2nd Parliament · 2nd Session
Mr. Speaker took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.
Mr. DEAKIN laid upon the table the following papers: -
Copy of a despatch from the Imperial Government relating to the holding of a Conference next year, with the reply from the Commonwealth Government.
Copy of a memorandum from the Agents-Gene- ral in Committee as to advertising the resources and development of the Commonwealth.
Copy of the correspondence between the Commonwealth Government, the Consul-General of Japan, and the Viceroy of India, with reference to the admission to Australia of subjects of Japan and India.
Ordered to be printed.
The Clerk laid upon the table
Return to an order of the House, dated21st November, relating to the importation of harvesters.
– Is the PostmasterGeneral aware that the sum allotted for the painting of telegraph poles has been exhausted, and, as a consequence, a number of men will, in a day or two, be out of work? Will he, in view of the approach of the festive season of the year, take steps to find work for these men, at any rate until after the Christmas holidays? This may seem a small matter, but the State Government is doing something of a similar nature, and if help be given, it will benefit a great many families.
– I shall be very glad to look into the matter, with a view to ascertaining what can be done, and will expend any money available in the way the honorable member suggests.
– When will the PostmasterGeneral be able to reply to the questions I asked last week, in reference to the alleged sweating of letter sorters in Sydney?
– All the particulars relating to the case have been wired for, and immediatelyI have the necessary information I shall give it to the House.
– Has the Prime Minister any communication to make to the House concerning the intentions of the Government in ‘regard to the work of the remaining weeks of the session?
– I still see no reason why, with application, we should hot be able to dispose of the business on the noticepaper before the session ends.
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow : -
asked the Postmaster-General, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable and learned member’s questions are as follow : -
asked the PostmasterGeneral, upon notice -
– Inquiries are proceeding, and answers will be furnished as soon as the necessary information is to hand.
asked the Minister of Trade and Customs, upon notice -
How many harvesters of Australian manufacture have been exported to places beyond Australia since 1st January,1905?
– The answer to the honorable and learned member’s question is as follows : -
The exports for the period 1st January to 30th November, 1905, were - 418, valued at £30,1 10.
The destinations were - Argentine, Algeria, Cape Colony, Italy, Tunis.
asked the Minister of Trade and Customs, upon notice -
What are the special circumstances which have induced the Department to cease granting drawback upon imported marble when exported after being made up into house fittings, seeing that similar drawbacks upon other articles, including timber, are being continued?
– In reply to the honorable member’s question -
For all purposes abundance of Australian marble is available ; and, moreover, the amount of labour bestowed in the Commonwealth on the steps, sills, &c, made from imported marble; and subsequently exported, is small, as the slabs arrive ready sawn, and in some cases sawn to* size.
asked the Minister representing the Minister of Defence, upon notice -
How many persons have entered for the forthcoming examination for commissions from -
– The answers to the honorable and learned member’s questions are as follow : -
As regards the examination for first commissions in the Royal Australian Artillery : - 1. (a) Two.
The examination will be held from the 19th to 23rd December. Entries closed on 1st November.
One, the applicant being over age.
In the case of the examination for appointment to the Administrative and Instructional Staff : - 1. (a) Seventeen.
The educational qualifying examination will take place on the 19th and 20th December, and the military competitive examination from the 24th to 27th January next. Entries closed on 18th November.
One, the applicant being over age.
The final acceptance of candidates for these examinations will, I may say, be dependent on their being certified by a Medical Board to be physically qualified.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 30th November, vide page 6188) :
Amendment (by Mr. Isaacs) again proposed -
That the following new clause be inserted : - 73. (1.) No person shall -
falsely apply to any goods for the purpose of trade or sale ; or
knowingly sell or expose for sale, or have in his possession for sale or for any purpose of trade or manufacture any goods to which there is falsely applied ; or
import into Australia any goods not produced in Australia to which there is applied a mark which is a distinctive device, design, symbol, or label registered by any individual Australian worker or association of Australian workers corporate or unincorporate for the purpose of indicating that articles to which it is applied are the exclusive production of the worker or -of members of the association (and which mark is hereby declared to be a workers’ trade mark), or any mark substantially identical with a registered workers’ trade mark, or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
The workers’ trade mark is falsely applied unless in truth -
the goods to which it is applied are exclusively the production of the worker or of members of the association ; or
the goods to which it is applied are in part but not exclusively the pro- duction of the worker or of members of the association, and the mark is applied in such manner as clearly to indicate that its application does not refer to, describe, or designate the parts of the goods not being the production of the worker or of members of the association ; and ‘
the mark is applied to the goods (being goods produced in Australia) by the employer for whom they are produced, or, with the authority of the employer, by the worker or a member of the association registering the mark.
In this section - “ Association “ includes any number of “associations acting together, and in such case the members of the “ association “ shall be the members of the associationswhich are acting together ; “ Production “ means production, manufacture, workmanship, preparation, or product of labour; “ Produced “ has a meaning corresponding with “ production.”
Penalty : Fifty pounds, in addition to any liability to forfeiture provided by law.
– It is a matter for congratulation that the long silence of the supporters of the Government was broken during the last sitting by the speech of the honorable member for Moira, and that we then had an opportunity to hear from the honorable member for Bland a restatement of his views in regard to the union label question, and of the reasons why he and those associated with him are supporting the proposals of the Attorney-General. But I was very much struck by the fact that, while his remarks were directed towards proving the necessity for the adoption of the proposed new clause, they in no way showed that it will meet the evil of which he complained. He told us, for example, of the existence of sweating in South Australia, and I suppose that all honorable members, when they hear of cases of that kind, feel just indignation, and regard any reasonable remedial legislation as justifiable. I venture to think, however, that the honorable member made an enormous jump from his statement of facts to the conclusion which he wished us to draw. Not one, but several, links were missing from his chain of argument. My first objection, to the proposals now before us is that they are based on a theory of industrial action which is alien to the spirit of Australian legislation. We have, for years, been endeavouring to pass industrial legislation which will put an end, not only to the existence of industrial war, but to the possibility of its being brought about. To that end have been designed the Wages Board provisions of the Victorian Shops and Factories Acts, the Arbitration Acts of New South Wales and Western Australia, and, so far as it is applicable, the Arbitration Act, which we all took a , share in passing through this Parliament.
– Some a very big share.
– I did the best I could to insure that that measure should be passed into law, and I am very glad that it has become law, with certain limitations.
– It is a very bad law at that.
– I am wry sorry to hear honorable members of the Labour Party expressing their disapproval of Arbitration Acts.
– I am expressing my disapproval of the Act as it stands. It needs a great deal of amendment.
– Most Acts require a great deal of amendment, and none more than those that are passed in a hurry-skurry fashion. The debate upon the measure now before us has not yet occupied nine sittings of this House, and surely that is little enough time for such an important Bill to occupy the attention of honorable members.
– We have spent more time than that over it.
– No, we have not. Of these eight and a half days, at least three were occupied in considering matters other than the union label provisions.
– The honorable and learned member’s arithmetic is all wrong.
– It is quite correct, and I challenge the honorable member for Bland to check it. I do not include the discussion upon the closure motions in my calculations, although the new Standing Orders had a direct bearing upon the efforts of the Government to secure the passing of these provisions. It is interesting to note that those honorable members who say that the closure had nothing to do with the question before the Chair are deliberately including the .time devoted to their discussion in. their estimates of the time spent in debating the Trade Marks Bill.
– Honorable members, in discussing the closure proposals, talked1 of nothing but the union label provisions.
– Honorable members do not, apparently, realize the full force of their admission. As I have said, these proposals are alien to the spirit of Australian legislation in industrial matters. We have deliberately set out to put an end, noil only to industrial disputes, but to the possibility 6f such disputes. We have decreed that strikes and other forms of industrial warfare shall cease to exist, and 4/hat disputes between employers and employe’s shall be settled in the calm and dispassionate atmosphere of a judicial or semi-judicial tribunal. That is the object to which our Acts in the past have been directed, and the object with which further legislation should be designed But now we have suddenly flung before us a proposal which is obviously, to say the least of it, questionable as regards its legality, and which, instead of disarming both parties, will place in their hands further weapons. In view of the amendments which the Attorney-General has promised to bring forward, I do not distinguish between the employer and the employe. It is. proposed to give to both sides opportunitiesto enforce their demands by means of strife. I say that anything which tends to increase the opportunities for quarrel, anything which tends to make more potent and effective, the weapons which each side car* use in a quarrel, is not what we have come to expect, or hope for. And when American precedents are referred to - as they have been continually by both sides - surely we ought to remember that the American method all along, has been not to trust! te* the Courts, but to arm the combatants and leave them to fight it out for themselves. They have, apparently, never had. the same confidence in their judicial tribunals that we, following the example of the old country have had. Are we, for this reason, to depart from the wholesome course which makes for peace, and to adopt measures which would involve an appeal in moments of heat to that tribunal which is the last that could be expected to arrive at a just settlement. As one who has. long, hoped to see Australia continue to work in the direction of making peace more certain, I am very sorry to seeproposals made, which, in my judgment, will make for war between class and class. Surely, irrespective of the cause we may espouse. Ave should all join in the desire to render any quarrels that may occur between employers and workmen as innocuous as possible to the general public, and to those who are parties to them. It should be our object to enact such mea- sures as will make for peaceful settlement, rather than such as will inevitably bring about industrial warfare. Honorable members who have spoken in advocacy of these proposals have stated that they will enable the public to know what goods are being made under fair conditions relating to hours of work, sanitation, wages, and kindred matters. They have urged that the public wants, and even if it does not consciously want, should have, an opportunity to know under what conditions goods are made, in order that they may by their purchases assist to. increase the consumption of goods made under fair conditions, and to limit the consumption of those made under unfair and sweating conditions. I suppose that is an object with which we can all agree. We wish to see production in this community carried on in such a way that all concerned are fairly and decently treated. It is not proposed to certify by means of the union label that goods are made under fair conditions, but only that they are made by an association, corporate or unincorporate, that has registered a workers’ trade mark. More than that, the legal sin committed by a breach of the conditions sought to be imposed is not the making of the goods under unfair conditions, but the pretence that the goods are made by the members of a certain association when they have not been so made. It does not matter whether the association in question works under fair conditions or otherwise.
– There is nothing to prevent an association of sweaters from registering a workers’ trade mark.
– No; and the first thing that a sweater would do would be to register a workers’ trade mark. He could use what words and symbols he liked, and he would not be compelled to fully describe the facts. He might say that the goods were made by the X.Y.Z. union, and that would convey no information to the public, except in cases where they were already acquainted with the nature of such a union. The public may be made aware of the existence of a mechanics’ union, and, to a limited extent, of its object, which may be a perfectly legitimate one. The trade mark in such an instance may convey some indirect information, but that willnot be the most common case. What is the use of saying that individual workers will be treated on the same basis as great corporations or unions, because they will be able to register a workers’ trade mark? If John Brown, working under proper conditions, registers his individual trade mark, what knowledge of John Brown will that convey to the public of Australia? How can they get any information as to the conditions under which his goods are made? But in the case of one of these great unions, that mark would become a lever, not merely for industrial purposes, but for other purposes which I need not mention, because they are uppermost in the minds of all honorable members. In other words, these proposals will only tend to give information to the public in cases where the unions are widespread and powerful. In the case of small unions or individuals, the workers’ trade mark will be as useless as anything conceivably can be. Therefore, the proposal to put individuals, or small associations formed for the purposes of this Bill, upon the same basis as the great unions which have political aims is nothing but a pretence.
