to enlarge the amendment much ; but I would point out that even if the Bill were amended in this way it would still leave open a possible source of hardship. This addition would be of great service in keeping the unions in a certain degree of order, and it would help to compel them, if they happened to be disposed to act otherwise, to act fairly towards their own members, and not to pass rules which were oppressive or burdensome.- But there is nothing here which would enable the Court to exercise a control over these organizations with respect to their conduct towards persons not inside the unions, and not subject to the rules. We hear of a large number of persons in all these trades who are not in any union. There is nothing in the clause, even as altered by this amendment, which would set up any standard with reference to the relations between persons in the organizations and those outside. But I think, on the whole, that .this will meet the most serious difficulties. The other matter I wish to refer to is the means by which a man may become skilled. I can quite see that artisans’ unions cannot admit persons who are not artisans, and I should like the Minister of External Affairs, if he can,’ to give me some information as to the means by which the rising young Australians can qualify themselves to become competent for membership of the union of a skilled trade. We desire to encourage our youths .as much as we can to enter into these skilled pursuits, and I should like those who have the information to say what facilities exist among his fellowworkmen for a young fellow acquiring the necessary knowledge to entitle him to join a union.

Mr HUGHES:
Minister of External Affairs · West Sydney · ALP

– There are two ways. Take, for instance, blacksmithing. A lad might become a boy about the shop or a striker. If he became a striker he would be eligible, if there were such a thing, to join the Strikers’ Union, or the Iron-Trades’

Labour Union. If he were smart he would always be in front of the anvil and eventually learn the business. That is generally true of most trades. I would remind the right honorable member for East Sydney .that each year less and less real technical skill is required owing to the introduction of machinery! It is becoming largely a question of machine minding, and technical skill is required less and less. But some skill ought to be required, I think. The right honorable and learned gentleman will remember that in New South Wales the Court always limits the number of apprentices. It provides- for labourers who will work with those persons although they are not in their particular union.

Mr Reid:

– Is there any union to which a labourer can belong?

Mr HUGHES:

– Yes. For instance, the Shearers’ Union includes rouseabouts, tar-boys, and all sorts of persons, the age being the only qualification.

Mr Reid:

– That is all right.

Amendment of the amendment agreed to.

Mr WILKINSON:
Moreton

– I listened with some attention to the remarks of the honorable members for Fremantle and East Sydney, and I would like to present to the Committee this view, that it might be possible if this addition were made for a union still to be a close corporation. I should like to know how the clause would be interpreted in regard, to matters of apprenticeship. We know that there are unions now whose policy it is to limit the number of apprentices. We know too that the seven years’ apprenticeship which was required years ago to learn a trade is no longer required. The term was reduced to five years, and it is being gradually shortened. With the advance of education, and the provision of technical schools, a much shorter apprenticeship is required to learn a trade than was required in the days when, perhaps, we were learning our own.

Mr DAVID THOMSON:
CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND · ALP

– Not necessarily.

Mr WILKINSON:

– The division of labour, added to the introduction of laboursaving machinery, has had an effect on nearly all the trades. There is now scarcely a tradesman who is skilled in all the branches of his trade. At one time a fitter had to start at the casting-shop and finish at fine work. To-day his work is largely clone by machinery ; practically he is part of the machinery.

Mr Carpenter:

– The honorable member is mixing up fitters and turners.

Mr WILKINSON:

– No; because the same thing is going on in connexion with wood-work machinery.

Mr Carpenter:

– There are distinct branches of the trade.

Mr WILKINSON:

– There are to-day, but there were not twenty-five to thirty years ago, and at the time when some of these unions were established. I wish to make it clear that there is a number of skilled tradesmen to-day who have never served an apprenticeship. In printing offices, for instance, there are compositors who have never served an apprenticeship. I wish to know whether these men, before they were allowed to join the Typographical Association, would be asked to show that they had passed an apprenticeship; because, if so, it would keep out of the union a large number of really qualified and skilful men - some of the best tradesmen.

Mr Mauger:

– Surely the Court will be fully aware that the practice is now virtually abolished.

Mr WILKINSON:

– I do not know that it is wise to leave the matter in too vague a form. Generally, a man ‘who is able to learn a trade under all sorts of difficulties and disadvantages, is really the most skilled tradesman. A boy who spent five or six years in a composing room and had everything shown him has a considerable advantage over a boy who had to go into a little printing office in the country, and thence graduate to the office of the Argus, or the Herald, or the’ Daily Telegraph, and who can hold his own with the best men without having signed indentures. I am rather afraid that the addition to the clause may put a bar in the way of these men getting the benefit of the rights which the Bill confers on them. I do not know that that will be the case ; but T thought it was my duty to give expression to the doubts which occurred to me after listening to the remarks of the honorable members for East Sydney and Fremantle.

Mr LONSDALE:
New England

– I can bear out the statement of the last speaker, that there is a large number of skilled workmen who have never served a day’s apprenticeship. I should imagine that, if an inquiry were made in the States, it would be found that almost the majority of the men are in that position. The honorable member for Moreton seems to think that the clause may do some damage in that regard. But, really, it will be an advantage, because if these men are treated unfairly, they will have the right to go before the Court and show that, whilst they are skilled workmen, they were kept out df the union for some other reason. J. think that the honorable member will see that it will be wise for him to accept the amendment. In the Arbitration Court of New South Wales decisions are being given on the lines of making men skilled through being indentured. The trouble will come later on, when the unions begin to demand, as they evidently intend to do, that every skilled workman shall learn his trade as an indentured apprentice. The Minister of External Affairs told the Committee that a man who is a labourer can learn the business of a blacksmith or of any other trade, and that, no doubt, is so to-day. But the unions are setting their faces against that system, by requiring that every man shall learn his trade as an indentured apprentice, and by setting limits to the number of apprentices. If those rules are adopted, the result will be that all skilled work will be monopolized by unionists, and it will be very difficult for other men to earn a livelihood.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

– The insertion of the words “ or any person affected by the award” after the word “members” in the last line but one will make the clause- perfect. As it stands, it refers to members of unions only, so far as the declaration that an organization must not act unfairly or unjustly is concerned. An organization might, however, act unfairly to a party quite as much interested as the employer, or to a still more interested party, an employe who was not a member of a union. The clause now protects members of unions only, who are really able to protect themselves by means of their votes. It is of more interest to non-preference men than to preference men. The idea of the Government is to prevent the oppression of any one bound by the award.

Mr Watson:

– If preference is given, none but members of unions will be concerned, and others, therefore, cannot be injured.

Mr GLYNN:

– They might be injured in the preparation of lists. After awards under the New Zealand and New South Wales Acts, the lists are prepared, not by the Courts, but by the organizations, and it would be easy to compile lists which would do great injustice to men not connected with an organization.

Amendment, as amended, agreed to.

Mr. LONSDALE (New England).- I wish to point out that the clause will prevent large numbers of men from obtaining work to which they are entitled, and which they would get if preference were not given to others. The Minister of External Affairs told the Committee the other evening that there are 3,000 members in the Wharf Labourers’ Union, and work for only 1,500. Therefore, new members joining the union ‘ would not be able to get employment. They would have to pay their entrance fee and the annual subscription, and then, finding that they could not get work, would have to seek elsewhere for it. If they wished to join the United Labourers’ Society they would have to pay another set of fees, and even then could not be sure of getting work, because there might be a dearth of employment in connexion with that branch of labour, too. Thus in every direction there will be barriers preventing poor men from getting employment. If we are going to give advantages to any section of the community, if we are going to establish an aristocracy of labour, allowing all outside it to starve and die, let us say so plainly. That is the practical effect of the clause.’ If, by our legislation, men are compelled to enter, unions before applying for employment, the work available for the members of the union should be divided equally amongst them. No one member of a union should succeed in obtaining employment at the expense of another, and whenever there was not sufficient work for every member of a union, what there was should be rotated. The Court should have the power to direct that all the members of a union should share whatever work was available. I believe that the principle to .which many men subscribe at the present time is that all should have work according to their needs.

Mr Hughes:

– According to their deeds.

Mr LONSDALE:

– I. think that men should get work according to their deeds; but the Government seem to think that they should get work according to their needs. Men should depend upon their qualities and deserts. The Government, however, propose to prevent men from asking for employment unless thev are members of unions. If they are honest in seeking to give employment to all, they should give the Court power to direct that when there is not suffi’cient work to fully employ every member of a union, it shall be rotated, so that each may get his share.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 49 -

Every member of the Court, and every person authorized in writing by the Court, or President, or Registrar, may at any time enter any building, mine, mine working, ship, vessel, place, or premises of any kind, wherein or in respect of which any industry is carried on, or any work is being or has been done, or commenced, or any matter or thing is taking or has taken place in relation to which any industrial dispute is pending, or any award has been made, or any offence against this Act is suspected, and may inspect anil view any work, material, machinery, appliance, appliances, or article therein.

Amendments (by Mr. Watson) agreed to -

That the words “ Every member of the Court,” line 1, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ The President.”

That the words “ Court or,” line 2, be left out.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

– The principle of the clause is a very dangerous one.

Mr Hughes:

– The clause is word for word the same as the section of the New South Wales Act.

Mr GLYNN:

– Yes ; but while it may be a right provision in a State Act, it is not a provision which should be inserted in a Federal measure. It really means that a Justice of the High Court may, after an award has been given, administer it himself. He may go into any factory to which it applies, and see whether there is a likelihood of a breach of the award taking place. In other words, the clause mixes up the functions of the Judiciary and administration, which is opposed to the spirit of the Constitution. it is of the essence of Federal Government that there shall be no such confusion. If honorable members look closely at the clause, they will see that it is not confined to pending disputes or Bending matters. I can understand that it may be necessary for the President to have a view of the locus in quo of a dispute ; but every Court has an inherent right to go to any place for the purpose of informing its mind on the matter before it. Therefore the clause is not necessary to give the President that power. But it goes further, since it enables him to make these visits at any time, whether ‘the dispute or matter is or is not pending. The word “ matter “ goes further than the word “ dispute.” and would, perhaps, cover an application to vary the terms of an award. The President is empowered, if he merely anticipates a breach of an award or an offence, to investigate the matter before it is brought before him in his judicial capacity. It might go before a minor Court, but’ it might come before the President himself. Surely it is not intended that he should become an administrative officer, and deal with matters which have not been referred to him by some person affected. I would suggest that after the word “may,” line 3, the words “ having connexion with any dispute or pending matter before the Court” should be inserted. The word “ matter “ would cover the case of an application to have the terms of an award varied, which might not be embraced’ within the definition of “dispute.” Surely the President of the Court should not be asked to act as an administrative officer, in addition to discharging his judicial functions.

Mr Watson:

– But he should have power to satisfy himself that the award of the Court has been carried out.

Mr GLYNN:

– I quite agree that the President should have power to fully inform himself of the facts of any case with regard to which he may be required to give a decision, but I think that some differentiation should be made between the President and any person appointed by the Court to act as an inspector. I do not think that the Judge should interfere with the administration of the Act in any way. Whilst it might be reasonable to ask the President to give authority to an inspector to enter any building or other place where an industry was being carried on, it would be absurd to expect him to go there himself. As a matter of preference, however, all matters connected with the administration of the Act should be left to the Minister in charge, and the judicial and administrative functions should be entirely separate. If the Minister will promise to consider the matter I shall not move an amendment.

Mr HUGHES:
Minister of External Affairs · West Sydney · ALP

– The clause evidently contemplates two distinct things. When a case is before the Court it may very often shorten the proceedings by inspecting the premises upon which an industry is being carried on. Surely every member of the Court, or any person authorized by it, ought to be permitted to do that. Then, again, after the Court has made an award, it should be in a position to authorize some persons to see that the award is properly observed. We might very well leave the matter in the hands of the Court.

Mr. GLYNN (Angas). - I shall be perfectly satisfied if the power of entry of the President is restricted to cases in which matters are pending, leaving it open to any one appointed by the President to deal with ordinary matters of administration.

Mr JOHNSON:
Lang

– Some time ago I gave notice of my intention to move two amendments in this clause. One of these contemplated the omission of the word “ Registrar.” I do not know whether the Prime Minister thinks it absolutely necessary to retain the power conferred by the clause, so far as the Registrar is concerned, or whether he considers it will be sufficient to give power to the President or to any person authorized by him.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– The difficulty is that if the power proposed to be conferred is to be confined to the President, it may impose upon him an enormous amount of comparatively routine work. After al], the Registrar will be a fairly responsible person, and the Court will have the right to review all his actions, of whatever class or character. I do not think that he will lightly use his power. Probably he will receive general instructions from the Court, and will then be left to carry them out. We do not wish to impose upon the President any more duties than we can help, because the multiplication of small functions may necessitate the appointment of an additional Judge of the High Court, whereas, otherwise, there might be no necessity for any such increase in the strength of the Bench.

Mr. JOHNSON (Lang).- In view of that explanation, I do not desire to press for the omission of the word “Registrar.” It seemed to me at first glance that it was proposed to confer too much power upon that official. Still I can appreciate the difficulty pointed out by the Prime Minister. I propose to move that the words “ during ordinary working hours “ should be inserted after the words “ at any time.” It seems to me that the clause, as it stands, would confer power to enter a building at any time of the day or night, and that that would be too extensive an authority to grant. It would be sufficient if we empowered the officers of the Court to enter a building at any time during ordinary working hours. A building might be closed up, and the proprietors might live some miles away, and if a demand for entry were made at some unseasonable hour of the night much unnecessary inconvenience might be entailed. I hope that the Prime Minister will not see any serious objection to the insertion of the qualifying words-

Mr WATSON:

– Sp far as the proposal of the honorable member for Angas is concerned, the better plan would be to recommit the clause. I do not object to his amendment, but it would be inconvenient to insert it at this stage. With regard to the suggestion of the honorable member for Lang, I quite agree with him that, generally speaking, it is undesirable to give, power to persons to enter premises at all hours. It struck me, however, whilst he was speaking, that one reason why we should not use too strict phraseology in this instance was that a breach of award might consist of an employer working his hands after ordinary business hours. I should like to know how the -honorable member would get over that difficulty. It might be alleged that Jones had committed a breach of an award by keeping his hands working late at night, and an inspector might require to go and find out what was being done. I do not see how we could meet a case of that kind, if the President could not give authority to enter a .building except during ordinary working hours.

Mr Johnson:

– Perhaps the words “ or during hours when work is in progress “ might be added.

Mr WATSON:

– I would suggest that the word “ordinary” should be omitted from the proposed amendment, and that the words “ during working hours “ only should be inserted.

Mr. JOHNSON (Lang).- I accept the suggestion of the Prime Minister, and move -

That after the word “ time,” line 3, the words during working hours,” be inserted.

Mr SPENCE:
Darling

– I think that it would be better to leave the clause as it stands. It might be necessary to make an inspection at some time other than during working hours. For instance, something might crop up in connexion with the use of certain machinery.

Mr Watson:

– An inspection could be made by consent at any time.

Mr SPENCE:

– We have to assume that a reasonable amount of common sense would be used by the President of the Court or the Registrar. We have no right to assume that they would, unless some good object could be served, choose inconvenient hours for the purposes of inspection. Generally speaking, no doubt, premises would be entered by the Court officials .during ordinary working hours, but cases might arise in which it would be preferable to make an inspection at some other time. Why should we not leave it to the discretion of the Court?

Mr Johnson:

– The clause gives power to enter premises at any time of the day or night.

Mr SPENCE:

– That may be very necessary.

Mr Johnson:

– It may be very unnecessary.

Mr SPENCE:

– I do not think that we should hamper the Court officials by imposing too many restrictions upon their actions ; but that on the other hand we should allow them full power, and rely upon their exercising reasonable discretion. We should not allow any avenues of escape for those who may be disposed to act unjustly to their employes. We should be departing from the main principle of the Bill if we imposed unnecessary restrictions upon the Court. We cannot Jay down any hard and fast rules in reference to this matter. We all recognise that if these inspections are made at unsuitable periods the cause of those who are responsible for them will be injured.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

In its present form the clause seems to give a sortof roving commission to any person who may be authorized by the Court to enter places of business. Under it a man would have the power to enter any premises in which an industry was being carried on, and to examine anything which is being done there, or inspect any material, machinery, appliances, or articles. That is an extraordinarily wide power. Personally, I prefer that the Registrar should be vested with power to say exactly how far this inspection should go-

Mr Hughes:

– The clause merely limits the authority of the Registrar.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– To make it clear that a roving commission is not intendedto be given to any person authorized by the Court to enter places of business, I think that the following words should be added: - “Provided that such inspections shall be confined to the objects named in the authority.”’ I think that we ought to lay down how far this inspection is intended to go. In its present form there is no indication that the authority conferred by the clause is not a general one. I admit the necessity which exists for checking any wrong-doing which may be going on, but I hold that the Court should . limit the power of inspection to the purposes for which it is authorized. The provision which I suggest will give the Registrar full authority to do all that is necessary, and will not permit of an inferior altogether exceeding the authority of the Court.

Mr WATSON:

– I see no objection to the limitation which the honorable member suggests, because that is the way in which I read the clause. It was the intention of the Government that the Court or the Registrar should declare the purposes for which an inspection is authorized. For instance, it might be necessary to inspect a boiler which is alleged to be unsafe, or to enter an establishment for the purpose of ascertaining how many boys are employed there, and the hours during which they are employed. ‘ In any case, we may tentatively adopt the amendment, and if, at a later stage, we find that we can express our meaning better, we can recommit the

Mr. JOHNSON (Lang). - I move-

That after the word “ kind,” line 5, the following words be inserted : - “ other than places or premises or parts of places or ‘ premises set apart and used solely for private dwellings and domestic or ordinary household purposes.”

My object in submitting this amendment is to protect the privacy of the . home and prevent it from being invaded under cover of a power which is conferred for a very different purpose. It seems to me that the words “ may at any time enter any building, place, or premises of any kind “ convey altogether too wide a meaning.

Mr Hughes:

– The Court has not the power to give the authority the honorable member fears.

Mr Watson:

– The power is not bestowed by the clause. Even if it were, it would not be exercised.

Mr JOHNSON:

– On a previous occasion a discussion took place upon a proposal to make the Bill applicable to domestic servants.

Mr Watson:

– Anyhow they have been excluded from its operation.

Mr JOHNSON:

– If a man is engaged in painting his own backyard fence or in whitewashing his own fowlhouse. whether for profit or otherwise, would his occupation come within the definition of the term “ industry “ ?

Mr Watson:

– I do not think so.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Might it not be held to come within that definition?

Mr Watson:

– Of course anything in that direction is possible in a Law Court.

Mr JOHNSON:

– Moreover, a person has merely to say that he suspects that an industry is being carried on in any building to obtain the necessary power to enter and inspect it. I have in my mind’s eye buildings, portions of which are used for ordinary trade purposes, and other portions for domestic purposes. I desire to safeguard the privacy of the home from the intrusion of an inspector, who may wish to enter such buildings. It seems to me that if power is given to enter premises, except under stringent safeguards, under the authority of the Court, an officer may invade the privacy of a man’s home, and demand to inspect any article therein. An unscrupulous person might .obtain the necessary authority from the Court in order to gratify some vindictive feeling, and thus private individuals, who had no thought of contravening the provisions of this Bill might be persecuted. Of course I recognise the necessity which exists for giving inspectors the power to enter buildings where industries are being carried on, in order to see that the compact is being kept as between employers and employes. But it is not the desire of the Committee to prevent a man from working on his own premises, where he is not conducting an industry in the sense in which that term is employed in this Bill. I do not wish to penalize any man who does a little painting or carpentering in his own home. My sole desire is to safeguard him from the operation of this Bill, and, at the same time, to provide for a reasonable method of inspection, with a view to avoid any infringement of the terms of awards.