– Why call it “pretence”?
– It is a pretence to saythat the Government proposal will give the individual the same actual advantages - I admit that it will give him the same technical advantages - as it confers upon a large and powerful union. At first sight it may seem to be impartial in its application, but as a matter of fact it is not impartial in the way that it professes to be ; and, therefore, I think it is unwise to embody it in this measure. There is another point to which I desire briefly to refer. I pass away from what I have been saying, because I wish to bring my remarks to a conclusion as speedily as possible. I desire to emphasize a point which was made by the honorable member for Moira in his speech on Friday last. He pointed out that under this Bill unknown country workers, or even an association of countryworkers, engaged in exactly the same calling as those employed in the cities will be placed at a great disadvantage, inasmuch as their marks will convey no impression to the public mind, and therefore will be of no service.
– The honorable member for Moira made some fine points in his’ other speech.
– Even if that be so, second thoughts are best, as a wholesome proverb says, and I do not agree with the view that, in his speech on Friday last, the honorable member went back upon what lie had previously said.
– I think I shall have to repeat both speeches.
– I think that the only course open to the honorable member is to point out how harmonious are the two utterances in question. It is said that these union labels are to be affixed to goods for the purpose of showing that they have been made under fair conditions. Surely the inevitable inference which the public will draw from that is that goods without that mark have not been produced under fair conditions. But such an inference will be absolutely incorrect, because wherever industries are carried on under Wages Boards, or under awards of the Arbitration Court, they will be working under similar conditions, irrespective of whether the goods are produced by union or non-union labour. I quite admit that the Wages Board system does not extend as far as it should do. That, however, is not my fault. T always assisted to extend it whenever I had the opportunity.
– The honorable and learned member is amongst those who are opposed to Wages Boards.
– This is an instance of “ No case; abuse the plaintiff’s attorney.” I arn giving my reasons for opposing the Government proposal. My reasons may not be the same as those entertained by others who are adopting a similar course.
– The honorable and learned member is in favour of Wages Boards, but against their operation.
– Under the Government proposal, wherever non-unionists engaged in an industry are working under an award of the Arbitration Court, an implied falsehood will be told every time the union label is not attached to their goods. I ask, “ Are we to give legislative force to these grossly, unfair implications” ? There are plenty of factories in which employes are working, under conditions just as fair and righteous as those which obtain under Arbitration Court awards, or under the Wages Board system. Is it to be implied, with legislative indorsement, that these people are not working under fair conditions? The result of this legislation must inevitably be to force men - against their predilections - into unions for the sake of their bread and butter.
– Were not the same arguments used in opposition to the Factories Act?
– I do not recollect them being used.
- Mr. Derham used exactly the same arguments.
– They were wrongly applied then, but Chey are rightly applied now. These clauses - whatever their form may be- inevitably make a distinction between unionists and non-unionists. They will undoubtedly form a powerful lever to force men into unions against their will. It is against this indirect compulsion that I raise my voice.
– In favour of the pirate.
– The honorable member interjects that I am in favour of the pirate.
– He has made that statement sufficiently often to convince even himself that it1 is true.
– It is a fact that cannot be made too well known to the outside public.
– It is a pity that the statement is not accurate.” a
– Is the honorable and learned member willing to insert any provision in the Bill to punish a pirate ?
– I will answer the honorable member in as straight a manner as he has put the question to me. I am prepared to insert a provision to punish a pirate, but I will not consent to the insertion of anything which, while pretending to hit the pirate, hits the honest man, and which distinguishes between classes of workers.
– If the honorable and learned member will submit a proposal to punish the pirate, I will support it, and let the other thing go.
– If the honorable member is prepared to strike at1 the root of the evil of which he complains - although I am of opinion that the whole proposal is unconstitutional - if he will insert a provision which will have the effect of punishing those who put upon goods am mark indicating that they have been made under fair conditions of labour, when, as a matter of fact, they have not been so produced, without distinguishing between unionists and non-unionists, I will support him.
– That is nothing but art evasion. It is not a reply to my question as to whether or not a pirate should be punished.
– If effect were given to my suggestion, the pirate would be punished.
– The honorable and learned member would punish only one set of pirates.
– These proposals, the honorable member says, are directed against those who do not work under fair conditions.
– I do not say that alone; I say that they are directed against piracy.
– That is all that the honorable member has said up to the present time. All this talk about pirates - first creating an artificial and unfair right, and then declaring that we should punish those who interfere with that artificial right, calling them pirates - is absurd.
– The honorable and learned member is not prepared, as a lawyer, to say that the label cannot be used without any further right.
– I think that, under existing laws, these labels can be used ; and, if so, why insert a special provision for that purpose in this measure? I will tell the honorable member exactly what I am prepared to do. I am willing to make it an offence for persons to allow any mark to be placed upon their goods indicating that fair conditions of labour were observed in their production when, as a matter of fact, they were not.
– How can that be proved?
– How can we prove evasions of the Factories Act?
– Very simply.
– I do not mean to suggest that we should merely insert the words “fair conditions.” I mean to say that we should specifically provide that the goods should be made under proper conditions of labour as to hours and wages. It may be said that an evasion of the proposal made by myself would be more difficult to substantiate than an evasion of that submitted by the Attorney-General. I admit that. But my proposal possesses the advantage that it goes to the root of the matter, whereas those of the Attorney-General do not achieve the object which they are designed to accomplish. They do not guarantee the thing that they profess to guarantee. I am prepared to say that no person shall falsely apply to goods any mark indicating that they have been made under proper conditions when, as a matter of fact, they have not been so made.
– We have listened to the voice of the tempter before.
– The honorable member did not listen. If the honorable member and his associates had listened, the leader of the Labour Party, and not the AttorneyGeneral, would have been introducing this proposal to-day.
– Something more than listening is required. One needs to understand what one hears.
– The real question at issue is, “ Are people . to pretend that their goods are made under fair conditions of labour, when, as a’ matter of fact, they are not?” So far as any alternative proposals to those of the Government are concerned, I am not wedded to the verbiage of any of them. But if what I have stated is the real question at issue - and I venture to think that it is - let us insert a provision which will hit at that mischief, instead of hitting at something which is not necessarily connected with the subject at all. It is because the proposals of the Government, while professing to secure one result in an impartial manner, neither procure that result, nor do what is done in an impartial manner, that I feel it my duty to vote against the second reading of this clause. If the second reading be carried, however, I am prepared to assist in so amending the proposals of the Govern ment that they may strike at the real mischief, and may not be capable of being put to all sorts of unjustifiable purposes - boycotts included. It is our duty as legislators not to assist in the establishment of boycotts, but rather to render boycotts unnecessary. If we do that, or even if we do our best to achieve that end, we shall have accomplished a great work. But if, instead of that, we create new possibilities of warfare within the industrial arena, instead of securing any benefit, or imagined benefit, to the workers of Australia, we shall inflict upon them one of the greatest injuries of which a Parliament is capable.
Mr. HIGGINS (Northern Melbourne).I can assure the honorable and learned member for Corinella, who has just taunted the Ministerialists with their silence, that we have refrained from speaking chiefly because of a desire to avoid assisting obstructionists. But now that we see light in the distance, now that the end of the debate is in sight, we shall be glad to contribute to the discussion anything of which time will permit.
– Now that an arrangement has been made to close the debate within a given period, Ministerialists are going to consume all the time at our disposal.
– I am not surprised at the attitude of distrust with which these proposals have been received. In the first place, I do not think that a daily newspaper throughout Australia has been in their favour. I must, however, in this connexion^ recognise the wise and unexpected liberality shown yesterd’ay by the Argus, in allowing the leader of the Labour ‘Party to express his views through its columns.
– And then they replied in a leading article.
– They are at liberty to put forward their own views, and no one can blame them for doing so; the great drawback under which we labour is that we cannot succeed in having the true facts put before the public. We have also had the advantage of the clear and exhaustive exposition of these provisions which was given last Thursday by the AttorneyGeneral, who made a most searching examination of the position, as shown by the American cases. I trust that the honorable and learned gentleman’s address will be printed and distributed amongst such honorable members as may wish to obtain copies, because, if ever there was a time when it was necessary for us to supplement the information given by the daily newspapers and through other sources, it is the present.
– Let us have a daily Hansard.
– The essence of these clauses is that they make fraudulent representation punishable by a penalty - I mean the fraudulent representation that goods are made by a certain union or person when they are not so made.’ I hold that when the question is put in that simple form-, those who object to make men liable to a penalty for lying and deceiving, their customers, take upon themselves a verygreat responsibility. Several points have been made absolutely clear, but, unfortunately, they have not been fairly published in the press. The first of these is that any employer who uses union labour, may use union labels without asking leave. That is not the case in the United States, and, I think, that it is one of the advantages of the proposal now before us.
– Then, notwithstanding the alteration of verbiage, these clauses still provide for a union label?
– I am going to the kernel of the issue. I do not by any means adopt the position of those who say that it is hypocritical to speak of these as workers’ labels. Such a contention is absolutely wrong. I recognise that these labels will be used for the most part by the unions, but, at the same time, the fact that the boon, such as it is, will not be confined to unions, brings prominently into relief the point that no advantage will be given to unions which is not to be given to every one else who asks for it.
– Does it require a label to indicate that any commodity is made by a worker? Is not every commodity made by a workman ?
– But the whole question is “which worker?”
– Hear, hear. Is the labour unionist or non-unionist?
– I propose in this connexion to put before the Committee a quotation made by the honorable and learned member for Angas showing that President Roosevelt likes to know which organization has made the goods he uses. After describing the awful way in which cigars are made in the United States, the honorable and learned member for Angas pointed out that President Roosevelt said -
I have visited these pest holes personally, and can assure you if smokers only saw how these cigars are made, we should not need any legislative action against this system.
The position is that Ave desire at least that the public shall know what union, organization, or person is the maker of the goods. We cannot blink the fact that the great mass of the public recognise that unions have been the great safeguard’s to the health and the morals of the community - that such humane legislation as has been enacted during the last 100 years has been clue to them - and I hold that it will be due to the unions, to their vigilance, their efficiency, and their moderation, if we make any improvement hereafter. My second point is that no employer need use’ the label unless he likes ; whilst my third is that no one will be able to put the label on goods unless with the consent of the employer concerned.
– Then how can a worker own a worker’s label since he cannot use it?
– I shall refer the honorable member to his legal advisers. The fourth point is that we have precedents for these proposals in legisation passed by the Legislatures of nearly all the American States, and that not one of those Legislatures has repealed such laws.
– Much more drastic legislation has been passed by the Legislatures of some of the States of America.
– And more than that, it has been held repeatedly that the union label statutes of those States are constitutional.
– They have “ Tammany “ and many other things in the United States that we do not wish to see here.
– I could wish that some things here were in the States. What has been established is that anything in the way of boycotting, coercion, intimidation, and so forth which is now illegal, will continue to be illegal under this Bill. Under clause 75 the Bill is not to make legal anything that is at present illegal, so that offences under the present law will continue to be offences. There is a stage at which boycotting, coercion, and intimidation become crimes. That stage will remain ; these clauses will not affect it.
– Has the honorable and learned member known boycotting to exist in defiance of the law?
– Certainly. For instance, I have known employers to circulate black-lists containing the names of men who, in consequence of that boycotting, have been refused a billet when they have applied for one.
– Both sides resort to that practice.
– Boycotting takes place on both sides, and in defiance of the law ; but the point is that the Bill will not help a boycotter in the slightest degree. My sixth point is that there is nothing novel in the proprietor of the label, whether he be manufacturer or distributor, not being the proprietor of the goods. That has been shown by the Attorney-General’s reference to section 62 of the Trade Marks Act passed last August by the British Parliament, and which only repeats in substance what appears in earlier Acts. There we have hall marks treated as trade marks in a Trade Marks Act, and in each case the goods to which they are applied do not belong to the proprietor of the mark. I refer to those provisions merely as showing the principle; there is nothing whatever exceptional in keeping quite separate the proprietorship of the good’s and the proprietorship of the mark. Our opponents scarcely recognise what a compliment they are paying, by their arguments, to the unions. Although in Australia only one worker in ten - the proportion, perhaps, is less - is a unionist, our opponents think that the public will rush for the goods made by unionists as against those made by nonunionists. On the one hand, the extreme popularity which unions have achieved among the working classes is shown by the fact that they regard them as their champions and their warriors. I know of many men who long to belong to a union, but are not allowed, and dare not join one. At the same time they look to the unions to fight their battles for them. Looking back at the History of unionism in Australia, I feel that it is most fortunate that the unionists have taken up the labour movement. The labour movement has been kept on a safe and sound course by the fact of its having been taken up by these organized bodies. As bearing on the question of unionism, I have extracted a short passage from Industrial Democracy, by Sidney and Beatrice Webb. At page 817 they point out that -
The organized trades are vitally concerned in the abolition of “ sweating “ in all occupations whatsoever, whether these compete with them for custom by manufacturing for the same demand, or for the means of production by diverting the organizing capacity and capital of the nation. And this self-interest of the better-paid trades coincides, as we have seen, with the welfare of the community, dependent as this is on securing the utmost development of health, intelligence, and character in the weaker as well as in the stronger sections.
There are no persons who have given such a thorough-going study to trades unions, and to the conditions of trade unionists, as have these writers, who were here a few years ago. They have there put it most truly that the self-interest of the betterpaid trades - that is the trades in union - coincides with the welfare of the community, and that it is to their interest to see that there is no sweating. The greatest drawback that the unions have is the great number of sweating trades around them upon which unjust employers draw in a crisis. The whole of this framework depends, happily, upon public opinion. If the unions are unreasonable or slovenly in their work, or if they impose bad conditions, the name of the label will become loathsome, and the public will not buy goods so marked. The union, label will help largely to keep the unions in check. It will tend to keep them moderate, because they will know thoroughy well that if the name of a union gets to be unpopular the public will not buy their goods so largely as they otherwise would do. It is a great advantage that those who wish to bring ethical considerations into their buying, as well as the getting of a good bargain, will be able to know - of course only x roughly - that the goods have been made under fair conditions. I recollect that years ago a number of persons never bought cotton goods. Why ? Simply because they knew that cotton goods were made with slave labour. There they had a way of knowing whether the goods were slave-made or not. They could buy linen or cotton, but they always bought linen. In the same way, I do not see why we should not allow persons who wish to buy union or non-union goods to know whether goods have been made by unionists or by non-unionists. Those who wish to buy clean and wholesome goods made by clean and wholesome persons under clean and wholesome conditions ought to be allowed to do so. We desire to increase the liberty of the people. In the North American Review for 1897, volume 165, there are two articles, one being for the label and the other against it. The former article is by Miss Kelly, who says that the trade unions never urge the union label amongst ‘the employers; but they urge the purchasers to ask for labelled goods, and she adds that when the ethical sense of the community is so highly developed1 that no one will wear a garment for which just wages have not been paid, the sweating shop will disappear. Her view may be wrong, it may be exaggerated. But at the same time I do not see why she should not be able to buy as she wishes. I recollect going into the Chinese quarters in Melbourne many years ago. I went into a room measuring 14 feet by 10 feet, in which about six Chinese hawkers were housed.
– The honorable member got some cheap furniture then?
– I saw some vegetables, not furniture. The vegetables were stowed away In the room in which the hawkers slept. They were smoking inshi - the dregs of opium - and living in a most filthy state. ‘ I decided never to try Chinese hawkers’ vegetables. But there are no means by which I can be sure that a hawker is a clean man. At an election a few years ago I was asked whether a book which I had published had not been printed at a “ scab “ shop. I nearly lost a very heavy vote, because the book had been printed at a “ scab “ shop. I was not aware of the fact, and if there were any means by which I could ascertain whether a shop was “ scab “ or union I should be very glad of it. The honorable member for Angas has done good service to the argument for this clause in giving some quotations from Miss Helen Campbell’s Californian experiences. She says, referring to a tenement in which a cigar-making industry was carried on -
Two of the children sat on the floor stripping leaves, and another on a small stool. A girl of twenty sat near them, and all alike had sores on lips and cheeks and on the hands. Children from five or six years up can be taught to strip, and thus add to the week’s income.
– How long ago was that ?
– In 1888, I understand.
– In Adelaide, a girl can be seen in an Afghan’s bedroom making clothes.
– In Melbourne there are girls working for Afghans.
– I think that honorable members on both sides will agree that some legislation is necessary in order to put an end to these conditions in Australia. It is exceedingly doubtful whether it can be done or not, but we certainly have done some good, and will, I dare say, do more good. I do not think that honorable members wish to have cheapness of goods unless it be the result of less waste of human life.
– Is the union label in force in California?
– This criticism was made before the use of the union label was legalized. About 1879, the unions began to use the union label, but its use was not legalized until a fong time afterwards. There is no use in the union label unless the users can be prosecuted for fraud. With regard to the objections to this proposal. I have looked very carefully into the argument that the use of the union label will lead to boycotting. What is boycotting,?
– Does the honorable member know that there are cigar-makers working here under very bad conditions ?
– I do not. I wish honorable members to bear in mind that there is boycotting and boycotting. Some boycotting may be described as perfectly justified ; other boycotting may be described as not justified. If a drummer tries to get a shopman to buy his wares, then so far as the shopman complies with his request he buys less of other men’s wares. The teetotaller does his best to ruin the hotelkeepers. Not only does he boycott the hotels, but he tries to prevent other persons from going to the hotelkeepers.
– That is too fine.
– It is not very fine to the hotelkeeper. I remember that in America, a few years ago, a great number of ladies sang hymns outside the saloons, and did their best to frighten poor men from entering them and having a drink. Some persons justify the teetotallers’ endeavours to stop the drinking habit, because it injures society. It is because the drink injures society that the hotelkeeper is boycotted. Why not boycott the sweater, because his doings injure society, too?
– This Bill will not boycott the sweater.
– In America, there are great difficulties in deciding how far things are lawful in this respect. In the building trade in Philadelphia, there was a strike by the men, who wanted to get eight hours without a reduction in wages. Some of the builders gave in, and one man used to supply these builders with materials. The other builders stopped the lumber man from supplying materials, and he applied for an injunction against them; but the Court held that that boycotting was perfectly lawful, that the builders were perfectly justified in preventing the lumber from being sold to the man who was trying to carry out the trade in his own way. On the other hand, there was the case of an agreement between a brewery company and a union, under which the brewery company said that it’ would not’ keep any man in its employment beyond a certain time, unless he became a member of a union A certain man got into the employment of the company, but would not join the union. He was thereupon turned out by the brewery company. That was called a boycott, and was punished. Yet, I can see no difference in principle between that and the previous case I mentioned. The same difficulty appears in other instances. If one steam-ship- company endeavours to undercut its rivals, that is allowed ; but if, upon the other hand, a miner is driven out of a coal-mine, because he is not a unionist, that is forbidden. The law with’ regard to this point at present is most unsatisfactory. But, at the same time, boycotting, so far as it is lawful and proper, always is an effort on the part of society to get1 rid of an unsocial person. It is simply an attempt on the part of society to assert itself, and to maintain those social relations which are necessary for its existence. In order, however, to reassure honorable members, I may say that so far as boycotting is lawful, it will still be lawful, notwithstanding these clauses ; and, so far as boycotting is unlawful, it will still be unlawful, notwithstanding these clauses. Of course, I apprehend that it will always be legitimate for a unionist to try to induce his friends and acquaintances to buy union goods. I recollect that there was a very famous match factory in England - I think it was Bryant and May’s - which for some time had very little custom. Its managers hired a number of men to go round the shops in London, and ask for Bryant and May’s matches. The grocers had not such goods ; they had never heard of them. But the men went round again and again until at last the shopkeepers began to ask, “ What are Bryant and May’s matches ? A number of people are asking for them, and we must buy them.” Accordingly, they bought Bryant and May’s matches, and the firm thenceforth did a roaring business. I apprehend that there was in that case an attempt on the part of the firm, by lawful means, to push its trade; and I suppose that similarly, so long as unionists attempt to induce their friends to buy none but union goods, there can be no legal objection to that course. But the point comes at which they may try to exercise coercion or intimidation.; a.nd there it is that the law will step in. For if there is one thing which the law must do, at all costs and all hazards, it is that it must maintain order; if! must prevent people from using anything in the way of physical force or intimidation upon others. May I say, also, that there is one consideration that ought to have made the honorable and learned member for Corinella to hesitate in regard to his attitude upon these clauses? I recollect that in the Victorian Legislative Assembly he assisted to pass our present Factories and Shops Act. There is nothing which annoys me more, personally - and I am glad that he is present while I am saying it - than to find him working on the same side as those who, with the same breath, curse both factories legislation and the union label. I recollect the honorable member describing himself at the time to which I refer as a collectivism whatever” he may have meant by that. But I do know that many of his best friends regret very much that he should be found to-day - perhaps owing to circumstances - upon the side of those who are condemning factory legislation, Conciliation and Arbitration Acts, and similar measures. I have read with a good deal of care the remarks of the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures, which seem to be the most connected statement of the views of the opponents of these clauses that I have been able to find. I have a habit - it may be a bad habit - of liking to know what is to be said on the other side before- finally making up my mind. But I must say that a weaker and more untrustworthy statement it never has been my lot to see than in these few pages. I say this, especially with regard to the American cases that have been referred to. They are cited in this document as if they had storrie ;Bearing on the union label, whereas they have no bearing on it whatever. In some parts of the statement the writers of it do not choose to look at the more recent amendments put forward by the Attorney-General. They have assumed everything that has been said by newspapers and bv interested people in reviews and journals in America, but they would not go into a critical examination of the Bill as it stands. For instance, they say -
The principles underlying the union label have been condemned by the highest legal authorities, and, when put into operation, are unlawful and actionable, at the instance of the parties injured thereby.
I never understood how “ principles “ could be unlawful and’ actionable ; but that may be a mere verbal difficulty. I can only say that the union label .never has been found unlawful or actionable in America. It has been held repeatedly in the American States Courts that the union label Acts of the different States are perfectly valid ; and the only thing that has been held apparently to the contrary is that, apart from the union label Acts, the union label itself is noc a common law trade mark.