Mr WATSON:

– In submitting the amendment. I scarcely think that the honorable member appreciates the nature of the clause, because the provision deals entirely with business premises. It states -

Any building, mine, mine working, ship, vessel, place, or premises of any kind wherein or in respect of which any industry is carried on or any work is being or has been done or commenced, or any matter or thing is taken or has taken place in relation to which any industrial dispute is pending.

The Court would’ have to rule first, whether the place in question was one where an industry was being carried on. Then it would have to rule on the interpretation of the word “ industrial.” I contend that the language of the clause would not permit the Court to do what is suggested by the honorable member for Lang; and I cannot conceive of any body of sensible men, who would make up a Court, or any one individual sitting as a Court, agreeing to grant an authority authorizing an inspection to be made of private premises used for domestic purposes.

Mr Johnson:

– Has the Prime Minister any objection to redraft the clause, in order to make the point clear?

Mr WATSON:

– I think the clause is sufficient as it stands. If, however, the honorable member can, before the recommittal stage, suggest some form of words to make it clearer, I shall have no objection to reconsider them. But the insertion of language which may, in itself, be correct, in the middle of a clause might have effects that one cannot anticipate. I do not think that it is wise to introduce verbiage into a clause unless necessity can be shown for it. I trust that the honorable member will not press his amendment. If, in the meantime, he can suggest any language that will better express our meaning, I shall be willing to accept it.

Mr. SPENCE (Darling). - I would point out to the honorable member for Lang one phase of the matter which he has not discussed. It is rather a far-fetched idea to suppose that an- inspector sent to inspect premises under the authority of the Court, would desire to inspect private premises which were used for domestic purposes. But, if this amendment were carried, it would enable employers to mark portions of their premises “ Private and residential,” and the inspector would be kept out of them, although they might be used for other purposes. I am sure that the honorable member does not mean to leave a loophole of that kind. It is quite likely that a man who wanted to hide something might resort to such means to shut out the inspector. The Committee will be with me in thinking that no inspector appointed under . the authority of the Court, whose powers were limited by Act of Parliament, would intentionally enter private premises. But, suppose he did such a thing, it would not be a very serious error. No harm would be done. But, on the other hand, the consequences might be serious if we left a loophole, by means of which an employer could defeat the law. Under this amendment, that would be quite possible. I have never heard of even a policeman unwisely interfering in people’s private affairs. If officers of the law have to enter private premises, they do it in a way that is not objectionable. If an inspector under this Bill were to exceed his duty he probably would not have another opportunity of doing so. The amendment is not needed. The clause, as it stands, sufficiently limits the power of the inspector. It would be better to leave it as it is, with an assurance that the interests of employers in regard to their private premises are sufficiently safeguarded.

Mr. DUGALD THOMSON (North Sydney). - I think that the amendment which I intend to propose, and which the Prime Minister does not object to, will largely meet the contention of the honorable member for Lang.

Mr. JOHNSON (Lang).- In view of the fact that the clause is to be recommitted, that the Prime Minister has assured the Committee that consideration will be given to the points raised, and that an opportunity will be afforded of ‘amending the phraseology of the clause I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Dugald Thomson) agreed to -

That after the word “ may,” line 11, the words, “ to the extent and for the purposes named in the authority,” be inserted.

Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 50 -

No person shall hinder or obstruct any member of the Court, or any person authorized as aforesaid in the exercise of any power conferred by the last preceding section.

Penalty : £10.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) proposed -

That the words, “ any member of the Court,” lines 1 and 2, be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ the President.”

Mr GROOM:
Darling Downs

– Does not the Prime Minister consider that it is necessary to add the words “or any person authorized in writing to inspect or enter any place “ ? Some protection needs to be given to persons who will be carrying out executive duties on behalf of the Court.

Mr Watson:

– Do not the words “ any person authorized as aforesaid “ meet that case ?

Mr GROOM:

– Will they meet the case of persons performing executive duties?

Mr Watson:

– This clause deals more with obstructions to the Court than with the administration of the measure.

Mr GROOM:

– I ask the Prime Minister to consider the advisability of making a further amendment.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause 51 -

The Court may, subject to the approval of the Governor-General, make rules regulating the practice and procedure of the Court, and subject to such rules the practice and procedure of the Court shall be as directed by the Court, or, when the Court is not sitting, by the President.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) proposed’ -

That the following sub-clause be added : - “2. All such rules shall be laid before both Houses of the Parliament within thirty days after the making thereof, or, if the Parliament is not then sitting, within thirty days after the next meeting of the Parliament.”

Mr. GLYNN (Angas).- I would point out to the Prime Minister that this session we have passed an Acts Interpretation Amendment Act.

Mr Watson:

– This provision is in accordance with that Act.

Mr GLYNN:

– It may be in accordance with the Bill as introduced, but it is not in accordance with the Act as passed. The Bill was amended on my suggestion. We made provision that, where any Act confers power to make regulations, regulations made accordingly - shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be laid before both Houses of the Parliament within thirty days of the making thereof.

Mr Watson:

– Is there any provision with regard to regulations being disallowed ?

Mr GLYNN:

– I am not arguing that we should rely absolutely on the words of the Act, because it may be held that the rules and practices of the Court are in a different category from the regulations contemplated by the Acts Interpretation Amendment Act. I am not sure that “ regulations” are properly defined in the original Acts Interpretation Act. In subclause 3, which the Prime Minister intends to move, it is provided that a resolution of disallowance must be passed within fifteen days, which very often will be impossible.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) proposed -

That the following sub-clause be added : - “ 3. If either House qf the Parliament, at any time within fifteen sitting days after such regulations have been laid before it, passes a resolution disallowing any regulation, that regulation shall thereupon cease to have effect.”

Mr. GLYNN (South Australia). - The provision for disallowance in the Acts Interpretation Act, as amended, is, I think, what is aimed at; but the form adopted in the amendment is the form in which the clause of the Bill appeared before it was amended. In the amended form the clause reads -

But if either House of Parliament passes a resolution of which notice has been given at any time within fifteen sitting days after such regulations have been laid before such Houses, disallowing such regulations, such regulations shall thereupon cease to have effect.

The point is that, as amended, the clause of the Acts Interpretation Bill instead of providing, as is proposed in this amendment, that regulations may be disallowed by resolution _within fifteen days after they have been laid before Parliament, provides that they may be disallowed by the carrying of a resolution of which notice has bee l given within fifteen sitting days after they have been laid before Parliament. With the consent of the Prime Minister, I move -

That the amendment be amended by leaving out all the words after the word “ Parliament,” with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words, ‘’ passes a resolution of which notice has been given at any time within fifteen sitting days after such rules have been laid before such House disallowing ‘any rule, such rule shall thereupon cease to have effect.”

Mr Watson:

– I agree to that. Amendment of the amendment agreed to.

Amendment, as amended, agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 52 -

Where any organization or person bound by an order or award has committed any breach or non-observance of any term of the order or award for which the Court has fixed a maximum penalty, any organization or person entitled to the penalty may proceed for the recovery thereof in any Court of summary jurisdiction.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– In connexion with this clause I propose to leave out all the words after the word “ penalty,” with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “ proceedings for recovery of the penalty may be taken in any Court of summary jurisdiction constituted by a Police, Stipendiary, or Special Magistrate.” The object is to enact the New South Wales provision, which insists on the constitution of the Court where this matter is decided by a stipendiary or police magistrate. We propose here to use. the additional term, “ Special Magistrate,” because there is a class of magistrates in South Australia who are thus termed. Every one who has observed the manner in which Benches, which may be constituted of honorary magistrates, are occasionally packed by interested parties, and especially in metropolitan areas, will agree that it is a most undesirable thing to allow these mat ters, which are to such an extent matters of heat and controversy of a political character, to be brought within the jurisdiction of other than permanent officials. Every fair-minded man will admit the unwisdom of that if it can be avoided. We propose in the interpretation clause, when we recommit that portion of the Bill, to ask the Committee for power to appoint magistrates as “ special “ magistrates in addition to those so included by the South Australian law-

Mr Groom:

– The same power is provided in the Judiciary Act, section 68.

Mr WATSON:

– Yes. I quite recognise that this must be surrounded with some safeguard.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– The honorable gentleman proposes - the appointment of District Magistrates.

Mr WATSON:

– Yes, that was the idea. The difficulty that has arisen in New South Wales, as I understand it, is that they require to apply on every occasion to the Court for a penalty, and for this reason : Assuming for the sake of illustration, that an award covers a dozen employers or employes, who reside in different petty sessions districts - separate action has to be taken in regard to each person in each separate petty sessions district, or else the magistrates have to confess that they have no jurisdiction. That is resulting in New South Wales in the loading up of the Arbitration Court with a lot of work as to penalties in regard to breaches of awards, and so on, that should properly be disposed of by subordinate magistrates. We wish to avoid that kind of thing by the insertion of some provision in the interpretation clause, which will allow of the appointment of Special Magistrates who will have a jurisdiction wider than that of the ordinary petty sessions district.

Mr Groom:

– The honorable gentleman will have to create a special Court for that, and give that Court special jurisdiction.

Mr WATSON:

– I think not; but that will be a matter for argument and consideration later. At present it appears to me that we can appoint, say, a Stipendiary Magistrate in Sydney or a Special Magistrate in South Australia, a magistrate for the purposes of this Bill, with, of course, any jurisdiction we care to give him. I have.no wish to add to the number of magistrates, and particularly to the number of honorary magistrates. I do not think there is any desire on the part of honorable members to undertake the invidious task of picking out a few hundreds of thousands of honorary magistrates. I think that the constitution under this Bill of some of . the existing Stipendiary Magistrates as Special Magistrates for this purpose, with a sphere of operation over a wider district than they at present control, will prevent a lot of work being placed on the shoulders of the Court of which it might properly be relieved.

Mr GROOM:
Darling Downs

– I should like to ask the Prime Minister whether he has well considered the definition of the term “award,” as appearing in this clause, and whether he is satisfied that, as here used, the term includes a common rule? The honorable gentleman will remember that earlier in the discussion of this Bill attention was drawn to the fact that in different parts of the measure awards and common rules were treated as though they were separate and distinct terms, whilst in another part of the measure it would appear to be contemplated that an award includes a common rule. For instance, a common rule is made to apply by an award.

Mr Higgins:

– If the honorable and learned member will look at paragraph /, of clause 46, he will find that a common rule mav be declared by an award.

Mr GROOM:

– There was some dispute on the subject, and the honorable and learned member for Corinella emphasized the necessity of making it clear that we were not going beyond the terms of the Constitution, that we were only giving power to make awards, and that the common rule should be considered a part of an award. I wish the Attorney-General to satisfy himself that this is covered by the use of the word. “ award “ in this instance, as it is of importance in considering the recovery of a penalty imposed for a breach of a common rule. I can quite see the necessity of giving a Stipendiary Magistrate the extended jurisdiction to which the Prime Minister refers. In doing so we shall be following only what we have clone already in section 68 of the Judiciary Act, under the last provision of which a magistrate may be specially authorized by the Governor-General to exercise a jurisdiction. That shows that under our existing law we have, in certain instances, taken the power to appoint special magistrates to exercise Federal jurisdiction. But when we come to consider whether a justice of a State Court of summary jurisdiction, acting under a State Act, can extend his jurisdiction beyond the specific area to which, by the State law, he is restricted, the matter is somewhat dubious. I am inclined to the opinion that the Prime Minister will find that if he wishes to extend the jurisdiction of a State magistrate over a larger area than that accredited ‘to the State Court in which he presides, it may be necessary for him to create a special Court, and to give that Court the necessary extended jurisdiction. I ask the honorable gentleman to consider that aspect of the matter:

Mr HIGGINS:
Northern MelbourneAttorneyGeneral · Protectionist

– With regard to the point to which the honorable and learned member for Darling Downs last referred, I understand that a great deal of difficulty has arisen in New South Wales under the Arbitration Act there because Police Magistrates in that State have jurisdiction only within limited districts. It has been found almost impracticable to enforce penalties under the Act before Police Magistrates, as the offence could not be brought before them unless it has been committed within their very limited territorial area of jurisdiction. So far as I can see at present, the course indicated by the Prime Minister is the course which it is best to adopt, and that is to exercise the Commonwealth power to nominate gentlemen who may act under the name of “ Special Magistrates,” or any other name which may be preferred for the purpose of enforcing the Commonwealth law of arbitration. It seems to me to be a reasonable way of carrying out that, to have in the interpretation clause a definition of “ Special Magistrates,” which will include not only “Special Magistrates,” so called in South Australia, but those magistrates who may be specially nominated for the particular purpose of dealing throughout the States with the enforcing of penalties under the Commonwealth Arbitration law.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Does the honorable and learned gentleman propose to have a separate clause giving these magistrates jurisdiction? That will be necessary.

Mr HIGGINS:

– We shall, no doubt, have some clause which will show that we have the power to do what is proposed. We have an analogy in the power we possess under the Judiciary Act. for instance, for the Attorney-General to delegate any of his powers - to file indictments, and so forth.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I do not doubt the power, but I think that a separate clause will be required to give the jurisdiction.

Mr HIGGINS:

– I think the honorable and learned member is right. It will be our business to see to it - that whatever we put into the Bill will make the power we propose an effective power.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I thought the honorable and learned gentleman was suggesting that it would be possible in the interpretation clause to do all that is necessary.

Mr HIGGINS:

– No;’ we must have some amendment there for speedy reference. We must declare that all persons called “ Special Magistrates “ include those so called under the South Australian law, and also those specially appointed for the purposes of this Bill. In regard to the first point, I think there is no doubt that, under paragraph / of clause 46 there is full power in an award to declare that a common rule shall apply.

Mr Groom:

– That is to say the common rule is a part of the award ?

Mr HIGGINS:

– It is there a part of the award.

Amendments (by Mr. Watson) agreed to -

That all the words after the word “ penalty,” line 5, be left out.

That after the word “ penalty,” line 5, the following words be inserted, “ proceedings for recovery of the penalty may be taken in any Court of Summary Jurisdiction constituted by a Police, Stipendiary, or Special Magistrate.”

Mr. GROOM (Darling Downs).- Did I understand the Prime Minister to say that he intended to move the addition of words there authorizing the Commonwealth to appoint magistrates?

Mr Watson:

– Not in that clause, but in another.

Mr- ROBINSON (Wannon). - Do I understand from the Prime Minister that his proposal to appoint special Commonwealth magistrates refers to Stipendiary Magistrates ?

Mr Watson:

– We do not propose to appoint honorary magistrates.

Mr ROBINSON:

– The Government do not propose to select a certain class of honorary magistrates, and give them additional power ?

Mr Watson:

– Not at all.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 53 agreed to.

Clause 54 -

  1. Where the property of an organization is insufficient to satisfy fully any process for enforcing any order Or award, the members of the organization shall, to the extent of* the maximum penalties defined in paragraph i of section forty-six, be liable for the deficiency.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) agreed to -

That after the word “ organization,” line 1, the words “on execution “ be inserted.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) proposed -

That after the word “shall,” line 4, the word “ severally “ be inserted.

Mr ISAACS:
Indi

– It is very important that we should know the exact meaning of this amendment. Does it not mean that each individual is liable for the whole amount of the penalty ?

Mr Groom:

– The maximum penalty, too.

Mr ISAACS:

– I think the matter requires a little careful examination.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– The- honorable and learned member for Indi is right. When this amendment was given notice of, the Government contemplated leaving the maximum penalty to the determination of the Court, and, consequently, we proposed another amendment, that the members should be severally liable for whatever penalty the Court might determine. But in view of the fact that the Committee did not agree with bur proposal in that respect, I think that I had better ask leave to withdraw the amendment, and so leave the clause as it was originally drafted. This will apply to the next amendment, too.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clause. 55 -

The Court may, on the application of any party to an award, make an order in the nature of a mandamus or injunction to compel compliance with the award or to restrain its breach under pain of imprisonment, and no person to whom such order applies shall, after written notice of the order, be guilty of any contravention of the award by act or omission.

Penalty : Three months’ imprisonment.

Mr CROUCH:
Corio

– I desire to ask the Prime Minister if he will consent to the imposition of a fine as an alternative to the three months’ imprisonment?

Mr- Watson. - In another clause power is given to the Court to order a fine.

Mr CROUCH:

– A fine in lieu of imprisonment, but here imprisonment only is provided for.

Mr WATSON:

– This clause deals with a much more serious state of affairs than is contemplated in connexion with an ordinary breach of an award. In my opinion, it is only proper that when a serious and continued non-observance of an award, or a contempt of the Court, occurs, it should have the power to order imprisonment with the maximum of three months. I do not think it is unreasonable to make that provision. There are other provisions by which breaches are punishable by the imposition of maximum fines ; but in this instance, seeing that the clause is intended to deal with only an aggravated case, where a man has persistently broken the law, or ignored the award of the Court, it is not an unreasonable provision to make.

The CHAIRMAN:

– Order ! I have called on the honorable members for Swan and Yarra half-a-dozen times to keep order, but the noise is still continued. I have to ask honorable members, if they have a conversation of that character to carry on, to retire from the Chamber, and not to disturb the business of the Committee.

Mr. CROUCH (Corio).- I do not wish the Prime Minister to come to a decision on this point too quickly, because I believe that I shall be able to advance reasons which will induce him to agree with my view. I am quite aware of what the procedure would be. First, an award has to be made ; secondly, an application has to be made to the Court for a mandamus or an injunction ; then a copy of that order has to be served on the parties, and if they do not obey, it is intended by the clause that imprisonment only shall be inflicted. It say’s -

No person lo whom such order applies shall, after written notice of the order, be guilty of any contravention of the award by act or omission.

The Prime Minister will see that it applies purely to employers, and not to employes.

Mr Groom:

– Why does it not apply to employes ?

Mr CROUCH:

– Because the order of the Court applies to employers only. The only thing that an employe” could do to contravene the law would be under clause 6, which says -

No person or organization shall, on account of any industrial dispute, do anything in the nature of a lock-out or strike, or continue any lock-out or strike. “ Person “ under the interpretation clause can mean only “ employer.”

Mr ISAACS:
INDI, VICTORIA · PROT

– We do not know what the award may be.

Mr CROUCH:

– Let us take the case, which arose recently in Sydney, where an organization refused to admit members to a union pursuant to an order of the Court.

Mr Watson:

– They did not persist in that action.

Mr CROUCH:

– Well, supposing that any organization were ordered by the Court that it must .have an open membership, and that it refused to obey the order, the Prime Minister will not say that the committee nf management and the present unionists in the organization would be liable under this clause ? Because the offender, in that case, would be an organization, and not a person.

Mr Watson:

– The persons individually are made liable as well as the organization.

Mr CROUCH:

– Not in clause 55, because the words “no person” are used, and it is only the organization which appears.

Mr Isaacs:

– If my honorable and learned friend will look at paragraph e, of clause 46, he will find that the Court has power - to enjoin any organization or person from committing or continuing any contravention of this Act, or any breach or non-observance of any term of an order or award.

Mr CROUCH:

– I propose to show the honorable and learned member for Indi that clause 55 applies, so far as persons are concerned, to only employers.

Mr Groom:

– Oh, no.

Mr CROUCH:

– So far as employes are concerned, it is only by organization that they can take part, and the word “ person “ is always held in the Bill to refer to employers.

Mr Watson:

– It is not.

Mr CROUCH:

– Take the case of the colliers in Newcastle,, who refused a little while ago to obey an order of the Court, and continued to strike. Would the honorable gentleman say that those colliers would, come under the definition of the word “person “ in this clause?

Mr Watson:

– If the Court so ordered they would.

Mr CROUCH:

– Then we have to go back to clause 6, which says -

No person or organization shall, on account of any industrial dispute, do anything in the nature of a lock-out or strike.

If honorable members will turn to the definition of “ industrial dispute,” which is the limitation under which that clause can be applied, they will find that it is -

A dispute in relation to industrial matters arising between an employer or an organization of employers on the one part, and an organization of employes on the other part.