– It has also been held, whenever it has been raised, that the union label Acts are not “ special “ legislation.
– That is so. Here is an instance, too, of the sneering ignorance of the writers of this document from the Chamber of Manufactures. It says -
It is worthy of note that in none of these cases in the United States, all of which went against the unions, has an appeal been made to the Supreme Court of the United States. The unions appear to shrink from having the law stated by a tribunal whose decision would prevail in every State in the great American Republic.
Would you believe it, sir, that the writers of this document do not know that the Supreme Court of the United States cannot declare upon the constitutionality of a State law at all ? It has no right to declare upon the validity of a State law. Fortunately, our High Court has that right. If any one takes the trouble .to go through this document, they will find - I have looked up the references made in it - that time after time the cases referred to have nothing at all to do with the union label.
– The same remark applies to the cases quoted in the newspapers here.
– -Yes ; the same thing may be said as to them. For instance, here is a reference to a case in Canada, which is put forward as conclusive against the label. It is a case in which Mr. Fullerton gave a certain opinion, which was afterwards approved by the Supreme Court of Ontario. In that case, all that Mr. Fullerton said was that a certain by-law of a municipality was beyond its powers. It had passed a by-law which said that the municipal authorities would only accept union-made goods - clothes and so forth.. All that Mr. Fullerton said was that it was beyond the powers of the men who sat round the council board to-day to bind their successors tomorrow. I do not wish to weary the Committee, but if I went through tlie whole of the cases cited in the document before me, I could show that many of them are akin to this. There are some cases mentioned in the critiques in America, the references to which are, I think, perfectly justified. Mr. Hoyt has said, in his article in volume 165 of the North American Review, thaI there is no provision for enlarging the unions. He has hit upon a real defect, but a defect which we cannot deal with by means of a Trade Marks Bill. I firmly believe that if we are to give the unions any privileges, they ought to be open, unions. They ought to be unions which allow their doors to be thrown open to any qualified workman who may desire to come in. But that, I repeat, is not a matter for a Trade Marks Bill. The next statement is that the unions shall prescribe the rates of wages. Well, that cannot be the effect of the union label in this country. The rates of wages in very many cases - at least it is so in Victoria - will be prescribed by Wages Boards; in other States under Arbitration Acts. Some honorable members seem to think that the fact of the States having Factories Acts and Arbitration Acts is a reason why we should not have union labels. I venture to think that it is an additional reason for having the union label, because industrial legislation, such as that referred to, involves more persons working under reasonable conditions. An employer is in a great difficulty when he does riot know that his rivals are conducting their business under the same terms as himself. But the more you have Factories Acts and Arbitration Acts, the more the employer sees that the same whip will be over the backs of his rivals, as is over his back. I confess that I think that the union label is a mere complement to our Factories Acts and Arbitration Acts. Mr. Hoyt winds up by saying that he has no objection to the union label if it can be treated as a guarantee of satisfactory conditions. We, however, know by experience that trade unions are the best guarantee that we can have - the best practical guarantee - of satisfactory conditions. I quite admit that, logically, honorable members may say that there is no reason why there should not be a sweaters’ union. But I should like to see people starting a sweaters’ union. I should like to see how it was worked!. I should like to see it register a label. I should like to know the men behind it.
– This legislation gives no guarantee of quality.
– Then the honorable member does not know the conditions of unionism. He ought to learn more on this subject from experience than from reading. If he only had more experience, he would know that the unions have right through - in Australia, at all events - been the best guarantee the public have had of labour conditions being good ; though I admit that it is only an imperfect guarantee. As to the constitutionality of the clauses, I shall follow the good example of the AttorneyGeneral, and the honorable and learned member for Angas, and say that I think the Government have taken the correct position; - we ought not to decide this matter against ourselves. It is a matter upon which- no one can pronounce with certainty. The strong inclination of my own mind is towards thinking that we have power under the Federal Constitution to declare a union, label to be a trade mark. We ‘have a perfect right to make laws for the “ peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth,” with regard to trade marks ; and, in doing that, we can define what a trade mark is. If we define what a trade mark is, we can make it include more things, or fewer things, as we please. If we take such a thing as a fancy name or fancy word, which some laws treat as a trade mark and some do not, is it to be said that we cannot say that we will treat that fancy name or a fancy word as a trade mark? I say that if the Legislature can define it can enlarge, and if it can limit itcan also enlarge. I would not presume to deny that the learned counsel, Mr. Cussen. who gave an opinion on this matter, had very substantial grounds for his opinion. He has expressed himself as in difficulty in connexion with the matter, but the Committee should bear in mind1 that Mr. Cussen’s opinion, so far as I have seen it, related to the trade union mark as first put before another place. A good deal> of his critique does not apply to the trade union mark, as now placed before this Committee. I feel that it can be decided upon a very simple test case. All that requires to be done is that an employer who does not employ union labour should use a union label, and then be prosecuted1. It could then be arranged to have one proceeding before the High Court, and the thing would be done.
– That would be a fraud.
– Yes; but it might be by arrangement.
– That would not alter its character.
– It would be a good test whether this will not be a Bill to prevent fraud.
– Frauds are generally by arrangement, are they not?
– At all events it would not be difficult for the very virtuous gentlemen whom the honorable member for North Sydney had in his mind to have a case stated by agreement and tried, without any fraud being committed. The more I have thought over this matter the more I feel that better than all the complicated Factories Acts and Arbitration Acts of these States will be the growing feeling amongst employers and employes that the public look not only for good bargains, but for good conditions for the workers, and will insist upon having something to show that the goods which they purchase, have been produced under satisfactory conditions.
– I do not wish to give a silent vote on this question, but I shall not occupy very much of the time of the Committee. I think we all realize that it is about time we brought the discussion of this question to an end. We are all getting tired of the union label, but not nearly so tired, perhaps, as we shall be twelve months hence. I wish to have the matter settled as early as possible, and [ hope that the speakers who follow me will not occupy so much time as did the honorable and learned member who preceded me. > The honorable and learned gentleman has said that he always likes to hear both sides of the question. I also am very pleased to hear the arguments for and against any proposal with which we are called upon to deal. In this way, in common with others, I am better enabled to arrive at correct conclusions. On Friday afternoon I listened with very great interest to the able and moderate speech of the honorable member for Bland. It was a much more moderate speech than many I have heard1 the honorable gentleman make in this House. I am afraid, however, that able as the speech wad, and strong as the arguments advanced by the honorable gentleman were, he was unable to convert or to make any very great impression upon any honorable member on th-“s side.
– Did the honorable member expect him to do so?
– I cannot say that [ did. We on this side have a greater interest in the welfare of the workers generally than to take up the attitude assumed by honorable members opposite. With the exception of the- Attorney-General, no honorable member on the other side has risen to defend the trade union label, and were it not that it is in accordance with parliamentary usage for the Minister in charge of a Bill to make a speech explaining it, I believe the honorable and learned gentleman would have been very glad to be able to throw this measure on the table and say, “ There it is. Pass it, and be done with it.” We have heard no speech from other honorable members opposite in defence of the trade union label. They have confined themselves to interjections, which have certainly been very numerous indeed. They have not, however, been able to prevent what I consider very fair criticism of these provisions from honorable members on this side. The honorable member for Bland, on Friday afternoon, stated that something like four weeks of ordinary sitting days had been spent in the discussion of this Trade Marks Bill. I dp not believe the honorable member was quite correct in that statement. I understand that the discussion of a similar question occupied five months in Canada, and its discussion has certainly not occupied anything like four weeks of ordinary sitting days here. A very great deal of the time was taken up in discussing the trade union label, and what arose from its introduction, when we were deliberating upon the closure standing orders. That is the way in which our time has been taken up, and, I think, wasted to a very large extent.
– At the instance of the Government, under pressure by the Labour Party
– I think that the members of the Government are very much to blame for the waste of time that has taken place. It is true that they may have said as little as they possibly could, but at the same time I think they have lacked discretion, and have exhibited bad management. Some of them are new to office, but I think they should all have known better. I am not opposed to a legitimate Trade Marks Bill, such as this measure was when first introduced in another place last year. But when it is proposed to tack on to it provisions for a trade union label, a thin”; utterly foreign to such a Bill, I feel that I am quite justified in assisting mv colleagues on this side to prevent the passing of the measure if that be possible.
– Would not the honorable member give a trade union the same protection as any other manufacturer?
– I certainly would, and I should go a little further than the honorable member for Maranoa in protecting the workers. I am prepared to give them practical protection, and not merely to stand up here and on platforms outside to talk of what I intend to do. I am afraid that honorable members opposite do not desire to see peace and contentment between employers and workers, as, if such a state of affairs were brought about, the occupation of half of our members would be gone. I am sure we should miss them very much. The trade union label has never been asked for by any one but labour members and trade unionists. The electors have never had an opportunity to say whether they want it, and I desire that they should be given a say in the matter. I would suggest to the Government that they should dissolve Parliament, and put this question before the country.
– What a horrible suggestion !
– I am aware that honorable members opposite do not desire to go before the country. I notice that one of the members of the Government, in speaking the other day at Wagga, said that he was not quite prepared to go out of office just then. That we can all believe.
– Is the honorable member referring to the Vice-President of the Executive Council?
– No - to a bigger man. I consider that anything in the form of a trade union label will be most injurious to the interests of working people generally. It will be found injurious to the trade, commerce, and manufacturing industries of the whole of the Commonwealth, and, holding that view, I intend to oppose the passing of these provisions into law as much as I possibly can. I realize that the Government, with their friends in the corner, have the numbers, but I think I am justified in saying that some members of the Government, and some of their supporters also, would very gladly vote with the Opposition against this proposal. The object with which these provisions have been introduced is simply to secure such a preference for unionists as was proposed in the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill. The great object is to force nonunionists to join the unionists, so as to form a great and powerful political machine with which to control the elections. Let me inform honorable members of what a labour member of the Queensland Parliament said only a week ago at Bundaberg. I quote the following statement : -
Mr. Bowman delivered a great and rallying address, urging the workers to organize, and be the real masters of the political situation.
– So they should be.
– The honorable gentleman admits that that is the real object ?
– Who else but the workers should be the masters; not the loafers, surely ?
– I hope that honorable members opposite will not misunderstand me. I recognise that they are just as honest in the expression of their opinions as I am in the expression of mine.
– Why these class distinctions ?
– There are labour class distinctions, and honorable members desire to set up an aristocracy of labour.
– Does not the honorable member wish that he belonged to it?
– If the honorable member for Maranoa had been here as long as I have been he would know thatI have done my share of practical labour, and without talking very much about it. Mr. Bowman continued -
Some of those elected on the Labour platform now wanted to think and act for themselves, over the heads of the organizations which returned them ; but the Labour members must be made to recognise that they were not their own agents, but the agents of the organizations. If they sought to flout their pledges, they should be promptly punished. He would willingly do his best to drive out of political existence such representatives as betrayed their trust.
That is what we have to expect from the organizations outside Parliament. They are the masters of the situation, and those whom they return to this Chamber are their delegates. I hope that the time will never come when we shall have no representatives of labour-
– What proportion would the honorable member allow ?
– I would allow a fair representation of labour. If the legalization of the union label is a matter of so much importance to the trade unions and the workers generally, why do not honorable members provide for it in a separate Bill, so that the subject may be discussed on its merits instead of being dealt with in what I can term only an underhand way, by being tacked on to another measure ?
– Would the honorable member support the proposal if it were provided for in a separate Bill ?
– That depends. I certainly cannot support it under present circumstances. I regard the action of the Government, and of the Labour Party, in tacking on those provisions to the Trade Marks Bill as an indication of weakness. A good deal has been said about the experience of America in regard to the trade union label, and therefore I should like to place before the Committee a few examples of what has occurred there -
In San Francisco, after the 1901 strike, “ burials of the dead were actually impossible, because of the demands of the union gravediggers. The people who patronize the restaurants narrowly escaped going altogether hungry because of the demand of union cooks and waiters. And every time it is the public on whom the expense and inconvenience has really fallen.” “ One restaurant-keeper, Mr. M. Johnson, has fought the organization since 1901, the other restaurant-keepers giving up the struggle in December, 1903. The boycott of his restaurant has been unruly, and at times insulting. Threats have been used, and even proper police protection only obtained after an appeal to public opinion.” “ San Francisco is a city where labour, even to the boys who sell gum in the streets, is closely organized and directed by keen business men ; the mayor is elected by the Union LaBour party ; a paid union labour lobby is maintained in the State Legislature ; the force of the militia has been effectively reduced at the request of union labour ; union labour by the strike and the boycott has monopolized the labour market of the city; and the employer who can face all this opposition is a brave and resourceful man.” “ The demand for union label goods is consequently very great, and the lot of the non-union labourer is hard. He is told to ‘ join or get off the earth.’ “ *’ The label is the recognised engine of boycott. Members dealing with a merchant who does not use the label are heavily fined. Public attention is called to the boycott by a sandwich man placed in front of the tabooed shop, and often assisted by a curbstone orator.” “ The union label in many of the States is traded upon unfairly by candidates immediately preceding an election. The label upon a candidate’s card is represented as a passport to the good graces of the working classes. This is a species of intimidation.” “ In States where the judiciary is elective there are instances of union label litigation that has been influenced by covert threats of the power of the unions. A judge known as an upright and able jurist, a candidate for re-election or for higher political honours, has been known to fall, tinder this influence, into the pettifogging attitude of catering to union influence by unfair and, morally, unlawful practices.”
In Chicago the union label system is carried to an extreme. Members of the unions are commanded to buy only union goods under pain of heavy penalties. The walking delegates are constantly on the watch, and may at any time inspect the clothing worn by members, who must even take their boots off so that it may be seen if the latter are stamped with the label. Their wives and children must also obey the edict. Bargain shops may not be patronized unless the walking delegate is satisfied that everything sold comes from unionized factories. The penalty foi a first offence is 5 dol., second 20 dol., and for a third 50 dol., and expulsion from the union for a fourth offence, and the consequent loss of employment, many employers being terrorized into employing union men only.
There is a retail clerks’ union throughout the United States, the members of which are bound to present and recommend to purchasers goods bearing the union label, while they hold back as far as possible competitive goods not bearing it. They have great influence in support of the label. An unconscious employer, finding that certain goods sell better than others of the same class, naturally orders them in preference.
– From what has the honorable member been quoting?
– I have been reading a statement of an American newspaper, republished in the Argus of 28th November.
– It has been read two or three times already, and contains am unfair misrepresentation of the position.
– I feel that if we agree to the proposals of the Government, Australia’s experience will be similar to that of America. As honorable member’s pre aware, petitions against the recognition of the union label by Parliament have been presented from various parts of the Commonwealth. My impression is that such petitions have practically no influence on honorable members. Still, I feel it to be my duty to place before the Committee some telegrams conveying resolutions passed by various public bodies against the recognition ,by law of this label. They are from Brisbane, and are as follow: -
Meeting held this morning. All brewing companies represented. Request you kindly protest strongly against Trade Marks Bill now before Parliament in relation to union label clause. - G. W. Gray, Chairman, Brewers’ Meeting.
Brisbane Merchants’ Association passed strong resolutions protesting against union trade mark being made law. Ask your assistance to prevent same in interests general public. - Thurlow, President.
Please enter strongest protest on behalf this Chamber against registration trade union marks. - Brisbane Chamber Manufactures.
Queensland Employers’ Federation strongly protests against passing union label clauses in Trade Marks Bill now before Federal Legislature. Solicit your support their views. - Frederick Ranson.
Then, on the 16th August last, the Brisbane Chamber of Commerce adopted the following resolution : -
This Chamber is of opinion that the clauses in the Trade Marks Bill dealing with the trade union marks are calculated to promote a system of boycotting, whereby those engaged in trade and commerce would be subjected to coercion and intimidation in the carrying on of their businesses.
That the use of the union label has led to tyrannous interference with the liberty of the subject in other countries, and if introduced into Australia will be followed by similar results. The effect upon the industries of the Commonwealth, which are already suffering from restrictive legislation, will be most disastrous to all concerned, and as a consequence the investment of capital will be still further curtailed.
That such legislation cannot fail to bring about an improper and unjustifiable invasion of the rights of the individual, whether hu be an employer or an employe^, and is contrary to the spirit of the Constitution.
The following is a copy of a resolution passed by the Brisbane Chamber of Manufactures on Tuesday, 26th September: -
This Chamber desires to again protest against Part VII. of the Trade Marks Bill, and also against the amendments to be proposed by the Attorney-General dealing with the Union Label, Individual Workers Label, and Commonwealth Label.
Such legislation which exists in the United States has been used to tyrannize and interfere with the liberty of the subject in the interest of a class only, and there is no reason to doubt that similar results will follow if introduced in the Commonwealth.
Those who are conversant wilh trade and commerce cannot fail to see the disastrous effect of such legislation as between employer and employe.
That it cannot fail to create a system of boycotting whereby those engaged in trade would tie subject to coercion and intimidation, and the investment of capital, which is now suffering from restrictive legislation, will be still further curtailed.
– Does not that organization include the gang of sweaters who were fined’ for working the life-blood out of the girls employed at Woolongabba?
– I admit that the honorable member knows more than I do about working the life-blood out of people. The following telegram has been forwarded to me by the secretary of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce: -
Townsville Chamber Commerce supports the resolution of Queensland Employers Federation wired from Brisbane re Union Label.
I feel quite certain that the union label provisions will be passed, but I trust that the Committee will be reasonable, and accept two or three amendments. I make my appeal in the interests of the great body of workers, and of their wives and children.
– Those are the persons for whom we are fighting. We want to secure good conditions for the slave wage-earners.
– I protest against the time of the House being wasted, as it has been, in discussing these miserable proposals, when we have on the business-paper measures of far more importance, not only to Queensland, but to the whole of the Commonwealth. The Prime Minister told us some little time ago that he expected us to pass the Electoral Bill, the Sugar Bounty Bill, the Excise (Sugar) Tariff Bill, the Immigration Restriction Amendment Bill, and other measures before the session was brought to a close at Christmas. I do not think that it will be possible to carry out that programme.
– Surely we shall pass the Sugar Bounty Bill.
– I hope so. The delay that has taken place in regard to that measure has inflicted great injury upon the sugar industry in Queensland. I do not think there is anything to justify the provisions now before us. The use of union labels would1 be legitimate, if the unionists owned the goods to which the labels were affixed. Where the unions have no ownership in the goods, it savours of tyranny on their part to attach a label with the object of bringing pressure to bear upon manufacturers and retailers to give them an undue preference. The ordinary trade mark carries no compulsion with it, and threatens no one, whereas the union label is absolutely worthless, except as an instrument of coercion. It would be well for the Government to drop the union label proposals, and permit honorable members to devote their attention to legislation designed in the best interests of the Commonwealth.
– Like the honorable member for Oxley, I also desire to enter my protest against the waste of time that has occurred in connexion with this unfortunate proposal. If I had desired to waste time as the honorable member has done, by quoting a lot of stuff that has no bearing upon the question before the Chair, I might have presented volumes of evidence as to the enormity of the evil which has been wrought bv greedy employers and capitalists at the expense of hundreds and thousands of workers.
– We know that people have been done to death by employers.
– They are being killed to-day. The speech of “the honorable member for Oxley was only .a sample of the utterances to which we have had to listen for days past. Some honorable members have been puzzled to know whence the newspapers have derived the extraordinary matter which they have been “dishing” up for the delectation of honorable members opposite during the last few days. Either they have relied upon their own imaginations, or have derived their information from class journals published in other countries, and have manipulated it in such a way as to make it appear that all sorts of dangers attach to the adoption of the proposals now before us. Their misrepresentations have been so persistent that a number of people have been induced to regard the innocent, just, and fair proposals which it is sought to embody in the Bill as calculated to work havoc to our industries. I was told that an honorable senator recently visited a country town in Victoria, and addressed a meeting of farmers upon some matter entirely dissociated with the subject now under discussion. When the business for which the meeting was called was concluded, a member of the Farmers’, Producers’, and Property Owners’ Association - more particularly property owners - brought before the meeting a resolution which had been passed by the Employers’ Federation, and asked that it should be adopted without discussion. One gentleman asked whether those present understood what was involved in the adoption of the union label provisions, and suggested that they should not pass the resolution until they had at least discussed it. His appeal was successful, and I am quite sure that if one similarly fair-minded man had been present at any of the other meetings at which resolutions condemning the union label were passed without due consideration, such a large number of ridiculous telegrams as have appeared in the Melbourne Argus would not have been published.
– Were all the people who attended the meetings referred to unfairminded men?
– I consider that any meeting which condemns a proposal without discussing it is an unfair one, and most1 of the resolutions passed in condemnation of the union label proposals have been unfair for that very reason.
– We were asked to pass these proposals without discussion.
– That is not correct. For the last two or three weeks members on this side of the chamber have been compelled to observe a patriotic silence.
– Why have honorable members suddenly found their tongues - is it because an agreement has been arrived at to bring the debate to a close to-night? If so, the agreement will soon be “off.”
– We have been compelled to preserve a patriotic silence on account of the extraordinary loquacity of honorable members of the Opposition, who have talked day after day, and night after night, not for the purpose of enlightening any one with regard to these proposals, but with the object - which they have had steadily before them from the beginning of the session - of discrediting the Government. The public are beginning to see through the manoeuvres of the Opposition, and are asking why so much time should be wickedly wasted over a simple proposal of this kind. With the exception of the honorable member for Bland, no member of the Labour Party has addressedhimself to the clause now before us. Why are we now finding our tongues? I tell the honorable member honestly - speaking for myself - that it is because honorable members opposite - yielding to some saner influence than has swayed them for some time - have agreed to bring the debate to a conclusion this evening, and because this affords the only opportunity that we shall have of saying a word in our defence.
– The honorable member knows better than that.
– The present is the only opportunity we have had of talking without assisting the Opposition, and we have not been so foolish as to talk against time to help them to kill the Bill.
– And now the deputy leader of the Opposition wishes to break the agreement.
– If the whole of the time for which we bargained is to be consumed by honorable members opposite, we had better break it at once.
– Does the honorable member mean to say that he made that agreementwith the Government on the understanding that only members of the Opposition should talk?
– No; but we had a right to assume that the ordinary conditions then prevailing would continue.
– They were extraordinary conditions. So far this afternoon the Chairman has called upon a mem- ber of the Opposition and a Ministerial supporter alternately.