Only an organization of employes, not an employe’ singly. I submit that clause 6, which would stop a strike or lock-out, can apply in reference to only an industrial organization. That is not a dispute between employers and employes, as persons, but only one between an employer or an organization of employers and an organization of employes. Consequently, under the Bill, as it is drawn, an employ^ can make any breach he likes, and, therefore, does not come under this clause. The only punishment that can possibly be inflicted is against the organization itself, and not against the employe^ because h2 is not a person as defined in the Act. This is only my view, but I certainly think that, for the reasons I have given, the word “person” throughout the Bill, particularly in this clause, which provides for three months’ imprisonment, can under no circumstances apply to an employe, but must always apply to an employer. It is very unfortunate that we should not have this remedy against an employe. An employer is a person only, and he is the only offender who is to be visited with imprisonment. I ask, in these circumstances, that an employer should be allowed the privilege of paying a fine, and should not be imprisoned straight off.

Mr KNOX:
Kooyong

– I strongly sup- 1 port the view that the clause ought to provide for the imposition of a monetary penalty. I would recall to the recollection of the Minister of External Affairs the fact that during a great industrial struggle in New Zealand the strikers did not consider that the award of the Court was fair, and that, wishing to resist it, they said that in the Colony there were not sufficient prisons to hold those who held that view. The Minister will see that the penalty named in this clause may not be a very satisfactory one, and that, therefore, the imposition of a fine ought to be provided for. It appears to me that the clause is open to another objection. Supposing that the breach of the award were such as, in ordinary reason, would be met by imprisonment for a day or a. week, would the maximum penalty of imprisonment have to be inflicted ?

Mr Hughes:

– I presume not.

Mr KNOX:

– I wish it to be made clear.

Mr Hughes:

– The interpretation clause makes it clear.

Mr KNOX:

– Is three months the maximum penalty, or mav the Court fix a shorter period ?

Mr Crouch:

– It is the maximum penalty.

Mr Hughes:

– What does the honorable member suggest?

Mr KNOX:

– That the word “maximum “ be inserted. If the honorable and learned member for Corio will propose the insertion of words providing for the imposition of a monetary penalty as an alternative, I will support the amendment.

Mr Hughes:

– What monetary penalty?

Mr Crouch:

– ^25.

Mr Hughes:

– If a person deliberately commits’ a breach of an award, and persists in committing it, why should not the extreme penalty of imprisonment be imposed ?

Mr Groom:

– The action provided against is equivalent’ to the contempt of Court caused by refusal to obey an injunction.

Mr KNOX:

– But the Bill does not give the Court any option.

Mr Groom:

– Yes. Under paragraph e of clause 46.

Mr. ISAACS (Indi). - The position appears to be quite met by the Bill. An award is made, and a breach of it is either actually committed or threatened. For an actual wilful breach clause 56 provides a monetary penalty not exceeding ^20. If that breach is repeated, or it is thought necessary to obtain an injunction under any circumstance’s where a pecuniary penalty does not seem to deter the persons making the breach, the Court has power to make an order, and for a breach of that order may inflict imprisonment.

Mr Hughes:

– Only as a last resort.

Mr ISAACS:

– That is as I understand the words.

Mr Hughes:

– Every Court of Record has that power.

Mr ISAACS:

– The Court would be exposed to ridicule if it could make an order, a repeated order, and a further order, while the person concerned went on paying a penalty of £20. There must be this power. It is suggested that there might be an alternative power to inflict a maximum fine of £25, but the Court has power under clause 56 to impose a penalty of £20

Mr Conroy:

– Suppose there is an accidental breach?

Mr ISAACS:

– That remark is not justified. No Court would dream of imprisoning for such a thing. The Supreme Courts of the States have power to commit for contempt, and no one can question their orders.

Mr Conroy:

– If the clause deals only with contempt of Court, why not leave such cases to be dealt with .under the ordinary power now possessed?

Mr ISAACS:

– The proposed Court will not be an ordinary tribunal, and it may, therefore, be argued that it must look for its powers wholly to the provisions of this Bill. I think it right to arm the Court with distinct and affirmative power, against the event of any such question arising. Properly speaking, clause 56 should precede clause .55. If an award is made and any person “ wilfully makes default in compliance “ with it, a penalty of ‘^20 or less, but only such penalty, may be imposed. Then, under clause 55, an application may be made to the Court by any party to an award for an order in the nature of a mandamus or an injunction to compel compliance under pain of imprisonment. The Court has no power to order imprisonment right away. There must be the award, the breach of it, or threatened breach of it, and a further order to compel compliance. It is only after written notice of this further order that the person to whom it applies will be liable to the penalty of imprisonment. Surely it is not too much to say that under such circumstances the Court may, in its discretion, award imprisonment not exceeding three months. I think that the clause read in conjunction with clause 56 is a very fair one.

Mr- BRUCE SMITH (Parkes.) - The honorable and learned member for Indi has missed the point taken by the honorable and learned member for Corio. No one doubts the importance or the necessity of giving a Judge or a magistrate the ultimate power to inflict the most serious form of punishment where its Order is disobeyed ; but the honorable and learned member for Corio pointed out the extremely one-sided character of the provision contained in the clause under discussion. When the Court of Arbitration makes an award it does not make it against individual members of a union.

Mr Isaacs:

– If the honorable and learned member will look at paragraph e of clause 46, he will see that the Court does make an award against the person.

S a

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I have in mind a case like that which recently occurred at Teralba, in New South Wales.

Mr Isaacs:

– We are not discussing that order; we are discussing the Bill.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am about to use it as an illustration of what may happen under this Bill. We are, I presume, discussing the measure in the light of its practical working, and our actual knowledge. Thehonorable and learned member is new tothis jurisdiction; but we have had two or three years’ experience of it in New South Wales. The Court of Arbitration in NewSouth Wales made an award against the Teralba union, which” numbers some hundreds of members, and they disobeyed its order-

Mr Hughes:

– There was no Teralba union. The Teralba colliery employes were members of the Colliery Employes Union.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The members of the Teralba colliery were members of a union, against which an award was made, and they disobeyed that award. How could anything in the nature of an injunction or mandamus be made effective against those men? The clause provides that where an award has been disobeyed the Court may grant an injunction .or a mandamus ; but, having made its award against the union, would it be likely to grant an injunction against the individual members of that union, who might number hundreds or thousands? Could the Court, after making an award against a union, make an injunction or issue a mandamus against the individual members of that union ?

Mr Isaacs:

– Certainly.

Mr Hughes:

– It could proceed against the union first, and enforce the monetary penalty.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Acting under clause 56, it might impose a monetary penalty of £20. In the Teralba case the award given against the union was disobeyed by a large section of the men; but if it had been sought to follow up that disobedience by a mandamus or injunction, it would not have been made or issued against the individual members of the union.

Mr Hughes:

– In the Teralba case the Court found that the men had not committed a technical breach of the award.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Court ordered them to go to work again, but the complaint was that there was no way of enforcing that order against the union, because the individual members were nol dealt with. I wish the Minister would show us how the Court in granting a mandamus or an injunction to compel compliance with its previous award against the union, could compel men to go to work. If they did not go to work, who would be imprisoned for three months? Does the Minister mean to say that it is intended that the Court shall imprison for three months the whole of the members of a union ?

Mr Hughes:

– The ‘- recalcitrant members.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Minister says that so far as the employer is concerned there is no difficulty* because he is named as an individual ; but I wish to show that this is an impracticable clause, because it will be quite impossible to imprison for three months the whole of the members of a union. If that be so, we should not provide for three months’ imprisonment, without the option of a fine, in the case of a breach of an award by an employer.

Mr Hughes:

– In the case at Teralba, referred to by the honorable and learned member, the majority of the unionists directed a fraction of the members of the union who struck to go to work, but thev refused.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Does the Minister say that it would be practicable to imprison the whole of that fraction of the union, numbering some hundreds?

Mr Hughes:

– I say that it would be practicable to fine them, first of all.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Would it have been practicable to imprison the whole of the miners who refused to go to work at Teralba?

Mr Hughes:

– I do not admit that they committed a technical breach of the award.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– That is beside the question. I am asking the Minister whether he would regard it as practicable to imprison such a large number of men.

Mr Hughes:

– All I say is that the Act provides that that shall be done in certain events.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I contend that it would be impracticable to imprison all the members who refused, and that it would be unjust to allow the provision to stand as at present. The difficulty might be, to some extent, overcome by providing for the option of a fine, or three months’ imprisonment. I admit that where a practicable course is provided for, by which each member of a union can be made liable to a fine, as. an alternative to imprisonment, all the members of a union can be cited for disobeying an award arid fined. But all of the members could not be imprisoned.

Mr Hughes:

– Why?

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I think that every member of the Committee will see . this, that if a union consisted of 500 men who were directed by the Court to go to work, and they refused, and compelled the employer to go to the Court to obtain a mandamus, it would be . impracticable to imprison the whole of the men for three months.

Mr Kelly:

– What would each mandamus cost?

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I do not know. That is not the question.

Mr Groom:

– In such a case as that referred to by the honorable and learned member, the employer could proceed under clause 56. It would not be compulsory upon him to proceed under this clause.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– If there is another provision, why should this clause be necessary? I say it is not practicable to imprison the whole of the members of a union.

Mr Groom:

– It is optional with the emplover to take such steps as he thinks fit.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But the honorable, and learned member must see that the employer could not single out individuals, and could not imprison the whole of the members of a union. Therefore it is absurd to provide that an employer should be imprisoned without the option of a fine. I quite agree with the honorable and learned member for Indi that we must make provision of the most drastic character for the enforcement of the awards of the Court, but I want to see provisions that will work fairly to both sides. If it be impracticable to imprison the whole of the members of a union, numbering 500, we should not provide, in the case of employers, for imprisonment without the option of a fine.

Mr Isaacs:

– The American Courts experience ‘no difficulty in imprisoning strikers.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I venture to say that if an attempt were made here to imprison 500 coal-miners a revolution would be brought about. If, on the other hand, the men were liable to a heavy fine, with three months’ imprisonment as an alternative

Mr Isaacs:

– We have provided for that.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Then we do not require the provision, in this clause.

Mr Isaacs:

– Yes, we do.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I say no. Under this provision the most respectable employer in Australia might, after being cited by mandamus to appear before the Court, be imprisoned for three months.

Mr Isaacs:

– But that would only be done in the case of- an employer who wilfully and repeatedly disobeyed the order of the Court.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I wish the Minister to recognise the one-sided character of the provision. I am quite sure that he is anxious that the Bill shall be passed in such a shape that no one can say that it is one-sided - that it bears more heavily upon the employer than upon the employe. I think that the Minister must admit that in a strike such as that at Teralba - I am not citing an impossible or improbable case, but one which actually occurred in New South Wales - where some hundreds of men ceased work, notwithstanding the order of the Court, a revolution would result if any attempt were made to imprison 500 miners. If that could not be done in such a case, we should not enact that an employer shall be imprisoned without the option of a fine. The only solution of the difficulty I can suggest is that we should provide that either , s’ide should be liable to a heavy fine or three months’ imprisonment.

Mr HUGHES:
Minister of External Affairs · West Sydney · ALP

– The argument used by the honorable and learned member is that because this provision might be impracticable of enforcement - of course it would not necessarily be impracticable - we ought to strike it out.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I never suggested striking it out.

Mr HUGHES:

– The honorable and learned member said that it must of necessity be impracticable.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I say that it is impracticable, and that, therefore, it should be altered.

Mr HUGHES:

– I contend that it is not impracticable. I say under certain circumstances it might be impracticable. If only one man, or if even two or more men, at Teralba, had disobeyed, it would not have been impracticable to imprison them. Then, it follows that the provision becomes impracticable only when such numbers of men are involved as would make any law impracticable. Take- the case of the Education Act in England. That is becoming impracticable of enforcement because of the large number of persons who are disobeying it-

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The Minister knows very well that the members of the unions would stick together and act uniformlv.

Mr HUGHES:

– So far from that’ being the case, we have the example of Teralba, in which the union compelled the men to go back to work. They said, “ If you do not go back, we shall put you outside the union.” And the force of the union was so great that the men obeyed.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But how long had thev been away from their work?

Mr HUGHES:

– I think about fourteen days. I would not be sure, because I am speaking from memory. They certainly went back, and I believe, although I speak subject to correction,, that the Judge of the Arbitration Court said that they had not been guilty of a technical breach of the award. Clause 37 provides -

The award of the Court shall be binding on ….. all members of organizations bound by the award.

If honorable members will turn to clause 5 they will see that it provides -

When any person is convicted of an offence against any provision of this Act for which a pecuniary penalty is provided, the Court before whichhe is convicted may direct that the defendant shall not continue or repeat the offence under pain of imprisonment.

There is no alternative there. A person continuing or repeating an offence, after having been fined, is liable to imprisonment.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The words used there are “ any person.”

Mr HUGHES:

– Exactly, and the word “ person “ is used in the clause under discussion, which provides -

No person to whom such order applies shall, after written notice of the order, be guilty of any contravention of the award by act or omission.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But that relates to an award given against a union.

Mr HUGHES:

– One of the strongest arguments used by the opponents of this measure ls that a fine means nothing, so far as workmen are concerned, because they have no money, and will therefore go to gaol. A fine of£25 is proposed by the honorable and learned member for Corio.

Mr Crouch:

– We might provide for a fine of £100.

Mr HUGHES:

– That makes the position still worse. ‘ Does the honorable and learned member for Parkes know of one Teralba miner, who, by selling his home, could manage to raise the money necessary to enable him to pay a fine of .£25?

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Plenty of them could pay ,£25.

Mr HUGHES:

– I think I know as much about the miners as does my honorable and learned friend, and I say that there are not plenty of them who, even by selling their homes, could pay a fine of ,£25.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I agree that there are not many who could pay a fine of £100 but plenty of them could manage to raise ,£25.

Mr HUGHES:

– It is of no use to impose fines upon workmen when we know that they are in effect impracticable of enforcement, and that the men will have to go to gaol for three months. If a workman could not pay the fine of ,£25 it would mean imprisonment, whereas to the employer a fine of ,£25 would be nothing. Mr.. Conroy. - Is there another clause which provides that the workman can be imprisoned if he does not pay his fine?

Mr HUGHES:

– This clause will govern the other provision in relation to this particular matter. The honorable and learned member for Parkes contends that there should be an alternative punishment, and that a fine should be provided for in the case of the employer.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I admit that that is not the best way out of the difficulty, but it is- the only one that I can suggest at present.

Mr HUGHES:

– The Government desire to be absolutely fair. We say, however, that it is not fair to take a lot of hapless men, like miners or wharf labourers, and subject them to heavy fines, which they cannot pay. I can assure honorable members that ‘the great majority of the members of” the Wharf Labourers’ Union in Sydney have not averaged 15s- per week for the last twelve months. They certainly have not averaged that amount during the last five months. Therefore, to say to any of these men that they must pay a fine of £5 or £10 would be equivalent to condemning them to imprisonment, because they would have no hope of paying such an amount. I read only the other day a statement to the effect that in the handling of wheat at Darling Island in Sydnev a stevedore was making -£2 6s. per hour, whereas the labourers were earning only i5d. per hour. A’ ‘fine of .£25 would be nothing to the stevedore, but the men could not pay such an amount, and would, there fore, have to go to gaol. I know that the honorable and learned member for Parkes, with all his bias against this class of legislation, desires to be fair. If he can show me a way out that will be fair to the employer and the employe, I shall gladly adopt it; but I urge that his suggestion does not provide such a way.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– According to the Minister’s view, the next clause is quite impracticable, because, although it might apply to a miner or a wharf labourer who could not pay the penalty of £20, there is no provision for imprisonment as an alternative.

Mr HUGHES:

– We must provide some means of dealing with persons wilfully making default in regard to an award, and we have therefore provided for a fine of £20.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– But supposing that the guilty party were a wharf labourer?

Mr HUGHES:

– If a man wilfully breaks an award, and cannot pay the fine inflicted, he must go to gaol. If we were merely to ask a man to pay a fine of ,£20, and he could not pay it, there would be an end of the matter ; but, under the preceding clause, it is provided that he shall go to gaol in such a case. The other parties to the award could obtain an order in the nature of a mandamus or an injunction, and if obedience were not secured, the Court might put the man in gaol. The following clause meets many of the objections raised by the honorable and learned members for Parkes and Corio, and I think that, under the circumstances, they may very well allow matters to stand as at present. ‘ In connexion with this class of legislation, it is impossible to insure that under all circumstances the law will be enforceable. For instance, legislation in regard to early closing would be simply impracticable if the whole body of employers or employes decided to disregard it. Our education and our vaccination laws might easily be rendered inoperative by a combination on the part of our citizens. We trust that both sides will realize the value of this provision, and bv co-operation, render it workable. If mv honorable friend can show me that his suggestion would operate justly in the case of the workman as well as of the employer, I shall be very glad.

Mr. CROUCH (Corio).- I move-

That after the word “ Penalty,” line 9, the words “ twenty-five pounds or “ be inserted.

I desire to point out to the Minister of External Affairs that this is a maximum penalty. ‘ The honorable gentleman, in effect, -admits that the clause will not prove effective. He asks whether it would be possible for a coal miner to pay a fine of ,£10 or ^20? But I contend that the Court will necessarily take into consideration the circumstances of the individuals who come before it. No Court would desire that the gaols of the country should be filled if offenders could be adequately punished by the imposition of a fine.

Mr Kelly:

– The honorable and learned member wishes to give the Judge an option ?

Mr CROUCH:

– Exactly. An offender will not necessarily be fined £25, and in default be ordered three months’ imprisonment. In some cases a fine of £1 would constitute a sufficient penalty.

Mr Hughes:

– Would it not be absurd to obtain a mandamus or an injunction and then to fine a man £1 ? The granting of a mandamus or of an injunction is a process of the Court which ought not to be resorted to, save under exceptional circumstances.

Mr CROUCH:

– I quite agree with the Minister, but I contend that some remedy must lie against the members of these organizations. Let us suppose that a case arises in which the colliery employes refuse to obey an award of the Court. What remedy has the employer, who is bound by the fact that he could’ pay a fine of ^25, if it were imposed upon him. against his employes, who could not pay it? I would further point out that the question of contempt of Court, which has been referred to, is dealt with in clause 90. Honorable members will observe that under this provision a person must not be guilty of any contravention of an award, either by commission or omission. I think that that will lead to a good deal of oppression. It would be simply impossible to imprison 500 men, and, therefore, the Court should be allowed to deal with breaches of awards in some other “way. I ask the Minister of External Affairs to accept my amendment as a fair proposal. I am not at all satisfied that the word “ person “ covers employes. I am referred by the honorable and learned member for Indi to paragraph e, of clause 46, which says that “the Court shall’ as regards every industrial dispute of which it has cognizance, have power to enjoin any organization or person from committing or continuing any contravention of this Act.” But I claim that that power is governed by the words “ as regards every industrial dispute.” The only possible parties to an industrial dispute are an organization of employes, an employer, or an organization of employers.

Mr Hughes:

– But an award may apply to persons who were not parties to a dispute. A “person “ may be anybody. There is no technical meaning attached to the word.

Mr CROUCH:

– Paragraph d, of clause 37, lays it down that an award of the Court, shall be binding on all parties who have been summoned to appear before it as parties to the dispute. Thus it really depends on what an “award “ is, and we get .back once more to the definition of “ industrial dispute.” I venture to say that if an industrial dispute is limited to an organization of employes, an employer, and an organization of employers, the Bill will not bind any individual employe. Under the New South Wales Act the definition clause includes employes, organizations of employes, employers, and organizations of employers. The reason assigned by the Minister for not including employes in this measure is that no single employe” is able to institute a dispute which would extend beyond the limits of one State.

Mr Hughes:

– If what the honorable and learned member says is true, I would ask him what is the meaning of the word “ person “ in clause 57 ?

Mr CROUCH:

– I hold that as long as the definition clause remains unaltered, the word “ person “ can even there apply only to employers.