– That is something out of the ordinary. The honorable member would not have been allowed to speak at all, but for the agreement at which we arrived.
– The deputy leader of the Opposition knows that he is talking utter rubbish. I have asked nobody to allow me to speak, and I shall speak as long as I choose, and without consulting anybody.
– I hope that later on the honorable member will not prevent us from speaking.
– I shall not do that. I wish to thank honorable members opposite for the splendid advertisement they have given the workers’ trade mark. When this Bill becomes law - as it undoubtedly will - the public will know more about that mark than they have ever done before. Apart from the waste of time and its cost to the country this long debate has given the workers’ trade mark a splendid advertisement - one which is worth many hundreds of pounds.
– Does the honorable member think that the adoption of the union label will result in any good?
– A few months ago the honorable and learned member was sitting behind the Reid-McLean Government. Whilst he was supporting (hat Administration this proposal was inserted in the Trade Marks Bill.
– In another place. A proposal - if anything more drastic - was inserted in the Bill without a word of protest from any supporter of that Government, and I venture to say that if the honorable and learned member had been sitting upon this side of the House to-day, he would not have offered any protest against it. But because he sits on the opposite side of the Chamber, and another Administration is in power, the whole position has been changed, and what, at that time, appeared1 to be a harmless proposition, has become a great evil which has been held to justify members of the Opposition in wasting whole weeks.
– There has been only four d.ivs’ debate upon it.
– I have lost more than four nights’ sleep over it. The honorable and learned member for Corinella opposed the Government proposal because, as he declared, it was against the theory upon which Australian industry has been established. That is a very highsounding sort of reason to advance, and, consequently, I found myself asking, “ What is the theory upon which Australian industry has been established?” I have had twenty years’ experience in workshops in. the different States, and that experience has taught me that the only theory upon which industry has been established is that the employer shall make as much profit as he can out of his employes. It is because an attempt is being made to attain to something higher and better that we are being asked to sanction legislation in the interests of the manual labourer.
– Does the honorable member really think that this proposal will assist the majority of the workers?
– If I did not, I should not support it. It is because the theory hitherto advanced is an inhuman one that the public conscience todaydemands something better upon which to base our industries. I have no doubt that honorable members have frequently come into contact with persons who have had conscience enough to ask themselves, “ How am I to ascertain whether the goodswhich I am purchasing are made under honest and fair conditions?” There are thousands of conscientious individuals in Australia to-day who really desire to know something about the conditions under which the goods which they buy are produced. At present they have no means of acquiring that knowledge. Although they may pay “the highest price demanded for goods, they may be cheated just as much as if they purchased them in a sweating shop-
– I have been deceived in that way in Melbourne.
– I have been similarly deceived myself. I have endeavoured1 to purchase furniture made by white workers, and there has been, perhaps, a drawer in that furniture which would not openWhen I have reached home I have discovered that that very drawer has borne thebrand of the Chinese manufacturer. I donot say that this Bill will prove a cure for all the evils of sweating, but it will certainly provide the class to whom I refer with the means of ascertaining where goodswhich have been made under fair conditions can be obtained. I am glad to notethat there is a patriotic movement on foot - and one which, I hope, will extend all over Australia - to induce people to purchase goods made in the Commonwealth in preference to those produced in foreign countries. I believe that this proposal, when it becomes law, will very materially assist that movement. Give us a label which states “ Made in Australia under fair conditions,” and the man or woman who will not purchase the goods to which it is affixed, in preference to those which are produced in a sweating shop, needs to be educated in patriotic motive and feeling. I am sorry that the honorable member for Moira, during the course of his remarks, attempted to raise the old cry of town versus country workers. His observations in that connexion were emphasized by the honorable and learned member for Corinella, who endeavoured to point out that the adoption of a workers’” trade mark would confer no benefit upon the country worker, because he is not so well organized as is the worker in the towns. Nobody regrets more than I do that the workers in the country are not better organized. They would be much better off if ‘they were, and their employers would not suffer one bit. But whilst the worker in the country to-day may have no organization, it is undeniable that he reaps a very material advantage from the organization of the worker in the towns. It is because the’ latter is able to insist upon the conditions which obtain to-day that the former is not worse off. I am not aware of the precise conditions which at present prevail in the country, but I know that in a rural district in Victoria a few years ago the hours of labour were longer, and the wages paid lower, than those which prevailed in the cities. I contend that the hours of labour would have been still longer, and the rates of wages still lower, had it not been for the organized workers in the cities, who have established a certain standard. Nobody is more ready to recognise that fact’ than is the country worker; and therefore it is idle for honorable members to attempt to cloud the issue by setting one -class against the other. Before I resume my seat, I should like to say that the exaggeration which has been indulged in by opponents of this proposal, backed by the alarmist articles which have been published in the newspapers - not only of Melbourne, but of other cities; - has produced a temporary feeling of alarm in the minds of a section of the public. This, however, is only a repetition of what we have had to contend with upon every occasion on which a proposal has been made to ameliorate the condi- i.-on of the workers. What does this opposition amount to ? We simply ask that the same protection shall be extended to a worker’s trade mark as is extended to the trade mark of an employer. Efforts have been made to make it appear that this workers’ trade mark is something new. But - as has already been pointed out - in Western Australia a similar mark has been in use for years ; and, so far as I am aware, not a single complaint has been made as to any evils resulting therefrom. It is well known that the Tailors’ Union of Kalgoorlie has a label affixed to all the goods which it produces. The result is that the citizens of that district, who have strong unionist leanings, experience no trouble whatever in discovering goods made under fair conditions. When they go into a shop they simply ask : ‘ Are these union-made goods ‘ ‘ ? They purchase the goods, knowing that the label is merely a guarantee that proper wages have been paid by the manufacturers, and that the workers, male and female, have enjoyed proper conditions. In Fremantle, the Tailors and Tailoresses’ Union, instead of affixing a label to the goods, have a ticket printed which, by an arrangement with each shop-keeper who sells their goods, is displayed in his windows. It informs the public that all the goods sold in the establishment have been made under the rules and conditions of the Tailors and Tailoresses’ Union of Fremantle. So far as I am aware, no one has ever objected to that being done. All we ask is that those who have been doing this, and who may do it in the future, may have extended to them the same protection that we are extending to employers, importers, and agents all over Australia.
– This afternoon, I heard from the deputy leader of the Opposition that if honorable members on this side dared to talk some agreement which they had made would be “ off.”
– I never used the word “ dare.” As usual, the honorable member is putting in my mouth words which I have not even thought of.
– The honorable member said that if honorable members on this side did talk, the agreement would be “off.” I have been patiently waiting for an opportunity to say a few words on this proposal!
– The honorable member could have addressed the Committee a dozen times.
– Yes, and assisted the honorable member in trying to kill this proposal for a union label, as he did the principle of preference to unionists in the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill. But I had no intention of doing that. The honorable member for Wannon recently read a writ, issued against the Hatters’ Society - a society of which I happened to be a member when I was in America - to show that it had to pay damages for restricting the output of a firm by boycotting their goods. From the October number of a manufacturers’ journal, called The American Hatter, I learn that in the Supreme Court in the State of Connecticut the United Hatters of North America proceeded against C. H. Merritt and Son, and obtained a permanent injunction to prevent that firm from fraudulently using labels which were imitations of its label. Judge Shumway is reported to have said : -
The injunction is made permanent, and judgment that the defendants account to the plaintiff for profits derived from the wrongful use of such imitation label, as provided in section 4910 of the General Statutes.
Honorable members on the other side wouldbe perfectly agreeable for any society or body of men here to bring a label into use, and to give the proprietors no power to prosecute any person who forged it. I desire to read a few paragraphs from the report of the case to which I have just referred.
Section 4916 of the general statutes makes it the duty of the Court to grant an injunction to restrain the use and display of any counterfeit or imitation of a label adopted by any union of working men.
Section 4909 provides that the record of the label shall be sufficient proof of its adoption, and the right of the union to adopt it.
It is apparent from an inspection of the eight exhibits, C to K inclusive, that they are imitations of the plaintiff’s label.
These exhibits were fraudulent imitations of the hatters’ label, which honorable members on the other side would not attempt in any way to prevent.
The defendants have used and are using these imitations, and it follows that the plaintiffs are entitled to the relief that the statutes provide in such case.
Honorable members on the other side try to make out that the use of the union label would entail some cost to the manufacturers, but according to this manufacturers’ journal -
Paragraph 4 and 5 of the complaint read as follows : -
Honorable members opposite also say that the union label is no guarantee as to the quality of an article, but the United Hatters of North America only place the label in perfect hats.
The condition of wages, workmanship, and inspection under which the Association allows its said labels to be used are such as guarantee to a customer that a hat bearing such label is of sound and workmanlike construction.
This report is published in a manufacturers’ journal, not in a trade-union journal ; but not one word is said against the union label.
– That is a boodlers’ paper.
– In the words of the honorable member, it is a boodlers’ paper, or one which is used exclusively by employers. Another paragraph of the complaint reads as follows : -
– Are these the labels?
– These are the forgeries, which honorable members an the other side are quite willing to allow.
– No, no; that is not correct.
– The honorable member says “ No, no,” but he has been talking by the yard recently-
– I cannot allow a statement like that to go unchallenged.
– The honorable member must admit that there is nothing to prevent a union from registering a label here, but the difference in the honorable member’s mind between a union and an ordinary trader is such that while the latter has an opportunity to prosecute any person who forges his label, and has all the power of the Courts behind him, the honorable member is not prepared to give that right and power to any trade union.
– We do not object to a union doing the same thing.
– I am very sorry that I was interrupted at that point, because I wished to get the eight imitations or forgeries into Hansard without a break. The list continues -
None of these legends are proper, or legitimate phrases to be adopted as a trade mark of a manufacturer, and each and every one of them, in connexion with the pictorial devices and other printed matter which is associated with them, was intended not to indicate the origin or ownership of the goods to which they were attached, but to convey the false impression that the hats to which the same might be attached were made by members of The United Hatters of North America.
Honorable members on the other side have said that if the use of the label were adopted in Australia, prices must go up here as in America. But we learn from a paragraph in this manufacturers’ journal that the tendency in America is towards lower prices. We have been told in the various articles which have been quoted that there isno organization in America which has used the union label with such effect as the Hatters’ Union. Yet we learn from a manufacturers’ journal that the tendency in that country is for prices to come down. This issue of The American Hatter also contains two interviews, one being with a wholesaler and the other with a retailer of forty years’ experience. In a series of interviews which are running through its pages, neither a wholesaler nor a retailer says one word against the union label. I admit that the persons interviewed donot mention the union label at all; but if we are to believe honorable members on the other side, no wholesaler or retailer could have been interviewed on any trade in which the union label is used without bringing down upon it a storm of condemnation. Yet we find that in the two interviews to which I have just alluded - and these are not peculiar cases - the persons interviewed didnot say one word either good, bad, or indifferent against the union label. Of course it is not likely to be praised in a manufacturers’ journal, but if it is as bad as is sought to be made out by honorable members opposite, these gentlemen would be sure to denounce its use. Surely that is an answer to the absurd statement of the honorable member for Oxley, that the Americans are anxious ‘to get rid of the union label. The quotations which he gave had no reference to the union label. In this issue of The American Hatter, the United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers of North America advertise another label; and alongside a fac-simile of it these words are printed -
Ask for this label, as it’s the only genuine one. Endorsed by the American Federation of Labour and Organized Labour in general.
Do honorable members think that if the union label were as bad as they have tried to make it out to be, any manufacturers’ journal would take any advertisements about it? In England the Hatters Union has had a label for the last twelve or thirteen years, and I have never heard a retailer or person in trade object to its use. I happened to be in England when the label was introduced, and I know that the retailers did hot say a single word against it. In fact, the demands for the label became so great that it was immediately counterfeited by unscrupulous traders, and the union had to print across the fac-simile of the label on the cards which it issued for advertising purposes, because unscrupulous retailers and other manufacturers used to cut out the fac-simile of the label and put it an goods which had not been made under union conditions. Honorable members say - “You are going to compel the manufacturers to use the label.” Certainlynot. I presume that the manufacturers in Australia, like the manufacturers in America, will adopt the union label, especially after the magnificent advertisement which it has received from honorable members on the opposite side. The manufacturers must be convinced that the union label is going to be much more beneficial to the workers than even I think it is likely to be, judging by the great amount of opposition with which it has been received in this Chamber. They are afraid of any proposal which, in their opinion, is calculated to improve the lot of the workers. The honorable and learned member for Corinella has told us time after time that he is in favour of labour legislation, but he takes care when such legislation is before us, to propose amendments that will rob it of its beneficial effect.
– Beware of him.
– In view of our experience, when clause 42 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill was under consideration, I do not need the honorable member’s warning. It is, to say the least, singular that those who tell us that they are friendly to trade unions sit side by side with those who are opposed to all labour legislation.
– And are supported by opponents of labour legislation.
– Quite so. No doubt they will be supported at the next election by the Employers’ Federation and others who are opposed to labour legislation. I have before me a copy of the official report of the Employers’ Conference, held in Adelaide, at which resolutions were carried against the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act, and in opposition to the legalizing of the eight-hours’ day. They also indorsed a paper against the wages board system of Victoria-.
– When did the Conference take place?
– I think that it took place in March last.
– Was that the Conference which upheld the action of the present Treasurer, and the Vice-President of the Executive Council ?
– I do not think the report contains any reference to the honorable gentlemen mentioned, but I shall be pleased to hand it over to the honorable member for Wentworth, in order that he may examine it for himself.
– Does it mention the honorable member for Wentworth?
– I think that the right honorable member for East Sydney is the only member of the House to whom reference is made. ThatConference, like others, thought that he was not running straight; like others, they thought that he was trying to toy with two parties, and that he was leaning slightly towards the labour side. They opposed the union label provisions of this Bill, and carried a resolution against it. In short, they opposed all labour legislation, and that being so, I fail to see why honorable members opposite should complain when we say that they are in doubtful company.
– What about the Treasurer and the Vice-President of the Executive Council ?
– I shall leave honorable members of the Opposition to deal as they please with those honorable gentlemen. I am discussing the position of those who oppose the trade union label, and are sitting with others who have always been opposed to labour legislation.
– The honorable member is also sitting with such members.
– The honorable members to whom my honorable friend refers have seen the error of their ways. They have come round to our way of thinking, and recognise that it is wise to pass legislation of this character. I do not know that they have spoken in opposition to the union label. The Reid-McLean Administration did not say a word against it. I am sorry that the honorable member for Gippsland is not present, but I was a member of a deputation which waited on him in regard to this question when he held office as Minister of Trade and Customs. The honorable member also received a deputation representing the employers ; but he did not say what action the Government intended to take in regard to the union label provisions of the Trade Marks Bill. When these deputations waited on him, nearly twelve months ago his reply in effect was : “ The end of the session is drawing near, and if honorable members will consent to the abandonment of the union label provisions of the Bill, we shall be prepared to pass it this session. The honorable member went on to say that the provisions relating to the union label required a great deal of consideration. He did not say on which side of the wall the Government were on ; no doubt he was waiting to hear from the honorable member for Wilmot. We have been told that in the United States there is a growing feeling against the union label ; and that a Citizens’ Alliance has been formed to oppose it. I have here an extract from The Meatcutters’ Journal, published in April last, in which it is stated that -
At a meeting of the American Economic Association, held in February of this year, reference was made to Robbins Lumber Company, of Wilksbarre, Pa. This company has withdrawn from the Citizens’ Alliance. In order to do so they have forfeited 81,000.
Withdrawal from the Alliance involved the forfeiture of the amount of the bond into which they had entered to observe its rules -
In the future union men with their “buttons” will take the place of non-unionists. They say, “We withdraw from the Alliance, because we believe it to be unlawful, unjust, ana against the best interest of the community, because it believes in a systematic boycott against employes, who are to be, at the will of the employer, blacklisted, boycotted, and starved into submission ; that a member of the association may brand an employe as unworthy ; and that he will not be given employment by any other member.”
These are the statements not of a walking delegate, as the honorable member for Wentworth would describe the representative of a union, but of a firm which was a member of the Citizens’ Alliance. They were made, not at a trade union gathering, but at a meeting of the American Economic Association. The firm explained that they had withdrawn from the Alliance, not because they had been compelled by the unions to indorse union conditions, but because that/ association believed in a systematic boycott against employes, who were to be starved by their employers into submission.
– And these provisions are to encourage that system.
– As I have seen the trade union label legislation of the United States in operation, it is idle for honorable members of the Opposition to try to force their fairy tales upon me. I know full well that the use of the label there has not led to a boycott. I challenge any honora&le member to bring forward a single case of boycotting resulting from the use of the union label by any trade organization. I invited the Opposition to produce such proof during the debate on the motion for the second reading of this Bill. But’ what did they do? We know that the United States has a population of about 80,000,000, distributed over a very wide area, and that there are probably more newspapers published there than in any other country. And yet, when we ask for proof of their assertion that the union label has led to boycotting, honorable members opposite content themselves by quoting extracts from American newspapers, the dates, and even the names of which they suppress, so that it is impossible for us to verify their quotations, I think that many of the alleged quotations from American newspapers that have been published here are the concoctions of Mr. Walpole, or some other individual who, like himself, believes that marriage is a luxury for the workers, and is strongly opposed to any provisions of this kind. Honorable members of the Opposition assert that a label used by a trt.de union has never been counterfeited by a manufacturer in Australia. Some honorable members have even gone so far as to say that if proof of such an occurrence were given thev would be prepared to reconsider the decision at which’ they have arrived in reference to these proposals. Let me cite a case in point. The Bootmakers’ Union of Perth. Western Australia, used a trade union label, but I cannot say for the moment whether or not it was registered. ‘
– It was.
– That label was counterfeited by a manufacturer - one of the counterfeiters and forgers for whom honorable members opposite have been pleading.
– Those are the very men whom the honorable member would seek to assist by twisting the powers of the Parliament. Next week we may have a proposal to take money out of the Treasury to assist them.
– The honorable and learned member seems to be worried in regard to this matter, but I may say that I have more hope of being able to convert him to our views than I have in regard to most other honorable members of the Opposition ; surely he would not permit an injustice to be done to any body of workers.
The Bootmakers’ Union of Perth found that the manufacturer in question was counterfeiting their label. The Argus to-day inquires, “ Who would counterfeit a trade union label?” Here is a case in point. I have also shown that one manufacturer in the United States had no less than eight counterfeits running at the one time, and that an injunction was granted by the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut against their use.
– Are these the men whom the honorable member is going to assist by means of a higher Tariff?
– When the question of Tariff revision is submitted to the House, I shall have something to say in regard to it. When the Bootmakers’ Union of Perth found that their label was being counterfeited, they requested their solicitor to commence an action against the manufacturer in question ; but they were told in reply, “You might as well keep your money, because there is no law in Western Australia to prevent a manufacturer counterfeiting your label.” The same remark will apply to the position in every other State.
Mr.Conroy. - No.
-The honorable and learned member inquired this afternoon why the States Labour Parties had not taken action in regard to this matter. In reply, I would point out that at the first Inter-State Conference, which was held in Ballarat in 1891, and when, I dare say, there were not more than half-a-dozen unions in America using the label, a resolution was carried in favour of the union label. In accordance with instructions, delegates waited on an eminent firm of patent and trade marks agents in this city, and were told that a trade union had no legal right to a trade mark - that if it adopted a trade mark, it could not punish any one who counterfeitedit. The proposal was, therefore, allowed to drop. In 1894, the question was revived by the Trades Hall Council, but with exactly the same result. This is the first time the workers have had an opportunity to be placed on an equal footing in this regard with other manufacturers. We are told that the workers are only a minority ; but the Attorney-General has pointed out very forcibly that only a minority of the public ask for trade marks. It is said that the union label will not be a guarantee of quality. What warranty as to quality is given by any trade mark? The only guarantee’ that a trade mark gives is that the goods to which it is applied have been made by the firm which has registered it.
– And we have not always that assurance.
– I believe that that is so. Some firms may farm out their trade marks.
– Just as the Labour Party has farmed out this legislation to the Government.
– I have not the slightest doubt that the late Government would have passed this legislation if they had had the Labour Party behind them.
– Then why did not the Labour Party allow them to remain in office?
– Because they did not give us an opportunity ; they committed suicide. We are told by the honorable member for Echuca that we should pass the trade marks provisions of this Bill, and embody the union label clauses in a separate Bill, to be dealt with next session, since that would enable honorable members to secure further information. It is difficult to understand such a suggestion coming, as it does, from an honorable member who has just made a tour through the United States, and he practically admits that during his travels he did not hear of a single case of any abuse of the trade union label. He did not see any of these glaring instances of the alleged misuse of the label to which reference has been made by honorable members opposite. No one can deny that this Bill was before us last session. We know that the Employers’ Federation last year issued a circular containing exactly the same fairy tales as to the union label that have been read this afternoon - fairy tales about the people not being able to bury their dead, and the impossibility of procuring a meal in a restaurant, because of its being a non-union establishment. The same stories were published in September of last year, after Senator Pearce had carried the union label clauses in the Senate. Since then the honorable member for Echuca has visited the United States, and it is only reasonable to assume that if the union label there was being attended by the evil effects to which honorable members opposite have referred he would have returned with full information on the subject. It was not because of any love for the Labour Party, or, apparently, for the present Government, that he failed to obtain information which would have enabled him to put before us instances of the boycotting which is said to be going on in the United States in connexion with the label. The honorable member for Echuca^ asks us to allow this legislation to stand over till next year. . But the honorable member for Gippsland made the same request twelve months ago. The Reid Government would not say on which side of the fence it intended to come down in reference to the union label question. There was not a word in the reply of the late Minister of Trade and Customs, either to the deputation of manufacturers or the deputation representing the Trades Hall, as to the attitude which his Government intended to assume - not a single word ! I admit that it was a “ Yes-No “ Government. They were a “ shandygaff “ lot altogether. But why did they not declare themselves? We are told that the trade unionists will secure no advantage from this legislation. But it secures an opportunity for persons to purchase goods made under the best prevailing working conditions. I am aware that some honorable members opposite have threatened to boycott goods if they are marked with the union label ; but I do not fancy that they will carry out their threat. I know of employers who will only employ non-unionist workmen; but they take good care to buy goods for their own personal use produced under the best possible conditions. They do so because they wish to obtain goods of the ‘best quality. They are well aware that goods produced by trade union labour are the best that can be made. I do not intend to say any more. I hope that this Bill will be passed into law, and that the splendid advertisement that has been given to it by honorable members opposite, who have resisted it, will show the workers that the measure is likely to be a piece of beneficent legislation for them.