Mr Hughes:

– Will the honorable and learned member answer my question. What does the word “ person “ mean in clause 57?

Mr CROUCH:

– It means that any person being an employer shall cease to be an officer of any organization of employers.

Mr Hughes:

– Where does it say so?

Mr CROUCH:

– Whatever the Minister or the Government may intend, the fact remains that the application of the Bill is limited by the definition clause.

Mr. ISAACS (Indi).- I do not know that the adoption of the amendment will make very much difference to the Bill. I do not think that, in accepting it, the Ministry will be doing any wrong. I confess that I was a good deal astonished at some of the arguments which were employed by the honorable and learned member for Parkes. He seemed to me to have entirely overlooked some of the plainest provisions of this measure. He supported the view entertained by the honorable and learned member for Corio that the word “person” can relate to employers only.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Excuse me, I did not say so.

Mr ISAACS:

– The honorable and learned member reproached me for not having replied to the argument advanced by the honorable and learned member for Corio.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I reproached the honorable and learned member for not having dealt with the one-sided character of those arguments.

Mr ISAACS:

– The honorable and learned member for Corio holds that ah industrial dispute must necessarily involve a dispute with an organization of employes, and that consequently an award can be made applicable only to that organization and not to the persons composing it. In my judgment that contention is not correct. It is true that to give the Court the power to make any award a dispute must arise either with an employer or an organization of employers on the one hand, and an organization of employes on the otherBut when once the Court is seized of .the fact that a dispute exists, it has power to make its award applicable to members of the organizations concerned as well as to the organizations themselves. Therefore, under paragraph d of clause 37, which assumes that an industrial dispute has arisen, and that the Court has cognizance of it, all members of the organization concerned are bound by the award. If an order is made enjoining an organization from committing any particular act or directing it to perform some act, each member of it is bound to do nothing in contravention of that order.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– Is it practicable to imprison 500 men?

Mr ISAACS:

– The honorable and learned member is doing what is known in our profession as “ dragging a red herring across the trail.” In clause 46, sub-clause e, the Court is empowered expressly “ to enjoin “ - that is, to grant an injunction against - any organization or person from committing or continuing any contravention of this Act.

It may be from striking; it may be from locking out. But it applies either way - or any breach or non-observance of any term of an order or award.

That is, neither an organization of the employers or employes, nor any persons composing such organization, must break a fraction of. an order or award by which they are restrained from doing something; and they are to observe an order or award which directs them to do something. Under clause 56, as I have said before, any person wilfully making default is liable to a monetarypenalty ; and under clause 55 we have this provision. I do not object to putting in a monetary penalty; but I do object to striking out the stringent power that is necessarily attendant upon the Court if it is going to make itself respected.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– No one said that.

Mr ISAACS:

– Then it is by no means one-sided.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– It is impracticable.

Mr ISAACS:

– If my honorable and learned friend is not agreeable to strike out the clause, what is the use of saying that it is impracticable? What becomes of his argument if he is prepared to retain the clause? If the clause is to remain, I cannot see how we can better it. Because-, with all respect, it is nonsense to say to employes and employers alike, “We will impose upon you as a penalty a fine of £25.” That is comparatively nothing to the employer, and certainly it is less to an organization of employes.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– That is easily provided for.

Mr ISAACS:

– Does my honorable friend suggest that, however wilful the offence may be, however flagrant the breach of the award, the Court is to do nothing but declare a monetary penalty?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– No.

Mr ISAACS:

– I am not averse to putting in an option. If the honorable member agrees with me on that, I think we are at one, because I am only insisting that this power - the power of force in the last resource - must be resident in the Court. To say that it is one-sided is, I think, an error. When honorable members read clause 57, they will see that an employes’ organization or a single employ^ who fails to obey the award .of the Court, whether practicable or not, is thrown out of his organization, has to forfeit all privileges, has to forfeit any benefit given him by the act of award, is riot allowed to get any pay, and is not allowed to get any benefit out of the funds of the organization - and if he does it is an offence in itself, and those who assist him in getting any portion of the funds are themselves liable to a penalty. I do not see what more can be done. If any honorable member can suggest what more can possibly be done to meet the case I shall be glad to hear of it. We provide for fines, for imprisonment, for disqualification from membership of the association, for depriving the member from any of the benefits; and I do not know what more we could do, unless we provided for hanging the offender.

Mr Kelly:

– If he is fined under clause 56, and refuses to pay the fine, we hold that the rest of the machinery of the Bill is impracticable.

Mr ISAACS:

– I should say that it is not impracticable. If we have power to fine and imprison, I should say that that is sufficient. In America, as I said by way of interjection, the Courts have taken men who have led in strikes and in acts which have practically amounted to rebellion, and put them in prison without any difficulty whatever. In America that can be done by injunction, I think.

Mr Kelly:

– I do not think that this Parliament would indorse the American procedure.

Mr ISAACS:

– I should certainly indorse the procedure of injuncture to compel obedience to the order of the Court. It is done every day in our Supreme Courts. In America, where the organizations are infinitely larger than ours, and where there are millions of employes, I understand that the Courts exercise the power to restrain by injunction and by imprisonment any breaches of order. I should advise the Government to accept the amendment. It cannot do any harm.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Does not this clause apply . only to persons ?

Mr ISAACS:

– The last part of it applies only to persons, but not the other part. The first part of the clause provides that - the Court may, on the application of any party to an award - that may be an organization - make an order in the nature of a mandamus - that may be a mandamus to an organization, or injunction - that may be against an organization - to compel compliance with the award, or to restrain its breach under pain of imprisonment, and no person to whom such order applies shall. . . . be guilty of any contravention.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906

– Does not the penalty apply only to a person?

Mr ISAACS:

– Of course it is impossible to imprison an organization as an organization. All that is practicable is done here ; and I should like to add that a maximum penalty is fixed for a breach of any of the provisions of an award. But this is a special provision for continued disobedience to an order, in very flagrant circumstances ; and, therefore, it necessarily provides, so far as imprisonment is concerned, that it shall apply to the person only. As regards the injunction and mandamus, that applies to the organization or to the person.

Mr Kelly:

– Does not clause 5 cover that difficulty?

Mr ISAACS:

– That applies to a person convicted of an offence, the punishment of which would be within the power of an ordinary Court.

Mr Watson:

– This clause deals with an aggravated evasion of an award.

Mr ISAACS:

– Under these circumstances, I should say that the Bill is not one-sided. It intends to provide, and does sufficiently provide, both for employes and employers. Speaking for myself, I may add that I should be one of the very first, if I thought that that was not so, to insist as far as I could, that it shall apply to all alike.

Mr GLYNN:
Angas

– I quite agree with the general reasoning of the honorable and learned member for Indi as to the structure of the Bill. I recognise that the clause is, in some form, necessary, even if a wide discretion is given to the Court as regards imprisonment. Under clause 46 e, the general power to enforce orders and awards puts no limitation with regard to the period for which the Court can actually commit a man. It is just as well that some limit should be put in. Under clause 56, though a technical penalty may be imposed, it does not follow that it can be . followed up by imprisonment. In clause 53 we have already provided that proceedings for the recovery of penalties may be taken before any Court of summary jurisdiction in a State. We are following the procedure of the States with regard to recovery, as the judgment of a State Court would be recovered. In some States they permit imprisonment in default of the recovery of pecuniary penalties. In other States, however, they allow nothing more than distress. So that it is necessary to make some provision, both as regards employers and employes. But I think we should give the alternative of a pecuniary penalty even in that case, because there is no doubt that in practical working there is all the difference in the world between imprisoning a body of employers and a body of employes. The employers would necessarily be very few. They would be for the purposes of breach of the award the men who actually gave employment, not the members of an employers’ organization. The man who breaks an award is not the member of the organization as such, but the man who gives employment. We have to deal with persons, not organizations. I do not see how an organization can possibly break ah award. But it is possible to charge a person with breaking an award ; and to charge an employer is a very simple thing, because there are very few of them. In some cases there would be one only concerned. In the case of the employes, no doubt it would be impossible to imprison them all if they broke an award. But there is nothing to prevent the employes retiring from the employment one by one, and refusing to work under the award. There is no power to compel employes to work for the wages fixed in the award. One employe’ could walk out’ of the workshop one week, and one could walk out the next week. How could they be charged with a breach of an award under those circumstances ? But in the case of an employer, it is very different. He has to continue his business, unless he closes it up altogether; and then he fails, and puts an end to a business that perhaps has been in existence for years. There is a great difference, in fact, between issuing an injunction against an employer and against a body of employes. I think that the Government should provide some alternative, and allow a discretion to a Court to say that, instead of imprisonment, they would inflict a fine. That would’ be operative upon the employers, and to some extent, also it would be operative against the employes.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Mr. Crouch) proposed -

That after the words “ pain of,” line 5, the words “fine or” be inserted.

Mr. ISAACS (Indi). - I should like to draw attention to one point in this clause which might be amended. The Prime Minister will see that it provides only for a breach of the award. In various parts of the Bill there is power to make an order in addition to an award. In clause 46 an order is distinct from an award. I think that an amendment should be made in the first line of the clause, so as to make it read ‘ ‘ on the application of any party to an award or order,” leaving the clause to be redrafted afterwards. The amendment could not be made properly without some, consideration.

Mr WATSON:

– The matter to which the honorable and learned member refers was previously suggested to me. I think the difficulty may be met by inserting the following sentence .at the end of the first paragraph of the clause, “ In this section, the term ‘ award ‘ includes ‘ order.’ “

Mr Isaacs:

– That would do.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– The suggestion of the honorable and learned member for Indi would be shorter.

Mr WATSON:

– I think not. This would have the effect of making the necessary alteration right through the clause.

Mr Glynn:

– I think it will be found necessary to repeat the expression “ award or order.”

Mr WATSON:

– I shall ask the AttorneyGeneral to look into the clause, and if later on that is found necessary, it can be dealt with on recommittal. In the meantime I have no objection to the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corio.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) proposed -

That after the word “ omission,” line 8, the following words be inserted, “ In this section the term ‘ award 1 includes * order.’ “

Mr CONROY:
Werriwa

– I draw attention to the fact that if these words are introduced in this form, it may lead to a different interpretation being put upon the meaning of the words “award” and “ order “ in various clauses of the Bill. I am in thorough accord with the other amendments which have been proposed, and I .am very glad that the Prime Minister has seen his way to accept them.

Mr WATSON:

– I do not think the difficulty which the honorable and learned member for Werriwa fears will arise, because the honorable and learned member will note that I specially use the words “ in this section.”

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I am afraid the amendment will enable people to argue that where those qualifying words are not used, the words “ award “ or “ order “ may have some other meaning.

Mr WATSON:

– I have said that I will ask the Attorney-General to look into the matter. At present I do not see how I can propose an amendment introducing the words “or order” without altering the whole phraseology of the clause. Honorable members will see that there is a reference to ‘compliance “ with the award or to restrain its breach,” and to insert there the words “ or order “ would involve an alteration of the whole phraseology. I think it is be’tter in the meantime to agree to the amendment I have moved.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment by (Mr. Crouch) proposed -

That after the word “ Penalty,” line 9, the words “ One hundred pounds or “ be inserted.

Mr. CONROY (Werriwa). - I draw attention to what appears to me to be rather a curious distinction which is being made. Under the next clause the penalty provided for a wilful offence is ^20, and yet it is proposed under this clause to provide for a penalty of .£100, or . three ‘months’ imprisonment.

Mr Watson:

– I remind the honorable and learned member that clause 55 deals with a different class of offences, aggravated offences, or an aggregation of offences.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 56 -

No person shall wilfully make default in compliance with any award. Penalty : Twenty pounds.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) agreed to-‘

That after the word “ any,” line 2, the words “order or “ be inserted.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– I shall be glad if the Prime Minister will explain what appears to be an anomaly in these two clauses. The penalty proposed under . this clause for a wilful offence is .£20, whilst the penalty imposed under clause 55 is £100, or three months’ imprisonment. I admit that the offence under that clause is wilful, also, because it is after written notice.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– The idea under which the two clauses were drafted in different terms was that clause 55 was intended to deal with persons who committed an aggravated series of offences, or an aggregation of offences. Clause 56 deals with .the case of a person who may commit an offence for the first time, but still by wilful default, as distinguished from a person making ‘default without real intention.

Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917

– It would have been better if the clauses had been in reverse order.

Mr WATSON:

– Perhaps it would have been better if the first of these clauses had dealt with a first wilful default, and if the aggregation of offences had been dealt with later on.

Clause, as amended, agreed to. 1

Clause 57 -

Any person adjudged to be guilty of any contravention of Part II. of this Act or of wilful default in compliance with any award shall, in addition to any penalty imposed for the offence, be and continue subject to the following disabilities : -

he shall not be entitled to any rights pri vileges benefits or advantages under this Act, and this Act shall, so far as any such rights privileges benefits “or advantages are concerned, cease to apply to him.

he shall cease to be a member or officer of any organization, or of any association which is, or is part of, any organization, and shall not be qualified to become a member or officer of any organization or of any such association.

he shall lose all existing or accruing rights to any payment out of the funds of any organization, or of any association which is, or is part of, any organization, and the receipt by him of any such payment, or the making of any such payment to him by any person or organization, or by any such association, shall be an offence under this Act. Penalty : Twenty pounds.

he shall not be qualified to be or (notwith standing anything in this Act) to continue a member of the Court.

Provided that the Court may at any time in its discretion, if it appears that the contravention breach or non-observance has been sufficiently punished, and that the effective administration of this Act will not he prejudiced by the removal of the disabilities, order that the disabilities or any of them be removed.

Mr WATSON:
ALP

– I move-

That after the word “ shall,” line 3, the words “ if the Court in its discretion so orders” be inserted.

I intend to propose later on the insertion, after the “ words “ subject to,” line 5, of the words “ any or all of,” thus giving the Court discretion in the first place to apply any of these penalties, or all of them. The clause, as originally drafted, seemed to me to be somewhat too drastic. Of course,

__ it applies extensively to organizations or employers and employes, and individuals in those organizations. At the same time, in many of the employes' organizations, they have benefits which members have been accumulating for twenty or twenty-five .years, and it would be a very serious thing indeed if a man who has qualified for important benefits by a twenty or thirty years' membership should, because he is adjudged guilty of any contravention pf Part II. of this measure, which honorable 'members will recollect deals with strikes or locksout, no matter how slight, and without any real intent to defeat the object of this Bill, should lose all those benefits automatically. It is certainly provided that the Court may in its discretion reinstate him ; but it could not reinstate him in his benefits. It could reinstate him as a member of the organization ; but, owing to the break in his membership, he would have to start from scratch again for the lengthened term necessary to qualify him for benefits. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Is this Bill supposed to take cognizance of benefits? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Not at all ; but the honorable member will see that incidentally a man would be robbed of the benefits to whicli he had become entitled if, under a measure of this kind, he ceased to be a member of an organization. I therefore propose to leave it to the discretion of the Court to say whether an individual judged guilty of any. contravention of Part II. shall, in addition to any ordinary penalty imposed directly for the offence, be and continue subject to any or all of . the other disabilities. If the case is ari aggravated one of a man who has wilfully committed offences, and shows no disposition to behave himself, I think it is right that the Court should have the power to say that he shall cease to be a member of a union, and shall lose all the benefits which have accrued to him by his previous membership. In some cases that would be very severe punishment. In the case, for instance, of the Amalgamated Engineers and the Typographical Society, and- some other trade societies, extensive benefits accrue to members in proportion to the number of years the member has been in the society. I think we shall sufficiently achieve the object of the clause if we agree to the amendment' I have moved, leaving the matter in the discretion of the 'Court. Amendment agreed to. Amendment (bv **Mr. Watson)** agreed to- >That after the words " subject to," line 5, the words " any or all of " be inserted. {: #debate-19-s33 .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY:
Wentworth -- May I draw the attention of the Prime Minister to the possible effect of paragraph *b.* The object of the Bill is admittedly to bring every one within organizations, either as employers or employes. I have personally no objection to the clause, but I think it might be differently drafted. It appears to me that under the Bill as it stands men who decline to join organizations, or who are considered not eligible for admission to any organization of employes, will become, *ipso facto,* burdens upon the State. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- The honorable member appears to overlook the fact that the intention of the Bill to encourage organizations is not in order that there may be organizations, but in order that obedience to the law may be secured. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- Those who disobey cannot remain officers or members of an organization. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Quite so. The object of the measure is to encourage organizations for one purpose only, and that is to secure obedience to the law and observance of awards of the Court. In accordance with the design so far agreed upon, this provision is therefore very necessary. {: #debate-19-s34 .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN:
Angas -- If some amendments of which I have given notice are carried, it may be found necessary to reconsider this clause. This measure deals with the funds of associations, as well as of the funds of organizations, and I intend to try, later on, to have clauses inserted to limit associations which may be registered' as organizations. I refer to the matter now because I do not wish to take the Government at any disadvantage in asking for a recommittal of this provision should that be found necessary. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- This would only be meaningless in that case. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I have every hope that the Committee will not agree to the proposal suggested by the honorable and learned member for Angas. In any case, should it be carried,, such an amendment of this1 clause as he suggests Would become consequential. I move - >That paragraph *d* be left out. Amendment agreed *to.* **Mr. ISAACS** (Indi).- There are twowords in the latter part of the clause which- I think require to be altered. It will be seen that after the word " contravention " the words "breach or non-observance" appear. They seem to be the remains of some former drafting. In view of what has already been done, I think it is necessary that the words " breach or non-observance " should be left out, with a view to the insertion of the words " wilful default." Honorable members will find that "nonobservance" finds no part in this section of themeasure. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- In view of the alterations which we have made in the Bill, I think the amendment which the honorable and learned member for Indi has suggested is necessary. I move - >That the words " breach or non-observance," line 34, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof, the words " or wilful default." Amendment agreed to. Clause, as amended, agreed to. Clauses 58 to 61 agreed to. Clause 62 - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Any of the following associations may, on compliance with the prescribed conditions^ be registered in the manner prescribed as an organization : - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. any association of employers in or in con nexion with any industry, who have in the aggregate, throughout the six months next preceding the application for registration, employed on an average taken per month not less than one hundred employees in that industry ; and *(6)* any association of not less than one hun dred employees in or in connexion with' any industry. 1. The conditions to be complied with by associations so applying for registration shall, until otherwise prescribed, be as set out in Schedule B. 2. Upon registration, the association shall become and be an organization. **Mr. GLYNN** (Angas). - I wish to move an amendment in this clause, inserting after the word "industry," in paragraph *b,* the following proviso - >Provided that no association shall be registered - > >Unless it has been formed, and exists solely for the purposes of this Act ; or > >Whose funds may be applied to purposes other than the purposes of this Act; or > >Except in respect of the district within which the place, of employment is situate. The effect of the introduction of those words will be that no association which contravenes those provisions can be registered; in other words, that no body formed for purposes other than the purposes of this Bill can obtain registration. The machinery of the Bill requires the forma tion of organizations for the purposes of the measure only. There is no reason why it should apply to trade unions, benefit societies, or any other associations, political or otherwise, which are not formed for the purposes of the Bill. All that are required are organizations of not less than 100 members to set its provisions in motion. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- What does the honorable and learned member propose to do with existing industrial organizations ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr Deakin: -- They are not interfered* with. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- It may or may not be necessary for them to continue in existence as friendly-, societies, or to carry- out political objects, or to exercise moral suasion ; but there will be no. need for the exercise of moral suasion under the Bill, since it will be- impossible for black legs to exist, the terms of an award being binding upon all concerned. {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- Does the honorable and learned member attach this condition only to organizations of employes? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No; to organizations both of employers and employes. My object is that any body or number of persons, wishing to obtain the privileges gained by registration under the Bill, shall organize exclusively for the purposes of the Bill. There is no reason for allowing existing unions to be registered, because the Court will have no control over their methods, whereas it will be able to control the organizations which are the creation of the Bill. I do not wish to amplify my arguments, because the matter has already been discussed at great length. It may be desirable to limit the organizations to particular districts, that is, to provide that they shall consist of the employers or employes in a district, instead of in an industry. That was a suggestion thrown out by the honorable member for North Sydney, and, if it is agreed to, we can subsequently insert clauses giving the Governor-General power to prescribe certain districts in respect to which organizations can be registered. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- What is the reason for that? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- To make the measure more workable. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- It -seems to me rather a humorous suggestion. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I cannot see why it should be. Possibly the measure would be more workable if- air the employers or employes in a district were banded together to watch its working. The formation of organizations registered for particular districts would not prevent the application of common rules to any industry throughout Australia. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I think that the honorable and learned member ought to try to have the clause negatived, and then move his provision as a new clause. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No. It is in accordance with the rules of drafting that the limitations of a clause should be inserted in the "clause itself. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- Would the honorable and learned member destroy existing associations which would meet the purposes of the Bill, but cannot be said to have been formed to meet those purposes ? {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- No ; but I cannot conceive that a body would be formed with rules which would fit no other purposes than those of the Bill. {: .speaker-K7U} ##### Mr Crouch: -- It might have been formed to meet the purposes of a State Act. Does the honorable and learned member propose that it be re-formed to meet the purposes of this measure. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I do not think we should recognise an existing State organization. Strictly speaking, the clause should be confined to Inter-State organizations, and I had prepared amendments which would have the effect of so limiting it. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- There might be some reason for doing that ; but I do not think there is any reason for what the honorable and learned member is about to propose. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr GLYNN: -- I do not wish to raise points which are superfluous. I think the spirit of the Bill shows that it is intended to confine the application of the clause to Interstate organizations. I shall ask the Committee to deal with my proviso in paragraphs. I therefore move - >That after the word " industry," line 14, the following words be inserted, " Provided that no association shall be registered : - > >Unless it has been formed, and exists solely for the purposes of this Act, or." {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- It does not seem to me that the amendment is in consonance with the general plan of the measure. As it was drafted, the Bill' contemplated relying upon the existing organizations *as responsible bodies. It seems to me that the whole framework of this legislation depends upon our having organizations whose influence with their individual members would be such that, broadly speaking, there would be no necessity to enforce its penal provi sions. An organization would be able to bring sufficient pressure to bear on its members to obviate the necessity, in the first place, of mulcting it in the pecuniary penalties laid down, and, in the second place, of having recourse to the penalties which are provided against the individuals. That being the case, we ought to have an organization which has funds, and, above all, ties which would bind its members together in sufficiently close union to allow of the pressure of one set of members against an individual. The amendment contemplates quite an ephemeral organization. A set of individuals brought into an organization for the purposes of this measure only would have no tie in common, excepting the fact that they were in the same industry. But that, in itself, would not be a tie, as dissensions between unionists and non-unionists - I do not use the latter term in an offensive sense, but in the ordinary sense - occur to-day right through industries. In the absence of a trades union, as the term is ordinarily understood, it is the most difficult thing in the world to get anything like unity from the different employes in an industry. If, on the other hand, we took advantage of the unions, as we know them to-day, we should have something that would create between members a sympathy which no other organization does. It is difficult to define exactly how that operates, but, undoubtedly, it does operate. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- What would be the position of the new men who had to join these unions ? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- The experience elsewhere has been that, having joined a union, the men absorbed the spirit in which it was worked. There is practically no difficulty about these men at all, but if we brought into existence the organizations contemplated by the amendment, there would be no common tie, and, therefore, nothing, practically speaking, on which we could rely for the preservation and the exercise of the influence which is so necessary to make the Act a success. I do not wish to debate this question at length, because it has already been discussed. The honorable member for North Sydney put the general idea forward here during last week, and I then pointed to the Teralba incident in New South Wales, which has since been referred to by the honorable and learned member for Parkes. In that instance, according to. my view, it was solely owing 'to the pressure of a strong trades union on the men who were disobeying the award of the Court, or, at any rate, who were refusing to comply with it- {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- The employers had just summoned them to the Court. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Perhaps the honorable member may recollect that in the award there was nothing which penalized its breach. That was an oversight on the part of the Court. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- But the employers summoned the men for not giving the fourteen days' notice. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- With all respect to the honorable member, there was, in the arbitration award, no power to. make any such summons. Perhaps he is not fully aware of the circumstances. Whatever remedy there was against the men lay at common law. There was in the award nothing which said that the men should not knock off work the next instant if they cared to do so. What did happen was that the Miners' Union of the Newcastle district exerted pressure steadily and continuously in favour of getting the award complied with, and of steps being taken at a later period to show that it was inequitable and should be altered. So far from that being an instance against the working of the Act in New South Wales, or against the working of the clause which the Government ask the Committee to pass, it is a signal proof of the desirability of passing the clause in its present shape. It proves that the general plan and purpose of the measure was more than justified, that the unionists who were not immediately concerned brought pressure to bear on their fellow-unionists in the Teralba district. Instead of the flame spreading, beyond the Teralba district, instead of the strike becoming general, this pressure, exerted in the fashion I have indicated, constrained the men to turn to work, and for the time being, at any rate, to comply- with the direction of the Court, and accept the terms that it had laid down. In these circumstances, I think that if this amendment were carried, we should, in the first place, be taking a leap in the dark. We have no experience to guide us as to how far a provision of this sort would be workable. In New Zealand, Western Australia, and New South Wales the existing unions were taken as a basis because of their strength, and because of the fact that thev possessed a financial backing for the most part, and were, .therefore, bodies upon whom responsibilty could be thrown. This is the design on which the measure of' each State I have named was drafted, and it is a very safe plan for us to adhere to. In addition to the amendment being, as I say, a leap in the dark, I am convinced that it would not insure anything like a successful working, because of the unstable character of any organization formed in the manner indicated by the honorable and learned member for Angas. With other honorable members, he objects to an organization being recognised which has any purposes outside those of this measure. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Hear. hear. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Those honorable members object to trades unions- {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- No. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I do not say that they object to trades unions *per se,* but they object to trades unionists taking up anything outside the purposes of their trades unions. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- We object to giving them a legal status and special privileges under a measure of this description. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- This clause does no more than the Trades Union Acts of the various States have done. It recognises the trades unions.' It does not confer any special privileges on them. The Court will not be compelled to give preference to the members of trades unions,, or to give an award in their favour. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- What has happened in other Courts ? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- In some cases the Court has given a preference to unionists, and in other cases it has not. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- In almost every award in New South Wales that has been done. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- No ; nor in nearly every award, because in quite a number of instances the Court has refused to give a preference, and in others the preference has been hedged round with conditions which showed that the Court was fully alive to the importance of the issues generally. Supposing that one Court, presided over by a particular Judge, had done the most extraordinary things in the world, .that would be no reason for sapping our confidence in the general constitution of Courts, or constraining us to abolish Courts. For instance, in New South Wales a Judge in Court made some remarks the other day about legislation which, in the view of a good number of persons, he was not entitled in that position to make. But surely that would not cause any of us to inveigh against the setting up a Court ? Again, in Western Australia, a great number of persons are not at all satisfied with the Judge who presides over its Arbitration Court. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- Who are dissatisfied? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Well, some of the em- ployes are, and if the allegations are correct I think that their dissatisfaction is well grounded. It is stated that in one instance the Judge gave an award which was 33 per cent, below what the employers had offered as being a fair thing. {: .speaker-JNV} ##### Mr Bamford: -- The award was given and obeyed. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Yes ; . but the point I wish to make is that it does not follow, because the Arbitration Court of New South Wales may have given in most cases, as I believe it has, a preference to unionists that a similar course would be followed by a Judge in quite a different set of circumstances. The Court set up by this measure would no doubt be guided by the circumstances surrounding each case, and the evidence which was brought forward. Therefore it does not follow that the precedent set by any Court would be adopted. I am quite content to leave it to the discretion of the gentleman who would be charged with that responsibility. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- We shall have to import an archangel for this position. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I do not think so. I do not believe that **Mr. Justice** Cohen, of New South Wales, would claim to be classed among those highly desirable people, yet all must admit that on the whole his decisions have given very great satisfaction. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- To whom? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Certainly, I think, to a majority of the people in New South Wales. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The honorable gentleman ought to go and consult the employers. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- Some of the employers in New South Wales are quite satisfied with the decisions, as I have reason to know. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- I have not found one yet. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I can introduce the honorable and learned member, when we are next in Sydney, to one or two.. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- Perhaps the honorable gentleman knows them. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- I do not think any one complains that Judge Cohen is partial, although some, persons do not approve of all he has done. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- The Prime Minister should read an article with regard to the New South Wales Arbitration Act in the last *Banking and Insurance Record,* published in Melbourne. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr WATSON: -- It does not follow, because that journal is published in Melbourne, that the writer is an authority as to what occurs in Sydney. Besides that, these articles are usually anonymous, and we cannot know how far the writers may be influenced by their own feelings, or be in a position to judge. What I was urging was that the whole plan of the Bill depends upon the recognition of the responsibility of organizations. If we create organizations that are bound together by nothing except the mere fact that their members are engaged in the same industry, I fear that we shall not be able to attach to them any responsibility. Consequently we shall not be able on most occasions to secure that explicit obedience to the awards of the Court which we should expect to result from setting up this somewhat expensive and intricate machinery. Therefore, I trust that the Committee will not accept the amendment. {: #debate-19-s35 .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN:
Ballarat -- In connexion with this measure the Prime Minister, like the Minister of External Affairs, possesses very marked advantages over almost all of us - certainly- over myself. They are not only members of trades unions, but to them these' bodies are concrete realities with whose workings they are familiar, and whose powers and privileges they thoroughly understand. They have also had an opportunity in New South Wales, during the last two or three years, of watching the working of the Arbitration Act in that State, and finding out its strong and weak points. Therefore, they start with a practical knowledge of the questions with which we have to deal that is not possessed by many of us. I admit, therefore, on the testimony borne by the Prime Minister that the influence which the trades unions are capable of exercising must be valuable. I can quite understand that in the Teralba case the steady pressure exerted by the leaders of the movement, and of the union,, must have been very beneficial. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- A number of other influences were also exerted. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The secretary of the Miners' Association was> present at several meetings of the Teralba union, and urged the members to go to work. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- And yet they refused ? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- They went to work soon afterwards. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- It seems to me perfectly reasonable that there should have been such an influence at work ; but I do not know of the extent to which it was exercised in the Teralba case. I part company with the Prime Minister first of all in regard to the view which he takes of the scheme of the Bill. As I understand it, the measure does not, in any sense, make it necessary that the unions and the organizations contemplated, by the Bill should be co-extensive. On the other hand, its provisions indicate that organizations will probably be formed of members of trades unions, and of those outside unions, who will be brought together for the purposes of the Bill. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- It will necessitate the federation of the unions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- At an earlier stage this evening the question was raised, whether the organizations contemplated by the Bill would or would not be Federal ; that is to say, whether or not they would always comprise subordinate associations or unions in more than one State. {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- The amendment suggests that the organizations should disregard the unions altogether. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I think not. The question was raised to-night whether the organizations were intended to be Federal ot otherwise. I take it that they are not required to be Federal. They may be Federal or State organizations. It will be competent for an association of more than 100 employes in any one industry in any one State to register as an organization. They will not be affected, under this Bill, unless a dispute extends beyond any one State. Though it is not imperative, the probability is that organizations of employes in two or more States will unite for the purposes of bringing a case before the Court when a dispute has extended beyond the limits of any one State. Consequently, organizations will not necessarily be Federal, but . they may be Federal. In the next place, an organization is not intended to be coterminous with a trades union. I find clear proof of that in clause 54, amongst others. In sub-clause 2 of that clause, it is provided that - >The property of an organization shall be deemed to include the property of any association forming, or forming part of, the organiza tion, or in which any such association has a beneficial interest, whether vested in trustees or howsoever otherwise held. ' {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That is not inconsistent with the recognition of trades unions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- The Prime Minister has not yet had an opportunity of following the particular line of argument which I desire to pursue. An organization under this Bill, therefore, is something which may consist only of a trades union, and be absolutely coterminous with it ; or ' it may include a trades union as forming part of it, and other trades unions or unionists. Organizations under this Bill are perfectly open. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- It is proposed by the amendment to exclude trades unions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I think it will save time if I am allowed to explain what I clearly understand by the term "organization," and what is meant by one or two of the provisions to which I shall call attention. The organizations do not exclude trades unions. In fact, special references are made to cases in which a trades union may form or form part of an organization. In such cases a responsibility will be incurred by the trades union. The property of the union will become available in certain cases for the payment of penalties which may be inflicted by the Court; and . the Prime Minister had in this fact one of his strongest arguments if . he had chosen to use it. So far as a trades union is possessed of property, and becomes part of an organization, it will make itself responsible. That provision requires to be viewed in another light. The fact that inasmuch as, by becoming an organization or a part of one, a trades union will, so to speak, pledge its property, may be regarded by the unions as a reason for not, as trades unions, forming part of an organization. That is another argument which I present to the Prime Minister as of some importance. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I do not know that that affects the Bill very much. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I am simply pointing out that the provision is in the. Bill.. If it is not approved, it ought to be removed or modified. The clear intention of the Bill is not to require, as the Prime Minister is inclined to do, that every person who desires to become a member of an organization shall also be a member of a trades union. Trades unions have all excellent objects, to some of which the Prime Minister has alluded, and as such they have exercised the most legitimate influences in furthering the interests of those who are embraced by them. But there are classes of the community who, for one reason or another, do not favour the particular trade union of the industry in which they are employed. In some cases they do not favour the union in a particular State, and in . other cases they do not favour unions at all. These persons are not excluded from the provisions of the Bill. On the contrary, special provision is made for keeping wide open the doors of the organizations, so that all who please may enter them, become bound by them, and share in their responsibilities. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- But what organization would the employes join, if they did not attach themselves to the trades union of the industry in which they were employed? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- The organizations, so far as the Bill requires them to go, are only bodies by means of which appeals are to be brought before the Court. When awards are made these bodies are expected, and are obliged, to assist in giving effect to them. So long as they do this they accomplish all that is necessary under the Bill. Trades unions, however, go a good deal further. They have a great many other objects, most of them - all of them in their place - most useful. They can bring a great deal of influence to bear upon their members, and the organizations contemplated by the Bill may not do so. The fact remains that when a man joins an organization he may or may not join the trades union associated with that particular industry. {: .speaker-KXO} ##### Mr Page: -- I do not see what organization he could join unless he associated himself with the trades union of his industry. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Take the case of the boot-making industry,, -in which there are already unions. The union in Victoria might resolve to form an organization under the Bill. Having more than 100 members it could register and become an organization. It would be perfectly possible for any bootmaker, outside of the union, to enrol himself as a member of the trades union; or he might enrol himself only as a member of the organization for the purposes of the Bil] without becoming a member of the trades union. {: .speaker-JWA} ##### Mr Carpenter: -- Then there would be two unions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I am endeavouring to convey to honorable members what the Bill provides for. If they disapprove of the provisions, it is for them to alter them. That is the position, and, as far as I know - I judge from memory, as well as from the provisions of the Bill itself - that was the intention of the right honorable member for Adelaide when he drafted the measure. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- Is not that sufficient for all purposes? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- That may be used as an argument against the amendment. I am endeavouring to state the whole of the arguments which may be used on either side. The trades unions have objects relating to benefits, or of a political or quasipolitical character, besides those which are purely industrial. So far as they are industrial bodies they may come within the Bill as organizations, and if they are only' industrial they will probably approach very closely to fulfilling the requirements of an organization under the Bill. To the extent, however, that they, introduce any other motives or ends, either semi-political or wholly political, they pass right outside the purposes of the measure. The point that underlies the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Angas is that he wishes it to be emphasized - to be made perfectly clear - that the only sense in which trades unions shall form part of organizations under the Bill, shall be so far as they are extra-political. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- Hear, hear. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The amendment excludes unions as such, and in other provisions we take away from them the right to do what they can now do, namely, strike. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- That is so; a trades union not being a recognised organization could still strike. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- No; not at all. I noticed some remarks made by the Minister, and repeated in a Sydney newspaper of yesterday, in which he appeared to imply what he now definitely states, namely, that a trades union or other body not registered as an organization would be in a position to strike after the Bill had been passed. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Certainly. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- With all deference to the Minister, but as precisely as I can, I venture to take the opposite position. Clause 6 contains the governing provision of the Bill. It enacts - >No person or organization shall, on account of any industrial dispute, do anything in the . nature of a lock-out or a strike, or continue any lock-out or strike. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- What is meant there by "person"? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- The word has the ordinary meaning. It covers any person or organization that strikes. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr HUGHES:
WEST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- No. It means a. person who is a member of an organization, or an employer who is at once a person and an organization. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- -It may mean any person. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Does the honorable and learned member say that it means every person in the community ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Absolutely; under the conditions of the Constitution. If it does not it is meaningless. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- A dispute must extend beyond the limits of one State. Therefore " person " must mean a person having interest in at least two States ; otherwise that could not apply. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Exactly. I have already said that this Bill contains the same ample powers that exist in every State Arbitration Act. There can be no doubt that a certain amount of ambiguity has resulted from adapting to disputes which must extend beyond the limits of one State before they are litigable similar provisions to those which have been applied to industrial disputes within a State. As the honorable and learned member for Darling Downs has pointed out, the word " person," as it is used in clause 6, could not possibly mean a person who is located in only one State. He would require to be a person who conducts business in two States. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- " Industrial dispute," in the definition clause, refers distinctly to organizations. {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- If a dispute arose between an employer and a trades union would it be an "industrial dispute" within the meaning of this Bill if this amendment were carried ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- If it extended beyond the limits of any one State it could be. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- But a trades union would not be a registered organization. {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- An organization must be registered, and a trades union not being registered would not be prohibited from striking. This amendment would turn the whole Bill topsy-turvy. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- if my memory serves me accurately the amendments which have been effected in the definition of " industrial dispute " relate only to the railway servants and to other employes. But when the Registrar certifies, in the' public interest, that an industrial dispute ought to be dealt with by the Court, it is not limited in the way suggested by the Minister of External Affairs. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- But the term "industrial dispute " is governed by clause 4. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- It will be easy to amend that. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I said that the Court could interfere only when a dispute had attained considerable proportions, and when such interference would be useless. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- The Minister assumes that a dispute must have developed considerable proportions. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Otherwise, how would it come within the knowledge of the Registrar? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- All that the Bill- requires is that the Registrar shall certify that a- dispute exists which ought to be dealt with by the Court. It will not always be the size of a dispute which will induce that officer to certify as to its existence. Instances are readily conceivable in which relatively a small contest may raise for the first time .a very important industrial principle, requiring to be settled promptly, and in such cases the Registrar ought to intervene. It seems to me that the Minister requires to qualify his statement to a greater extent than he appears to have done accord- ' ing to the newspaper report, by calling attention to the fact that the Registrar has unlimited authority - subject to the President - to bring any dispute extending beyond the limits of a State within the cognizance of the Court. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Later on I will show to what extent that can be done. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Then we come to the proposal of the honorable and learned member for Angas. It is that no association shall be registered unless it has been formed and exists solely for the purposes of this Bill. The whole of the new element embodied in that proposal is to be found in the word " solely." Of course, before any organization can be registered it must have been formed, and exist for the purposes of this Bill. {: .speaker-KJI} ##### Mr Isaacs: -- It would require to be formed after this measure has come into operation. {: .speaker-KCO} ##### Mr Glynn: -- The employes can form an' organization upon another basis without extinguishing their present existence. {: .speaker-JWA} ##### Mr Carpenter: -- Not without destroying the present unions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- It seems to me that, in referring to "organizations," many honorable members have used the term in different senses. In some instances it has been implied that an organization must necessarily be a trades union. I have already indicated the circumstances under which a union may or may not form part of an organization. The honorable and learned member for Angas desires to make a condition that an organization must exist for the purposes of the Bill. He proposes that it should exist solely for those purposes. What would be the effect of bis proposal ? It would make little or no change in the phraseology of. the Bill because the definition of the term "organization" is wide enough to allow such a body to consist, wholly of the members of a trades union, or not to consist of them at all. After his amendment some of the provisions might be very rarely used ; but that fact would not involve any serious change in the structure of the Bill. The amendment would relieve the unions of the financial obligation to which I have referred, but would not exclude every member of a union from joining an organization. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- Apparently the honorable and learned member wishes the employes to join two trades unions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- They might belong to one organization for general purposes, and to the other for the particular purposes of this measure. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- Then they would have to pay two subscriptions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Probably. Perhaps this point will need further consideration, irrespective of whether or not the amendment of the honorable and -learned member for Angas is carried. We require to settle what is really meant by the term " organization." If an organization may consist of some unionists and some non-unionists, how is that junction to be communicated ? Will it be by resolution ? What step will require to be taken to make it clear whether or not a union comes within the scope of subclause 2 of clause 52 of the Bill? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The union will presumably have to pass a resolution. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Then in what way will it form part of an organization ? _ Is that intended to cover the case of a union which decides to form an organization, in which there may be some who are not members of the union? Would that make a union a " part of " an organization ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- It means part of an organization in which one branch is established, say in A State, and another part in B State. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Then the honorable member's view is that, if an organization is established in any State, and a union exists in that particular State, the' organization must necessarily be the union ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I did not say anything of die sort, but that is what it amounts to. That has been the experience in New South Wales, New Zealand, and elsewhere. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- In the New South Wales Act the term used is "industrial union." {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- In every case of which I know a trades union has formed the primary body which has by resolution decided to register under the Act. The only formality necessary has been the presentation of a suitable resolution to the Registrar. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- There the practical experience of the Minister helps him out of a difficulty. Quite apart, however, from the particular question as to whether these organizations should be formed solely for the purposes of this Bill, 'the question involved is one of the utmost importance. If honorable- members will refer to schedule B, which sets out the conditions upon which any organization shall be formed, they will find nothing required there except what is necessary for carrying out the provisions of this Bill. Amongst other matters it contains the following sub-clause : - " The rules of an association may also provide for any other matters not contrary to law, and for the repeal or alteration of the rules, but so that the above condition shall always be complied with." I presume, therefore, that provision may be made for all the ordinary rules of a trades union, and may include all the ordinary objects of such a union. That brings the Committee face to face with the proposal of the honorable and learned member for Angas that it is desirable for these matters to be separated so that political and semi-political questions shall be entirely excluded from the organizations established' under this measure. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- Are not political questions excluded from them under the Bill as it stands? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- If we are so far agreed it is .very easy to place the matter beyond all doubt. What shall we lose if we declare that organizations shall consist only of trades unions, so far as they are banded together for the particular purpose of this Bill ? We lose the power of coming upon the property of the unions. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- Why necessarily for the purpose of this Bill only? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- We shall, under this amendment, lose the unions for the purposes of the Bill. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- If every member of the bootmakers' union can become a member of the association, what loss is there? There is, of course, the loss of keeping two organizations. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- A pretty serious loss, does not the honorable and learned member think ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I do not, at present. I wait to be informed. At present the trades union subscription is for trades union purposes. The organization subscription will be for the organization purposes, and will be required to be paid by the unionists as a new subscription, in any case. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Will it not necessitate additional staffs for the unions? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- The organizations require, under schedule *b,* to have committees, chairmen, or presidents, and secretaries. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That will be a duplication of the officers of the trades unions. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- If there is no desire for duplication, it will be perfectly possible to appoint the same officers for the organization as for the union. But I take it that the force of the argument of the Prime Minister has relation to loss of influence. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The honorable and learned member is arguing against his own Bill. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- Not at all, this is an amendment. The. Prime Minister and his colleagues start with a great advantage over those who, like me, had not any practical knowledge of this question at the commencement. During the progress of the Bill I have, however, learnt a great deal more about the unions and the matters affected by the Bill than I knew before. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- The honorable and learned member does not seem to be disposed to follow their advice. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- I follow advice, as the honorable member does, whenever it commends itself to my judgment; but I listen to both sides, and form my own opinion. As a matter of fact, I have not voted for the alteration of a single line or letter of this Bill - not one. I have supported the Government on every occasion when this Bill has been challenged, and have done that largely because I had introduced it and become responsible for it; although I have been discovering as we have proceeded - as I think every honorable member must on the further consideration . of a new question like this - that when sections of State Acts which are found to work well are applied to Federal affairs, they often produce unexpected consequences, and require consideration. Notwithstanding that, I have in every case cast the balance in my own mind in favour of the Bill as it stands. I hold myself free, however, to amend even those parts which are my own handiwork at any stage when I may see cause for amendment. And the greater part of the Bill is not my handiwork, but that of the right honorable member for' Adelaide. I am not in any way departing from the Bill in this case, because, as I have pointed out already, the Bill, as framed, allows organizations to be formed consisting entirely of trades unionists, or of non - unionists, or partly of unionists and partly of non - unionists. Therefore, the matter is open for consideration whether we shall gain most for this measure and its efficiency, by separating entirely .the membership of organizations under the .Bill from any other bodies to which they may belong, or whether it is necessary, in the interests of the Bill, and necessary for its working, as the Prime Minister contends, that trades unions shall be encouraged to come in and accept responsibility. That *is* a' question which is open for argument, and at present it seems to me that there is a good deal in the suggestion which the honorable and learned member for Angas has made. His proposal undoubtedly would create bodies which, being industrial wholly and solely in their purposes, will be open to those who choose to join them in order to secure the benefits of this Bill, without becoming involved in the various aims and efforts of trades unions. Those can be carried on by the unions in the future as they have been in the past. I have yet to see that this proposal cripples the Bill. If it did that, it would be an overmastering consideration, and I would be no party to it. But I do not see that it does cripple the Bill. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Will the unions register under an Act which gives them no privileges, but penalizes them? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- If they think they can secure any advantage they will bring their case before the Court. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- They may have to accept an award that they do not agree with, and at the same time give up their right to strike. {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- They would not appeal to the Court unless they thought the result would be to improve their present position. {: .speaker-KFK} ##### Mr Groom: -- Suppose there is a dispute before a State Court] how would the honorable and learned member remove it to the Federal Court if there were different classes of organizations ? {: .speaker-009MD} ##### Mr DEAKIN: -- That difficulty exists under the Bill as it stands. There is no compulsion upon existing unions tip come under the Bill as it stands. The Bill is framed so that although the existing unions do not come under it, an organization can be formed in any particular industry. If such an organization were formed in a particular industry - take the bootmaking industry, for instance - and did appea'l to the Federal Court, while a trades union in the same industry was appealing to a State Court, duplication must arise. That is one of the possibilities which I must say I did not foresee at the time when I was considering the drafting of the Bill as clearly as I see it now. But that possibility of duplication exists under the Bill as it stands, and may be worthy of consideration in any regard. If the amendment before us does not cripple the Bill, it would certainly facilitate its working. I hope that the honorable and learned member for Angas will review the language in which it is cast, so that it will leave the organizations to be formed as free as 'unions are now, provided that neither are devoted to other than industrial purposes. {: #debate-19-s36 .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY:
Werriwa -- I take it that the point raised by the honorable and learned member for Angas, and the question which he wishes the Committee to settle, is this - that any organization whatever which seeks to come to the Court shall not be an organization part of which is political and part industrial. It surely is a very good thing that no union or organization that seeks to get the aid of the Court should be allowed to use its funds for any purpose other than industrial. {: .speaker-JWA} ##### Mr Carpenter: -- What does the honorable and learned member call an industrial purpose ? {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- Most of the leaders of unions which exist at present partly for political purposes cannot be said to hold their positions for the purpose of obtaining work for the members of the unions. It has been admitted this evening that the average wages of the waterside workers of Sydney for the last five months have not amounted to more than 15s. a week. It is clear, therefore, that their union has not helped them. The amendment simply provides that we shall not allow any union which uses its funds for political purposes to come to the Court and ask for . assistance. There is a very good reason why that should be so, because we have given to organizations under this measure very great power indeed. Under clause 75 all fines, levies, and dues paid to an organization may be recovered from the members in any Federal or State Court of competent jurisdiction. Consequently, we have given power to these organizations to recover fees from their members. Many men may be perfectly willing to join a trades organization for certain purposes, but not for political purposes. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Under this proposal only the fees required for the purposes of the organization under this Bill will be recoverable. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- The fees required for industrial purposes. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Which may not amount to more than Jd. per week. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- The Minister of External Affairs is aware that 52s. a year is being collected from some of the miners on the South Coast. Their organization is being conducted partly for political purposes. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- There is only one union in Australia that, so far as I know, pays anything for political purposes. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- The honorable and learned gentleman says that *A.* a week, or 2s. -2d. a year, would be sufficient. Seeing that there are some organizations the contributions to which range from 22s. up to 52s. a year, that must be pure unadulterated robbery. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I know of no organization the contributions to which run up to 52s. a year. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- I believe that there is one organization in Victoria that pays a person ,£400 a year ' for organizing purposes. From whom is that money collected, but from the bulk of the workers. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- It is not true. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- Does the honorable and learned member refer to **Mr. Walpole?** {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- They do not ask for subscriptions to form yeomanry as is done in some parts of this country for the purpose of subduing industrial riots. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- I point out how desirable it is that we should limit the unions to one purpose only. Under clause 68 it will be found that during the pendency of any dispute no application to cancel the registration of an organization which is a party to the dispute, can be made or received, and no resignation of, or discharge from, the membership of such an organization can have any effect. It is, therefore, doubly incumbent upon us to see that these funds, which are to be collected under the machinery of this measure, shall not be collected for political purposes. The Minister of External Affairs has said that he believes the contribution of *d.* per week would be sufficient for the purposes of this measure. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I think now that a farthing would be sufficient. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- That is to say that a contribution of 13d. per member per year would be ample for all the purposes aimed at by this measure. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Plenty ; it is more than it would cost. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- I am glad to hear that, and I hope that we shall have a clause inserted to provide that not more than double that amount, or say 2 s. a year, shall be subscribed by the members of any of these organizations. Giving such powers as are here proposed for the recovery of fees and contributions, and to prevent members of an organization resigning during the consideration of a dispute, are we going to allow funds to be collected from them for any purpose other than the purposes of this Bill ? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- That is through the medium of the Court, which is to be an engine for collecting union fees. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- Through the medium of the Court, of course. They are to have, as I say, by clause 75, the whole machinery of the law put into force to collect these fees. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Seeing that when we come to the clause we propose to strike it out, of what use is it for the honorable and learned member to talk about it ? {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- Then the honorable and learned gentleman does not intend to allow that clause to remain ? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Certainly not. What do we want it for? {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- Probably honorable members expect to make these collections . by a system of terrorism. This is the first occasion on which I have heard that the Government . propose to give up this rightto collect funds, which was insisted upon in New South Wales, and which was exercised most harshly there against unionists, who were out of work and who could not pay their fees. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- That is not correct, because unionists out of work are excused from the payment of fees. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- I am sorry to say that I know of two instances in which it is absolutely correct. I refer to two men, one a tenant of my own, and the very time when I excused him from the payment of weekly icnt the union came upon them to pay up their union fees. I say it was a disgrace to the union. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Let us have the name of the union. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- How much rent did they owe ? Let us have the whole of the particulars. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- One owed three months' rent. He could not pay his subscriptions to the union at that particular time, and they went to Court and got an order against him. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Those men had no furniture. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- They had been good workers all through, and one of them told me that it was only since the Arbitration Act came into force in New South Wales that he had been unable to get any work; and if that was the way labour men were going to help him he had not much to thank them for. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The honorable and learned member means to say that he was not able to get any rent, and that is why he is against the Bill. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- The man had been a good man and a good tenant for a long time, and I did not turn him out. I accepted his word, which was more than his union was prepared to do for him. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- The honorable and learned member did not even call him a " scab." {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- No, I did not. To get back to the point, are we prepared to allow a body of men to use the machinery of our Courts for the collection of funds from their fellow citizens for political purposes, and if they do, are we prepared to allow them to go to the Arbitration Court for protection ? {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- They are asking us to create a tribunal to collect their funds for them. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- That is so. We hear to-night that as low a subscription as 13d. per year will be sufficient for the purposes of this measure, and in view of that statement I do trust that later on some honorable member will move that not more than 2s. per year shall be collected from any member of these organizations under this Bill. As we are trying to force these unions and organizations into being, I think we should have some auditor appointed to audit the accounts . of all unions, and to see where these funds really go to. If much larger sums than are necessary for the legitimate purposes of industrial unions are being collected, the sooner the great bulk of the members of these unions are protected in some way the better. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- We shall be able to expose the Federated Employers' Union then. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- There will be no yeomanry created then. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- What" I ask for should apply all round, to rich and poor alike. In passing an' oppressive measure, one of the features which the Labour Party do not recognise is that poor men are unable to take advantage of the law, and have to suffer in silence. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- They do not if they are represented by the honorable and learned member ; but we have to suffer in silence. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- It is a good thing for some people that they are represented by honorable members in this House, who have the power to say these things. Honorable members on the Government side ask for this measure on behalf of one man out of everv eight throughout Australia. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- We heard from the other side that it was one man out of every six the other day. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- That was with special reference, to New South' Wales, where the statistics were collected. I take the figures given by the unions, and they are, no doubt, largely exaggerated, because they certainly did not minimize them, at 120,000 members throughout- Australia. During the debate on the Defence Act, introduced by the right honorable member for Swan, we learnt that there are 970,000 men capable of bearing arms in Australia, so that there would be only one man out of every eight in the unions. The amendment should certainly be accepted if honorable members are really considering the interests of members of the unions. Honorable members on the Government side, if they were not connected with unions in positions of leadership, would look upon the matter differently if they found that, while they need only pay 13d. a year they were called upon to pay very much more to unions' funds. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I said that, would be ample for the purposes of this Bill. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- If that is so, is it not a scandal that in some cases the contributions amount to 52 s. a year. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- It is, indeed ! {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- I am glad to hear the honorable and learned member say so. In the circumstances the Committee should accept the amendment, which is necessary to prevent these organizations being made political. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- How much is it said that it will cost to register under this Bill? {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- The amount was set down at first at½d. per head per week, and since then it has been brought down to as low as¼d. per week. {: .speaker-KTT} ##### Mr BRUCE SMITH:
PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906; LP from 1910; NAT from 1917 -- And how much is collected now? {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- Up to 52s. a year. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- In which unions? {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- In a great many unions, as the honorable gentleman must know. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Only where they have benefits to provide for. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- If we take the case of the shearers' union, represented by the honorable member for Darling,- we shall find that the contribution is 10s. a year. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- That is the highest it has ever been. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- And for how many months are the men organized? {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- For the full twelve months. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The honorable and learned member does not understand the matter. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- When levies are made the total amount is brought up to very much more than that. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- There are never any levies made. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- Do honorable members mean to say that none of the members of workers' unions have ever contributed more than the ordinary contribution on account of membership? {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Do I mean to say that there is not one honest man in the community from which the honorable and learned member comes? No, I do not say anything of the sort. One swallow does not make a summer. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- I can assure honorable members, arid they must know it themselves, that as a rule the contributions of members of unions in the way of levies for one purpose and another, whether as strike pay or for the purpose merely of keeping the officers of the unions going, range from 10s. to £1, and with other sums the contributions run up from 26s. to 52s. a year. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Who has control of these funds ? {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- If it were left to me, we should not interfere with these organizations at all. {: .speaker-KVW} ##### Mr DAVID THOMSON:
CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND · ALP -- If it were left to the honorable and learned member, we should have no Arbitration Bill. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- The honorable and learned member believes in one union only - the lawyers' union, which represents only one in 7,000 in the community. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- In twenty years' time every member of the Labour Party will be a lawyer at the rate they are going. We have already the advance guard in the person of the Minister of External Affairs. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr CONROY: -- We may have these unions organized for a special purpose, and five minutes afterwards they can, if they like, become political organizations ; but the funds which they collect as unionists ought not to be diverted to any purpose other than that of this measure. A man may belong to half a dozen organizations, but we say that if, under this Bill, he seeks the aid of the Court for the collection of funds from his fellow members, those funds shall only be used for the purposes of this measure, and not for political purposes. In order to prevent them being raised for political purposes,' we say that we shall exclude them from being political organizations, and that they shall be industrial organizations, pure and simple.' That is the object of the amendment proposed by the honorable and learned member for Angas, and if it is accepted, that object will be achieved. It would not prevent any body of men throughout Australia, who wished to get a dispute decided, from going to the Court, but it would prevent a lot of political persons making use of the funds of any organization for their own purposes. {: #debate-19-s37 .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER:
Kalgoorlie -- If the majority of honorable members on the other side are .desirous, in connexion with this Bill, of instituting conditions which will have the *effect* of excluding from its benefits those citizens who, in the past, have struggled in season and out of season to get a Conciliation and Arbitration Bill passed, they are going in the right direction. They must admit that organizations will be absolutely necessary to carry out the purposes of the measure after it has been placed on the statute-book. We have organizations in existence at the present time, and some honorable members believe that they have done a considerable amount of good. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- Were they organized solely for industrial peace? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- To better industrial conditions. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER: -- I . can answer the interjection ; most certainly, yes. Thev have fought in season and out' of season in favour of placing upon the statute-books in the different States, a measure which would enable them, in times of trouble, to go to the Arbitration Court, or to some impartial tribunal, to have their cases decided on their merits, instead of having to resort to strikes- That, in my opinion, is an organization for the purpose of industrial peace. Men have spent the whole of their lives in working among their fellows, endeavouring to build up organizations to better the conditions and to secure the interests of the labouring classes, and now that the unions have become so strong that they have forced even honorable members opposite to speak in favour of arbitration legislation when on the hustings, they are told from inside this Chamber that their organizations must not be registered under the Bill. Possibly those who are against unions, and do' not wish to have the opposition at election time of a pretty solid body of men prepared to support democratic 'measures, are on the right track; but I ask' them before committing themselves to remember that the unionists will know the track upon which they are going. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr Conroy: -- Is it democracy to collect funds for one purpose and to use them for another? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER: -- It is democracy to collect funds to preserve industrial peace, and to better the conditions of the workers. It has been objected against the . existing organizations that they may have other objects than those contemplated by the Bill. What other objects have they? Most of the unions, by requiring from their members a subscription of a small amount per week, make provision for granting relief in days of adversity and sickness, so as to keep starvation from the doors of wives and children when the bread-winners die or are laid aside for a time. {: .speaker-K4E} ##### Mr Conroy: -- Is there any honorable member who does not approve of provident funds of that description? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER: -- Honorable members opposite disapprove of the unions whose members make this provision. {: .speaker-KDD} ##### Mr G B EDWARDS:
SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT -- On the same reasoning, why not let the Oddfellows and Rechabites register as industrial unions? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER: -- Those are associations which are doing useful work, but the condition of the workers has made trades unions necessary as well. Not only do the unions provide against the sickness or death of their members, but, in some cases, they have funds for the assistance of members out of work, for the purchasing of tools to replace lost tools, and even for old-age pensions for those who have been members for a certain number of years ; although this Parliament does not think that it can yet make that provision for the aged poor of Australia. Honorable members who favour the amendment say to the members of these unions, " You are not good enough to come under the provisions of the Bill. For the purposes of this measure, you must join other organizations." What reasonable justification is there for saying that the members of the existing unions will not adapt themselves to altered conditions, and stand loyally by the measure for which they have fought for so many years ? If honorable members opposite carry their views into effect, members of unions will be called upon to say whether they will forego the advantages given by the Bill or support two organizations when one would be sufficient.' I have had some little experience of trades unions, and I claim that the proposed duplication of organizations is absolutely unnecessary, while experience shows that it will probably make the measure inoperative. Since I have been connected with trades unions, I have not met with many persons outside the unions who particularly wish to come under the provisions of a measure such as this, and unless the measure is actively supported by the members of the unions, it will probably become a dead letter. Is it worth while to agree to an amendment which may have such disastrous consequences as that? The honorable member for North Sydney made the other night what was, to my way of thinking, a beautiful proposition. He suggested that the employers' might stop, say, 3d. a week from their employes' wages. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I suggested that the Court might collect the money through the medium of the employers, but I made no mention of 3d. a week. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER: -- The amount does not matter. I take exception to the suggestion that the employers should stop any sum from their employes' wages. I believe that to advocate such an arrangement is to advocate what is equivalent to robbery, and I am not willing to allow it to become law without raising my voice to object to it: Honorable members opposite can provide ample safeguards in the measure. I am of opinion that provision should be made for unions keeping their doors open for the admission of members who are competent and willing to join them. I believe in every man being given an opportunity to join a union if he desires to do so. I have no objection to it being provided in the Bill that the books of the unions shall be kept open for the reception of the names of those who are willing to join, so long as they are competent to perform what is required by the particular trade to which the members of the union belong. {: .speaker-KYJ} ##### Sir John Quick: -- That is already done. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr FRAZER: -- That is a provision in the right direction. I understand that it is also provided that union funds shall not be expended in assisting strikers in any part of Australia. With those provisions in the Bill, honorable members have no justification for attacking the unions as they are now doing. In my opinion, if they persist in requiring the members of trades unions to join new organizations, and to pay additional fees, in order to . take' advantage of the provisions of the Bill, the measure will be an absolute failure, and will act against the best interests of the people, and endanger that industrial peace it is sought to secure. {: #debate-19-s38 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I am rather astonished that the criticism of the honorable member for Kalgoorlie was not more destructive, because he put into the mouths of honorable members on this side of the Chamber arguments which they had not used, and which they would not be so ridiculous as to use, and then proceeded to demolish them. No such proposal has been made as the destruction of trades unionism. I, for one, recognise the good which trades unionism has done in forwarding the interests of the workers, especially where efforts have been confined to the obtaining of better conditions of employment. But we are providing in this Bill, not merely that there shall be conciliation and arbitration, but that there shall be a power in the Court - a power which, if we can judge by the actions of other similar Courts, will be freely exercised - to compel persons to join unions, and to pay subscriptions to those unions, if they wish to earn a livelihood by following certain trades. As we are all aware, the Court may, after any dispute, declare a preference for unionists. If that is to be compulsory, surely it is going a little too far to say that the members of a trade shall not only be compelled to join organizations, but must also pay a certain sum per week for benefits such as the honorable member for Kalgoorlie has spoken of, and for which they may be already paying as members of a benefit society, so that they cannot afford to pay more. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- In many instances exemption is provided in such cases. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I accept the honorable gentleman's statement; but that is not so in every case. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I do not say that it is so in every case. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Then, again, considerable amounts are expended by some unions for political purposes. I do not in the least object to that. If the majority of the members of a union favour a certain policy, they have a right to spend a portion, or even the whole, of their funds in furthering it. But .when men are compelled to join a union in order to comply with the awards of the Arbitration Court, it is not reasonable to force them to pay weekly subscriptions for the support of a political policy of which, perhaps, they do not approve, or to which they may be absolutely opposed. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- I do not think there is a union in Australia which makes a political levy absolutely compulsory. There is certainly no such union in Western Australia. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I take the honorable member's word for that ; but the rules of one union have had to be altered by the Court for that very reason. What is the objection to the amendment ? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- The unnecessary duplication of organizations which it would compel. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- A levy is one thing, and a subscription is another. A levy is a special contribution. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Yes ; it is of no use for honorable members to expect us to be blind or deaf. Subscribed union funds are being expended to further political objects. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Expended for what purpose ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Expended for political purposes. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I may say that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, only one union in New South Wales applies money to political purposes. I do not know of any other that does. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If the honorable and learned gentleman, with all his knowledge, will inquire a little more closely, he will find that a good many more unions do, to a larger or lesser amount. I do not object to that. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Will the honorable member tell me one that does? He will find that one contributes a solitary farthing a head per week. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The union with which the honorable and learned member is associated may not do it. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Does the honorable member know of any that does? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I cannot, except as to the Shearers' Union, tell the honorable gentleman from memory ; but on a variety of occasions I have seen statements of contributions given by unions for political purposes. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Does the Shearers' Union do that? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Yes ; and other unions do. Leaving that matter, I shall point out a still stronger argument, which will go to support my contention. Lately in Sydney a conference of unionists met. I believe that the members represented more than New South Wales, or, at any rate, that the proposal to which I am about to refer emanated not only from it, but also from other States. It was that the unions as a- body should join the Political Labour League, and it was lost by only 'two votes - a result which I venture to say will very soon be reversed. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Even if that had been passed, would it have been binding? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I do not see what it means, if it is not an indication of an intention to carry out a certain proposal. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Not at all. I can assure the honorable member that nothing binds a union except a resolution of its own. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I do not say that it would bind an individual union that objected to it, but I do contend that the indication is that almost a majority, at any rate a large number of the unions were in favour of joining the Political Labour League. There is no reason why they should not. because it is perfectly justifiable for them to do. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- In South Australia thev do. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I am taking no objection to them doing so as unions, because, like any other organization, they have a perfect right to fix their politics. But when it is sought by this Bill to absoalutely compel, as some decisions of the Court would compel, workers to enter trades unions - and, of course, the funds of the unions must go to the Political Labour League when they are associated with it - {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- In South Australia thev do go. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- They must go under that condition of affairs. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I' was wrong in saying that the unions do not contribute for political purposes. I believe that most of the unions contribute from ios. to *£2* a year. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- The honorable and learned gentleman has admitted that I was correct in stating from memory that some contribution is made; but the amount I do not profess to know at the present time. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- It is £d. per head. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I think that some unions contribute more largely than that. {: .speaker-KJ8} ##### Mr Hutchison: -- In South Australia we get is. a head per year from our members for political purposes. {: .speaker-F4P} ##### Mr Reid: -- And they get a good return for their money. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If there is a union of the Political Labour Leagues and the trades unions, does any honorable member think it is decent to order that only the members of a certain political organization, as it will then mean, are to be employed in a certain industry ? Would it be decent if it were a freetrade or protectionist organization? And is it decent in the case of any other political organization? I am quite aware of the difficulty which is involved, and I do not intend to embody my suggestion in an amendment. Last week I simply outlined what I think is a broader, more democratic, safer, and more promising system of organization than that which is laid down in the Bill. We ought to be able at this period to make a step in advance towards the objects of such a measure as this if we are to be successful. For the sake of simplicity, take a single employer and his employes. The members of the organizations should be that employer on the one side and all his employes on the other. I mentioned last week, in reply to a challenge from the Prime- Minister, that this was perfectly easy of accomplishment. If I were going to debate it to-night, I would defy any honorable member to point out to me a single difficulty under that proposal more than there is under the provisions of the Bill, and against any difficulty that could be suggested I would point out several advantages. The honorable member for Kalgoorlie spoke of democracy and the democratic intent of the measure. Surely it is a wider democracy when the franchise is given to every man concerned, and is not confined to some few persons who may be concerned ? In reply to his statement that honorable members on this side were against democratic proposals, because of their opposition in this particular, I would say that his is comparatively a Tory proposal. It is an intention to govern by a limited number - a minority. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- The honorable member proposes to hand- over the control of the Act to those who do not even take the trouble to go and vote. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Again, the honorable member has no difficulty in making a criticism, because he puts up something which I never stated. This is not a question of voting. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Quite so; but if a man is too indifferent to vote, he will be too indifferent to get registered under the Act. **Mr.- DUGALD** THOMSON.- Then, why was he given a vote? Of course, I am quite aware that it was done when the honorable member was in knickerbockers or short frocks ; but when the extension of the political franchise was proposed, did honorable members urge that many persons would not vote, as a reason for keeping it from them? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- No. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Yet this industrial franchise is to be kept from people. {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Mr Frazer: -- Certainly not. They did not say that the man who voted should not be represented, as the honorable member proposes to say, with regard to unions. {: #debate-19-s39 .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I say nothing of the sort. What I say is that the honorable member will not allow certain men, who will not join a union, perhaps for the reasons I have given, to be represented at all. The Prime Minister said that, unless the unions get some privilege, they will not be likely to accept the Bill. But where is a privilege given to the non-unionists who comprise by far the larger number of the workers? {: .speaker-JX9} ##### Sir Frazer: -- The non-unionist gets equal rights with the unionist. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Where is a privilege given to the non-unionist? He is to be bound by the Bill, and to be punished if he strikes ; but he is not to be allowed to have a voice unless he belongs to a body which, for some good reason or other, he has not hitherto been willing to join. The proposal of the honorable and learned member for Angas is not that any unionist shall be excluded. Every unionist can be a member of an organization, formed for the purposes pf the Act, and the Minister of External Affairs has stated that his contribution for such a purpose would be exceedingly trifling, and not more than he would be likely to have to pay additionally to his own union if it was made an organization under the. Bill. Under that plan the necessary fund could be created. Rather than do an injustice to a great number of men I would not care whether there was a fund or not, because I do not look much to the security it would provide. For this purpose the Minister has said that a farthing per head would be sufficient. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- While I said that a Jd. per head per week would be plenty, I did not say it would provide the machinery for collecting the money, looking after it, and so on. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- We can easily estimate that the very small sum per week drawn from a much larger number of members than is comprised in the unions would be quite sufficient to cover the expenditure, and to gradually create a fund under the amendment. In my proposal, as the honorable member for Kalgoorlie has objected, I did suggest that had it been possible at this time to weave it into the texture of the Bill, a very simple means of collection was available - one not unknown to the Courts now, and not unknown by arrangement with employes now, such as deductions for accident insurance funds. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- I believe that our union has taken one case to Court, and had twenty or thirty penalty cases at a cost of 2 s. per head per annum. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- There is no doubt that the amount must be comparatively small. My proposal was simply to give the Court power to collect a contribution from the men' through the medium of the employer, and to receive from the employer a similar contribution. That is done by the Courts now in a number of cases. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Would the honorable member compel an employe or an employer to pav? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Most certainly I would compel him to pay in a case where a dispute had arisen, and an organization had been created. Why not? It would not be compelling him to pay nearly so much - in fact, a mere fraction of what the Bill would compel him to pay if the Court decided, that a preference should be given to unionists. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The Bill does not compel anyone to pay. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I accept the Minister's use of that phrase, but the Bill empowers the Court to give a preference to unionists, and a man cannot' be a unionist unless he has paid his entrance and subscription fees, and that would amount to a very much larger sum per annum than would the contribution made for the purposes of the Act only. Let me describe the sort of thing which may arise when preference has been given in a number of callings to unionists. Men who want work badly may come to the city, and turn to unskilled labour on the wharfs. But before they can obtain employment thev must send in an application to join the union, and must, borrow or beg 10s. to pay their subscription, and await their election. , Even when a man obtains admission to the union possibly he may secure but little work. The Minister of External Affairs has stated that the members of the Wharf Labourers' Union in Sydney have not earned, on the average, more than 15s. per week for some time. A new comer in that union would probably obtain very little employment. He might find work in some other direction, and would then have to join another union. He would have to spend -some of his time in making his application, and he would also have to pay his entrance fee and subscription to that- union. If the fees were so reduced that it would not be difficult for a man to find the moneys - and it would not be difficult if the organization were intended to fulfil only the purposes of the Bill - men would be assisted, instead of being hampered, in that most trying of 'all occupations, the search for work. The amendment proposed by the honorable and learned member for Angas might very well receive the support of honorable members opposite. Those who oppose it, in effect, declare that the Bill is designed in the interests of the minority of the community. I do not, however, take that view. The Bill will be of benefit only if it serve the needs of the larger number. I desire to refer to one or two statements made by the Prime Minister. He said that for the purposes of the Bill we required organizations, whose members would be bound together by the ties of interest and sympathy. I do not for a moment reflect on the existing unions ; but I say that stronger ties of sympathy would exist between those engaged in one calling, or, it might be, in one employment. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Does the honorable member mean that their sympathies would be stronger because they were engaged in the same calling? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Surely their interests would be identical? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- That is not the only consideration. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Their sympathies would also be stronger. Men who work alongside each other, perhaps for many years, are more likely to be in sympathy than are men who perhaps rarely, if ever, meet, although they are fellowmembers of a trades organization. I believe that this Bill would have been made a stronger measure, and would have been more likely to prove successful, if it had gone further, and had aimed at dealing, not merely' with one section, but with all sections, of the employes in the industries over which it will exercise control. The Prime Minister also said that the influence exerted by the unions was very strong, and would doubtless be used for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of the Bill. I quite admit that ' the circumstances connected with the Teralba case to a large extent support his statement. In that instance the officials of the union, from first to last, opposed the action of the men, and advised them to resume work. I would point out, however, that in spite of the enormous pressure exerted by the officials, supported by probably nine-tenths of the coal-miners of the district, the small body of miners at Teralba refused to yield. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- For a fortnight. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- No; I believe it was fully three weeks. I have the particulars. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I say it was only fourteen or fifteen days. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I contend that the period during which work was suspended was . three weeks. However, that does not matter. The men stood out until others were being put into the mine, and they had either to resume their places, just as in the case of other strikes which break down, or lose their employment. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The officials did nothing to prevent unionists from going into the mine. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I admit that they acted in perfect good faith. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- The Delegate Boards throughout the district stated that if . the strikers did not go to work they would put them out of the union. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Other men were being called in, and the work was going on without the strikers. The intense feeling which made these men resist the influence of their officers, who were working faithfully to carry out the purposes of the Act, and who were supported by nine out of every ten ' men in the district, afford me reason to fear for the success of the Bill. My belief is that' if the Teralba dispute had affected the whole of the miners in the Newcastle district, numbering many thousands, and the same intense feeling had been general, no provision under this or any other Bil] would ever have induced them to go to work. I would point out that, by including in an organization the whole of those engaged in an industry affected by a dispute, we should embrace not merely the extremists - either the extremely subservient or the extremely independent and pushing - but the average men engaged in that calling. If we desire to maintain the provisions of such a Bill as this we shall have to depend on the average good sense of both sides - employers and. employes. I have already stated that there is no intention to destroy the unions. They can continue to fulfil the purposes for which they have existed in the past, and can continue their activity. They can leaven the organizations formed for the purposes of this Bill, or, if others do not move, they can be at first, at any rate, the only organizations registered under the Bill. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- Not if the amendment is carried. The object of the amendment is to shut them out. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Nonsense ! Nothing of the sort. The amendment proposes that the organizations recognised shall be organizations for the purposes of the Bill. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Does not that shut out all those unions which are not organizations for the purposes of the Bill ? {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Certainly not. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- No trades union would become an organization for the purposes of the Bill. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Then, I say, that if, because of the amendment, no trades unions became organizations for the purposes of the Bill, the unionists would show that they were determined not to come under the Bill unless they could force men into their unions for benefit and political purposes. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- The honorable member is not justified in implying that the provisions of the Bill would force men into the unions. It will be the Court's decision that will do that, if that result is brought about at all. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I have not the least objection to hear the target ring when the shots go home, so that I do nor mind these interjections. There is no intention on the part of the honorable and learned member for Angas to exclude unionists in any way. Unless the amendment is carried, non-unionists would be excluded, because they do not need the benefits conferred by the unions, or are opposed to their political objects. If the trades unions as such retained their objects relating to benefits or politics, and formed or joined an organization for the purposes of the Bill, with the small contribution which will be required to carry out its intentions - which would probably be required from the members of the unions, in any case - they would not exclude any persons from the organizations. In the other case, however, they would exclude, not merely the smaller, but the larger proportion of the workers. That, I think, is evidenced in New Zealand, where, after some years of experience, the unions, instead of gaining in strength, are becoming reduced in numbers in proportion to the workers outside. I do not like to hear the threat that if the amendment be carried the Bill will never be availed of -by the trades unions. {: .speaker-JOC} ##### Mr Batchelor: -- That is not a threat ;' it is a mere statement of fact. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- It is a threat, because a statement of fact can be made only in regard to something that has happened. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- The honorable member is merely bringing about what he desires. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- I never pay much attention to professions of honesty on the part of others who are not prepared to credit with honesty those who differ from them. I have made no secret as to my actual position with regard to this Bill. I have said that I should not attempt to destroy it by a side-wind. I believe that it is a complete farce, because it is constructed in such a manner that it will never prove effective. Honorable members are now beginning to see this. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- Those honorable members who are opposed to the measure are beginning to see it. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Ministers have had warning from the first. The Prime Minister argues at one time that the measure is intended for the settlement of disputes which extend beyond any one State, and the next minute we hear him stating that certain provisions are to operate in regard to disputes restricted to a State. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I do not remember having made any such contradictory remarks. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- If the Prime Minister will look up his speeches he will find that what I say is correct. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I invite the honorable member to produce the speeches. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Surely the honorable member does not wish me to produce them at once? {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- No; but I dispute the honorable member's assertion. {: .speaker-KW6} ##### Mr DUGALD THOMSON:
NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES · FT; ANTI-SOC from 1906 -- Either two-thirds of the Bill will be worthless, or it is intended to operate in regard to dis.putes other than those which extend beyond any one State. The proposal contained in the amendment is a good one, and I believe that it will operate in the direction of making the measure effective. If the principle of conciliation and arbitration is to be effectively applied in times of stress, when wages have to go down, as well as at times when they go up - and the former will be the time of stress - we must secure the support not only of a small minority, but of the great majority of the workers and employers of Australia. {: #debate-19-s40 .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE:
Darling -- I have lis,tened very attentively to honorable members in an endeavour to discover exactly what this amendment means. Those who advocate its adoption appear to differ so greatly, that it seems likely to become necessary to ask its author to again explain its effect. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- What does the honorable member think that it means ? {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE: -- I regard it as an attempt to bring about a revolution, such as would destroy the trades union movement as it is generally known. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- No. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE: -- If its effect would be nothing more than has been pointed out by the honorable member for North Sydney, I hold that it is entirely unnecessary. The Bill, as framed, already makes provision for organizations, and to repeat that provision will not add to its strength. I have no desire to reiterate what I said the other evening, but I wish to remind honorable members that the term " non-unionist " is very frequently misused. I contend that the spirit of unionism is more strongly developed in the working men of Australia than it is in any other part of the world. The term " non-unionist " is an unfair one to apply to men. simply because they are not members of unions. The fact that they do not belong (o these organizations is chiefly the result of carelessness. Every one must recognise that whatever good has been accomplished for the workers employed in any industry in Australia, has been the result of the efforts put forth by trades unionists. I am glad to note that during this discussion, no one has made any attack upon trades unionists as such. I have never claimed that this Bill will confer upon the general community all the benefits which have been predicted for it. It will, however, tend to the promotion of industrial peace, in which all, whether members of trades unions or not, will participate. Honorable members opposite have concentrated their efforts on behalf of some imaginary individuals, who, it is alleged, object to join trades unions. It is admitted that those who have improved the conditions of labour in every industry - who have done everything in their power to abolish sweating - are the most thrifty section of the working classes. Yet all their interests are to be cast to the winds - why? Simply because it is urged that they are associated with a political movement. I propose, very briefly, to give honorable members the absolute facts of the case. The union of which I have the honour to be president is the one which, above all others, has been branded as political. I know of only one union which has a political fund. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- From where does Tom' Mann draw his salary? {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE: -- The honorable member should. ask him. Tom Mann is not supported by the trades unions of Australia. Honorable members opposite find fault with us because we do not organize the workers who are not members of trades unions, and they, grumble equally when we send out **Mr. Mann** to organize them. Apparently we cannot please them. I do not know of any trades union in New South Wales which, as a union, supports the Political Labour League, or has a political fund. {: .speaker-K99} ##### Mr Johnson: -- Is not Tom Mann sup- ported by thiem? {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE: -- If the honorable member will listen, he will know that I am speaking of New South Wales. In that State I know of no organization other than the Australian Workers' Union which trenches upon politics. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr Lonsdale: -- Does not a rule exist under which members must not vote against the candidate selected? {: #debate-19-s41 .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- There is a standing order which distinctly forbids interruption. If the honorable member for New England offends again, I shall be compelled to name him: {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr SPENCE: -- It is about time that we got away from these exaggerated notions. In the Australian Workers' Union we have a fund which is intended to be spent for political purposes, and which represents a contribution of one shilling per member annually. Under the rules of that organization there is power to levy an additional sixpence. It will thus be seen that is. 6d. is the total sum which the branches can vote for political purposes, and they can do that only after a plebiscite of their members has been taken. Moreover, the latter are not questioned as to their political opinions. Every member possesses a certificate of membership, which, upon presentation to the Political Labour League, causes him to be recognised as a member of that organization without further payment. The parliamentary fund of one shilling per member annually has never yet been expended. That, however, is the amount of the. vote which is intended to defray the expenses of the candidates selected by the League. The trades' unions, as such, mind their own industrial business. Now, let me refer to the other two unions which, possibly, may appeal to the proposed Court. I refer to the Seamen's Union, and to the Waterside Workers. I know that neither of them contribute a single sixpence to political work. The Australian Workers' Union is the only organization which does so. Every member of that union pays an annual fee of *ten* shillings, one shilling of which is supposed to be devoted to political purposes; but I repeat that that sum has never been expended. Instead of a considerable sum being spent for political purposes, I may frankly confess that the funds of the Political Labour League are usually at low water. When a vote of the union was taken upon the question of contributing even sixpence per member annually, it was not carried. Some of the older trades unions have become very conservative, and carefully exclude politics from their meetings. They leave political matters entirely to the Political Labour League. The honorable member for New England has referred to a certain rule, but I would point out that that rule existed for only one year. It slipped through during the very year that we registered under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act of New South Wales. I do not remember any discussion taking place in reference to it. Moreover, although it expressed a certain opinion, it is scarcely necessary to point out that it could not be enforced. The individual members of 'our union are as free as are those of any other organization. No doubt thev are politically educated, so that very few of them support the rivals of the selected labour candidates. That, however, is but natural. The rule to which reference has been made was passed by the conference which was held prior to the registration of the union, and was abolished as speedily as possible. Some reference has been made to the payments of the members of trades unions. All the members of the Miners' Unions pay when in work. When not in work they make no contributions. The trades unions of to-day are the result of a very long period of development. They manage their own affairs exceedingly well, as every one knows who has been in touch with them. The talk about what some people make out of them will not be believed by any one who has had any experience. Unfortunately the unions do not pay those who work for them as well as they ought to do. I venture to say that the officers of trades unions have done more gratuitous work for their fellow-men than any other class. They devote nights and nights of work to the interests of the unions. I am making these observations because of the fear which some honorable members appear to entertain that the unions will devote their funds to political purposes. If this amendment were carried, the whole measure would have to be recast. It would be necessary, in the first place, to define what is meant by political. For instance, the New South Wales coal miners have been asking for an eight hours' law. They very properly require an Act of Parliament to protect their lives and health, in reference to the management of coal mines. There is a Regulation of Mines Act in existence in Victoria. Would it be a wrong thing for an organization to ask a State Parliament to pass a measure of that description ? Would not that be industrial? That is the line that all trades unions of which I have any knowledge have taken up with reference to all questions. The matters with which they have dealt were questions on which they were competent to express an opinion as experts. Certainly it will be necessary to define the limits within which trades unions may work if this amendment is agreed to. But the wisest plan is to recognise existing organizations. This Bill would compel the men to organize afresh. When the New South Wales Arbitration Act was passed, **Mr. Wise's** first impression was that the unions would have to make special provision in their rules for the purpose, but on further consideration, and after registration, we found that it was unnecessary. The unions obtained registration as industrial organizations, and added to their names the term "industrial union of employes." Under this measure it is not even necessary that an organization of employes should be a trades union at all. It, therefore, appears to me that any reasonable objection that could have been raised has been removed. Honorable members may dismiss from their minds the idea of the unions exerting their power for political purposes. Of course, it is natural that the grouping of men together in a union gives them a common interest, but they do their political work entirely apart from their trades union work. Indeed, so far as concerns what is called the fighting programme of the Political Labour Leagues, I do not remember an occasion when the candidates of all parties opposed to labour candidates have not signified their approval of the planks of that programme. I am not speaking, of course, of the whole labour programme that may be put forward at some time, but of the fighting programme put forward for present electoral purposes; and I have never heard of any candidate opposed to a labour candidate who did not favour those proposals. But every member of a trades union is free to vote as he pleases on such matters. There is no coercion of any kind. So far as concerns the organization with which I am particularly concerned, we have done our best to bring our rules into conformity with the New South Wales Act. We have been quite willing to eliminate any objectionable rule. We have been one of the first labour organizations to fight for the passing of legislation of this kind, realizing from hard and costly experience that this is the only way to bring our opponent organization, the Pastoralists' Union, into a Court where we can get justice done. There would be no gain from the establishment of new organizations to act instead of the existing unions. The simple result would be that ohe body would be working inside the Court and the other outside, whereas under the Bill, as it stands, trades unions by becoming registered would be directed and controlled by the Court. If the Court saw in the rules of any union anything that was opposed to the Act, it would order its elimination. The union with which I am particularly concerned has, during the eighteen years of its fighting life - and it has 1 certainly been a militant body- been industrial in all its aims. It appealed to Parliament to pass legislation providing for better accommodation for shearers in the huts. That action may possibly be called political in one way, because Parliament was asked to pass the legislation ; but to all intents and purposes it was industrial. The union has devoted itself entirely to industrial work. The two other principal organizations in New South Wales do not touch political questions. I can assure the Committee, with a full knowledge of what I am talking about, that by making the alteration proposed they will cause friction to which I can see no end. I do not accuse honorable members opposite of a deliberate desire to crush trades unionism. I accept their assurances that they do not wish to do so. But certainly what they propose 'will have that tendency. I do not think that, as a matter of- fact, it will crush the unions, and while it fails in that regard it will make the measure less workable than it would otherwise be. I would point out the tremendous moral influence the unions have had, and how they have disciplined their men. I could quote cases in my own experience of the marvellous influence of discipline that has arisen from union action. We want to use that power of discipline in the interests of industrial peace, "and that can best be done by recognising the existing organizations. In one case my own organization recognised an unfair act on the part of a number of men towards a gentleman at Wagga, **Mr. Heffernon.** He was made to suffer, in regard to his stock, at a critical period by a number of unionists. Recognising that, the union gave him compensation out of its funds for the loss which he had been put to. That is only one case where the power of a union has been exercised practically to compel a section of its members to do a fair thing. I cannot help having one rap at honorable members opposite, who have professed at all times to be so strongly in favour of freedom. On the present occasion they are running directly in the opposite direction. They are becoming the strongest coercionists we have. They propose even .to take money from men by force, and practically to compel every man engaged in an industry to enter an organization. I must' appeal to honorable memberswho are adopting this view to adopt a moderate course. I am contending for moderation and freedom on this occasion, believing that what may be called the medium course proposed by the Bill, will be the wisest. That is the course which will disturb existing conditions as little as possible, and which will result in the control of existing unions by the Court in the interests of industrial peace. Honorable members opposite are taking a most dangerous departure, and I am astonished at the attitude of such men as the honorable and learned member for Werriwa, and the honorable member for New England. I trust that the honorable and learned member for Parkes will not join them, but will show his old faith in the freedom of the individual, and support me in standing for some degree of liberty. {: #debate-19-s42 .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE:
New England -- The honorable member for Darling speaks so nicely and so quietly that one scarcely likes to differ from him, or to raise any objection to what he says. He has told us that the union he represented was not political, and that they discarded certain rules indicated as political as quickly as ever they could. They discarded those rules when they learnt that the Registrar would not register them unless they were taken out. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- That is not correct. They were registered when those rules were in. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- The Registrar refused unless those rules were taken out, and a plebiscite of the members of the union had to be taken to have them struck out. The honorable member knows that, unless those rules were taken out they could not be registered, and they are not registered in New South Wales to-day. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- I rise to a point of order. The honorable member must allow me to correct him. It is not accurate to say that the union could not be registered until those rules were taken out. It was registered with those rules in, and no objection was taken to them on- registration. {: .speaker-KED} ##### Mr Kennedy: -- But the Court refused to cancel the registration of another union in the same industry. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- That is a different matter. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- As a matter of fact, I do not believe that the Australian Workers' Union is registered to-day as an industrial union in New South Wales, and I believe it never has been registered. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- The honorable member is not in order in implying that I am making a statement that is incorrect. I say that the Australian Workers' Union is registered ; that it was registered when the objectionable rules formed a part of its constitution. They were not objected to when it was registered, and the union is registered now. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- I understood the honorable member for New England to say 5B that he did not know the Australian Workers' Union was registered. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- The honorable member said he did not believe it was. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- I must accept the statement of the honorable member for Darling ; but I shall look it up. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The CHAIRMAN: -- Order ! {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- I, of course, accept the honorable member's statement ; but my memory at the present time' is that the union is not registered. I know that they had to alter the rules before they could be registered. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- I can show the honorable member the certificate of registration. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- It may have been that, if the rules objected to had been continued, the registration would have been cancelled. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr Kelly: -- The Australian Workers' Union applied to the Court for the cancellation of the Machine Shearers' Union on the ground that there was already an organization in existence in the industry, and the application was refused because of these rules being adopted by the Australian Workers' Union. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- That is the position; and then the Australian Workers' Union tried to get the cancellation of the Machine Shearers' Union again, and could not succeed, after the rules objected to had been taken out, for some other reason, probably because there were other political rules adopted by the Australian Workers' Union. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- No objection was taken to', these political rules. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- We are being told that we desire to destroy the unions. I have no wish to destroy the unions. We are being told that unionists are giving up some privilege. What privilege are they giving up? They have no privilege by law to strike. {: .speaker-DQC} ##### Mr Hughes: -- Yes, they have. {: .speaker-KIC} ##### Mr LONSDALE: -- The law does not say that they can strike, but we know that a man can leave another man's service if hs pleases. There is no privilege in it at all. But when honorable members representing unionists come here and ask for particular privileges by law, it is our duty to see that people who are outside the unions are put in the same position, and that it is made absolutely clear that every man shall have the right to employment ; that there shall be no restriction against his getting employment. A man can belong to 500 unions if he likes, we have nothing to do with that ; but if he comes here to get some privilege by law - and we provide in this Bil] that the Court may give a preference to unionists - then it is our duty to see that the unions shall be wide open, and that they must not be political bodies. Why should any man, in order to get a living, be compelled to join a union which may have political objects, of which he does not approve? Whether we are unionists or non-unionists there is no answer to the contention that, as a Legislature, we have no right to put any difficulties in the way of any man getting a living. Honorable members opposite talk of the'ir altruism, and the self-sacrifice of unionists for others,* but every argument I have heard them use is to the effect that, " We have made sacrifices, but we do not desire that others shall get the advantage of them. We have made sacrifices for ourselves." That is actually their position. What honorable members opposite, and those whom they represent, are fighting for is that, by law, unionists shall have all power and non-unionists be left to starve, or do anything else they please, for what they care. We are here, every one of us, to guard against that. I say we should treat all men alike. We hear talk of Toryism, but real Toryism is the giving of special privileges to certain men. The men who should be fighting for liberty for all are fighting for the fullest freedom for one set of men, and no freedom at all for others; and they call themselves Liberals and Democrats. That is simply a misuse of terms. It is the greatest Toryism to give special privileges to any men. We have been told that the pressure of the local union was used to induce the Teralba men to return to work after they had gone out on strike. May I say that the award did not involve any punishment in that particular case, and that the men would not go to work for all the pressure of the union. The employers were then urged to punish them by law for having violated their contract, and at last the employes yielded, and on the very day they were to appear before the Court they agreed to resume work. Let us put the thing on right lines. The men yielded, not to the pressure of the union, but to the pressure of the law, when they found they were summoned for having violated their contract. What possible objection can there be to the amendment? Let these organizations be absolutely free for men to join, so that all men may have an opportunity of getting a living. 1 do not care what is the -wording of the amendment .if it is made clear that there will be nothing to deter men from joining organizations, and that there will be no utilizing of the organizations for political purposes, or that otherwise they shall get no preference, or shall not be registered, or that, if registered, their registration shall be cancelled. I am not here to crush unions. I say let them go on. I believe they are doing a great deal of good. I admit that there are splendid men in the unions, but there are as good men outside. I admit that there are bad men outside the unions, but there are just as bad in the unions. Human nature is exactly the same, whether it is unionist or non-unionist, and, as far as I am concerned, I shall be doing my duty in seeking to give a means of living to every man in this land of ours. I take up the position that we should not give special privileges to any body, and, in doing so, I hold that I am a Liberal, and that I am carrying out liberal principles. **Mr. KELLY** (Wentworth).- At this hour I think it would be but "a fair thing " if the debate were adjourned until to-morrow. I am not actually prepared to speak on the question, but if the debate must go on I suppose I must speak. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- Why should it not go on ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- Well, for one thing, I should like to hear the views of the honorable gentleman upon the matter. We have not so far had a chance, even by way of interjection, to discover what he thinks on the subject. {: .speaker-KIN} ##### Sir William Lyne: -- The honorable member should not, as a young member, try to stop business of this kind. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I have no wish to stop the business, but I think .the debate might be adjourned. If the Prime Minister does not agree I must continue the debate. I am heartily in accord with the amendment. If we look at the history of unions we will find that they were first of all based on the idea of collective bargaining, to gain what could not be gained by individual bargaining. Then there came a time, and the honorable member for Darling will bear me out in this, when men banded themselves together in unions for the purpose of securing the influence of persons in Parliament for the' betterment of their conditions. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- Where did they do that ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I think that was one of the objects of the Australian Workers' Union, and I can have no - better authority on the subject than (he honorable member for Darling. I think that must be pretty obvious to so old a campaigner as the honorable member. I hold that these objects are perfectly legitimate. The object, in the first instance, of the old trades unionism was to prevent sweating.. The object of the new trades unionism is also perfectly legitimate. There is no reason why men should not band themselves together to collectively exercise the suffrage. Now the- Parliament is prepared apparently to go beyond that stage to the third stageof industrial evolution, when it is proposed to secure industrial peace absolutely by means of the Federal Arbitration Court. Surely the objects for which trades unions were created have gone, now that we are placing an omniscient Justice of the High Court in the position of Judge of the Arbitration Court, to decide all questions of wages and all conditions of living. The only reason for keeping the unions in existence will be to carrv out what may be termed friendly society objects, the providing of funds for the support of wives and children ' when the breadwinners go or are laid aside. Non-unionists, however, often belong to benefit societies, pure and simple, and if they were compelled to join the existing trades unions, would have ' to subscribe to those objects twice over. They number more than those in the unions, and we have no right . to so compel them. I wish now to say a word or two in reply to the honorable member for Darling. He has told us that the subscription to the Australian Workers' Union is 10s. a year,, of which rs. is credited to the political fund. It will be generally conceded that shearers, as a class, work for only a short period in each year, so that the members of the Australian Workers' Union pay approximately is. a week to the union for every week that they are working. That union, we are told, is the only political union in New South Wales ; but that it is not increasingly popular is shown, by the fact that in 1902 its members numbered almost 21,000, while in 1904 they numbered barely11,500, a falling off of nearly 50 per cent. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- That is accounted for by a falling off of nearly 20,000,000 in the number of sheep to be shorn. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- A rival union, the Machine Shearers' and Shed Employés' Union,which I believe is positive anathema to the honorable member, has increased 500 per cent. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Is that the union of which one of the secretaries committed suicide the' other week? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I forget whether the official referred to was a secretary. Under the Bill it is proposed to nationalize the business of union secretaries. I shall be the last to support the nationalization of a very commendable industry ; but the Court will probably find it more practicable to administer the work now done by union secretaries and agitators; {: .speaker-L1N} ##### Mr Wilson: -- Does the honorable member call the work of a union secretary an industry ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- It is a considerable industry. The honorable member for Darling told us that he could cause a dispute to spread from some domestic circle in Sydneyall the way to Melbourne. {: .speaker-KUF} ##### Mr Spence: -- The honorable member for North Sydney also spoke of the ease with which a dispute could be caused to spread. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The members of the Machine Shearers' and Shed Employes' Union number 2,757, an. increase of 500 per cent, upon their number in 1902, whereas the number of the Australian Workers' Union 'has decreased by 50 percent.. Thus the members of the political union do not- appear to place great store upon their privileges.' The proposal of the honorable member for North Sydney is that the Court should, through the employers, keep back a proportion of every employe's wage, and register that employl as an employé in a particular, industry. The honorable member for Darling followed with a harrowing picture of the impracticability of the administration by . the Court of all the details of a union organizer's work. He is quite prepared to hand over to the State the administration of the details of the tobacco business, but the very much more important duties of a unionist organizer and perambulating agitator he thinks could not with safety be left to the Court to perform. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Would the Court . have to organize the Emplovers' Federation, too ? {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- The Employers' Federation, if it has any political rules, should, I think, not be allowed to enjoy the benefits of this measure. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- In that case **Mr. Walpole** would- not be able to. go about declaring marriage to be a luxury to the workers. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I always understood that that view was only held by German Socialists. {: .speaker-KWL} ##### Mr Tudor: -- Wo ; it is held by the Employers' Federation here. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I did not know that it was held by any persons of conservative tendency in this country. We were told this evening by the Minister of External Affairs that a contribution of £d- or J-d. per head per week would easily meet the expenses resultant on a union being brought under the Act. If that amount were deducted from the wages of the men, and returned straight to headquarters, and brought under the administration of the Registrar, there would be required, on the average, one clerk for probably 5,000 men. .At the present time a union running from 100 to 800 members; even this rapidly decreasing union, with its 11,000 members, requires a secretary and its officials. The smallest union requires its secretary to be paid at from ,£100 to about ^280 a year. One clerk could do the work of ten secretaries, because it would all be combined and simplified. So that, far from this entailing an increased cost to the employe^ it would effect a. very great saving to him. If the unions wished to keep together and run their benefit projects, by all manner, of means let them do so. But they would still be a body within a body. They would be a benefit organization or a union - whatever they might choose to call themselves - within a general organization, which alone men could be compelled to join. It seems to me that this is really the crux of the question. ' The amendment would npt "Interfere in the least degree with the rights of unions. They could still maintain their benefit projects. Their old power to strike would df course lie gone, "willy nilly," the moment that the Act was brought into operation. Perhaps at this hour the Prime Minister will consent to progress being reported. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- I do not suppose that the honorable member intends to speak much longer. {: .speaker-KEA} ##### Mr KELLY: -- I do not wish to speak much longer. {: .speaker-F4R} ##### Mr Watson: -- In that case, perhaps, if no one else wishes to speak, we might get to a vote. **Mr. DUGALD** THOMSON (North Sydney). - There are other honorable members who wish to speak. It will be remembered that when I was speaking this evening there was a question between the Prime Minister and myself as to the duration bf the. Teralba strike. Speaking from _ memory; I was under the impression that it lasted for three weeks; while he, also speaking from memory, was under the impression that it lasted for a fortnight. I said that I would refer to documents I .have to show the period. I find that the honorable gentleman was right in the statement that he made. Although I do not think that it affects my argument in any way, still I consider it only right to make this explanation to the Committee. I would suggest to the honorable gentleman that he might well agree to progress being reported now. Progress reported. House adjourned at 10.31 p.m.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 28 June 1904, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1904/19040628_reps_2_20/>.