– The honorable member who has just sat down has assumed that the trade union label will be beneficial to trade unionists. I wish to show him that he has made a mistake. In a previous speech I have shown that legislation of this character is not new. There were similar laws in force in Egypt and in Assyria 5,000 years ago, and in England 500 or 600 years ago. I venture to say that even the bricks in this building were made in accordance with a law passed in England 140 years ago, or thereabouts, prescribing their size and shape. But suppose it were possible by means of this Bill or by coercion to force every workman in a certain trade into the trade union, whether he liked it or not. The effect would simply be that the union would be far worse off than it is to-day, because it would have more unemployed on its books and making demands upon its funds. If the unions of this country were made to include eleven times as many workmen as are in them to-day, the advantage that the few who do belong to unions to-day derive from that fact would be lost to them. I say at once that if the object were simply to enable a body of men who had become incorporated to register a mark so that no one else might use it, and then to make arrangements with employers for affixing that mark to goods, I should have no objection to it.
– Is not that all that is intended ?
– Unfortunately, the proposals before us go a great deal further. These clauses omit the safeguards that should pertain to such provisions. Surely if we say that a mark may be used in such a way as to set class against class, it is our duty to impose reasonable safeguards. If a law passed by this Parliament were to declare, for instance, that Presbyterians or Roman Catholics or Anglicans might work together and register a mark for the purpose of increasing religious dissensions, it would be our duty to provide a safeguard in order that such sectarian combinations might not inflict injury upon the rest of the public. The moment provision is made for a mark to be so used by a class that injury may be done to some other class in the community, that moment it is necessary to safeguard its use, and to make sure that it shall not be employed outside the scope for which it was originally intended. I am sorry to say that as these clauses stand at present, they do go beyond legitimate bounds. Consequently, I am put in this position - that I have either to vote against the clauses as a whole, or to ask that they shall be safeguarded in such a way as will permit me to vote for them. Personally, I think that a great deal too much is being made of the whole question. I do not understand why the Labour Party should fight for these provisions as though they regarded them as the supreme end of labour legislation. It appears to me that they are almost useless for the purposes for which they are in- tended. They would be useful from the Labour Party’s point of view, if they were to be used merely as a means towards a certain end. But it is denied that the end to which I allude is held in view by honorable members opposite. Of course, it must be understood that if trade unions are to use trade marks of this description, they will have to take all the consequences, and will have to fight for them if their rights are challenged. The unions may be plunged into contests that will not be advantageous to themselves, and will merely have the effect of exhausting their funds. I pointed out, when we were discussing the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, how a similar result might accrue. Honorable members opposite have now had a few years’ experience of what has taken place under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act in New South Wales, and are aware that what I said has come true. I have no hesitation in saying that to carry these clauses as they stand is against’ the interests of the unionists themselves. It would have been very much better, from their point of view, if a separate measure had been introduced to deal with the subject. I am rather doubtful as to the constitutionality of the clauses.
– The honorable and learned member for Illawarra said that in Svdney he had heard opinions upon both sides.
– I do not feel inclined to speak too positively on the point. Perhaps owing to an oversight on the part of the Convention, we have no power to deal with the matter. But recognising that power, for the sake of argument, still think the clauses go beyond what they ought to do. It is general I v conceded that the object of legislation to-day should be to break down any barriers that may exist between the classes - to abolish any differentiation between the work of one man and that of another. The interests of all men ought to be equally dear to the Legislature. It is only by legislating on that principle that any true progress can be made. To put forward any particular class, whether it be a manufacturing class, a farming class, or a labouring class, as- being entitled to srjeci.il legislative rights, seems to me to be directly contrary to the objects of sound legislation. We should do all we can to break down the disadvantages that arise from past mistakes, which very often are still continued by custom long after the legislation embodying them has ceased to operate. I shall not dwell further on tha,t aspect of the question at the present time, but I do say that the main object of our legislation should be to prevent as far as possible any differentiation between one citizen and another, and certainly distinctions between one class of citizens and another.
– To give employers a free hand?
– No, the honorable member is making a mistake. We should not allow conditions to continue which enable one class to gain at the expense of another. To do so is just as much class legislation as if we passed bills specifically intended to bring about such a result. When certain proposals were brought forward in this Parliament, by which one or two individuals who happened to have money, and to have put it into particular industries would be advantaged the honorable member for Herbert never for a moment took into consideration how many persons would be disadvantaged by the carrying of such proposals.
– Yes I did.
– I am sorry to say that the’ honorable member, in common with many other honorable members, did not, and it would have been well if honorable members generally had then been guided by the simple principle that Parliament is not here to set up any one class against another, and that it is here to pull down, as far as possible, all such bad legislation. I repeat, that we should not permit legislation to continue in force that allows of such differentiations as I have referred to. We have no unknown fund on which to draw ; we can use only the funds that have been created by the labour of our_ fellowcitizens, and to direct them exclusively towards any one class of the community is an evil.
– How would the honorable member restrict abuses?
– We should abolish them as far as possible. We should be most careful in the work of legislation to pass measures which will prevent and remedy them.
– That is what we are trying to do.
– No, unfortunately, honorable members are here going al together beyond that. The whole history of the past has shown that we cannot set up special privileges for any class in the community, however worthy it may be, without bringing serious evils into existence. Though in this case one class may think that what is proposed will be to its advantage, it will be found that it will1 not be so. The true interests of the great mass of the people lies in the abolition of all class privileges. When we begin more thoroughly to realize that, and to see what those privileges are, we shall find that most of them are of our own creation, and that many, indeed, have been created by this Parliament.
– They are the creation of honorable members opposite.
– I refer to the creation of privileges for one class, and the means by which they are singled out for special benefits. It often turns out that the class sought to be benefited is not benefited, whilst such legislation is always injurious to the rest of the community. The rule we should adopt is to do away as far as possible with all special privileges. We should abolish those already existing, we should favour no class, and we should certainly not entertain any legislation conferring new privileges.
– Would the honorable member permit every quack to practise as a doctor? ,
– Does the honorable member suggest that because I say we should not differentiate between one class and another, I am therefore contending that we should allow imposture, roguery, and fraud ? I am afraid that honorable members opposite have not understood a single word I have said. The abolition of the privileges enjoyed by a particular class does not mean that we should allow another class to retain special privileges. If there are classes who derive gain by means of false trade marks, that must be put down. If there are classes who derive gain by false statements, that must also be put down, just as we put down false pretences by imprisoning those who, bv means of ‘ those pretences, cheat their fellow-citizens out of something that is their own.
– That is exactly the purpose of this measure.
– I wish it were so, but these proposals go far beyond that. If that were the object of these clauses, I should be in absolute sympathy with the honorable member, and should be found voting for them. I should be prepared, to go even further, and permit their application, not to one class, but to 150 different associations, if there were so many. The mere fact that they had taken their mark, and registered it, should be in my eyes sufficient protection. I say that our common law goes as far as that. I do not know how in Western Australia there can be any doubt on the subject.
– That is quite a common thing when lawyers give advice.
– If it is, it needs remedying.
– There is no remedy for it.
– We might set aside the whole of these provisions, and propose one clause to the effect that whoever counterfeits the trade mark, label, or any other mark used by another in his business shall be liable to whatever penalty we think adequate.
– That is what we are doing.
– No; what is proposed is to go far beyond that. One short clause would be sufficient to secure what some honorable members opposite desire.
– - The honorable member differs from us as to method, but not as to principle.
– I differ also as to principle, because the proposal here is to go far beyond the mere punishment of counterfeiting a trade mark or label. If honorable members on the other side, even at this late stage, assert that that is all they wish, the Attorney-General could inform them that he might set aside the whole of this part of the Bill, and introduce in place of it one clause which would secure absolutely what some honorable members opposite now appear to aim at, and what the honorable member for Bland has said he aimed at, though I am afraid the honorable gentleman has gone very much beyond that in his speeches. Viewing these clauses as a whole, I am compelled to vote against them. I regret that they go beyond what can fairly be introduced into a Trade Marks Bill. No one should have the right by any colourable imitation of another man’s trade mark, label, or signature, to set forth’ to the public that his goods are something which they are not. I am one of those who are very sorry that we do not allow the policing of the whole of these provisions by a cheap method of prosecution at law, by making the person selling liable. That would be a very much more effectual bar than any we have now, or are ever likely to have while we continue the present system. The expense of law is so great that we practically deny to the whole of the workers any safeguard whatever. We have made no attempt to deal with these matters in this Bill, and it will still be left to the workers to fight out their difficulties and troubles in the Courts, and in that way a great many hundreds of pounds of their funds will be wasted. It surely cannot be said to be good for unionism that the funds of unions should be liable to be dissipated in that way. Because of the manner in which these clauses are drawn, I have no option but to vote against’ them, while, at the same time, I regret that the object sought by honorable members on both sides has not been met in a temperate way, that is by the introduction of two or three clauses which would have been quite sufficient to deal with the difficulty suggested by honorable members in the Labour corner.
– I do not intend to take advantage of the present opportunity to make any general reply. A very few minutes will suffice for what I have to say. First of all, I should like to say that the members of the Government do not feel it necessary to express their individual opinions, more particularly in view of the limited time that is at the disposal of the Committee, having regard to the arrangement arrived at. There is one thing I wish to do, however, and which I think I can do in five minutes, and that is to dispel a misunderstanding that has been circulated throughout the community as to the attitude of Canada in regard to this matter. It has been asserted time after time in the press, and in circulars that the attitude of the Canadian Legislature is against this principle. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is true that the nominee House, the Senate of Canada, which is nominated by the GovernorGeneral, and the members of which hold their office for life, and, therefore, are not in touch with the people of Canada, have, on various successive occasions, rejected this measure. But it is equally true that the House of Commons of Canada, occupying the same position as our House of Representatives, in constant touch with the people, has on many successive occasions passed it.
– I stated that distinctly ; there was no misrepresentation by me.
– The honorable and learned member was not guilty of any misrepresentation. But I desire to make a definite statement, and to refer honorable members to the Canadian Hansard - not the latest edition, I regret to say, because I believe it has not yet arrived in Australia
– Was the measure passedin a Trade Marks Bill in Canada, or in a separate measure?
– I wish to speak with reference to the principle of this legislation, and so far as the principle is concerned, it matters very little whether it was passed in conjunction with another measure or by itself.
– Will the Minister answer the question?
– We do not want any quibbling as to whether it was passed in one measure or in two.
– I thought that perhaps the Minister would be able to answer my question.
– The honorable member will have his answer in what I propose to read.
– Surely the Minister does not call such a question a quibble?
– It is indeed a quibble. When it is urged in the press that the Canadian Parliament is against the principle, surely it is a quibble to ask whether it is against it as passed in one Bill or in another.
– It might make all the difference, constitutionally.
– Perhaps honorable members will allow me to proceed. The important point is : What is the principle of the legislation favoured by the Legislature of Canada? I was going to say, when I was interrupted, that I have not before me the Canadian Hansard for the present year. I am told that it has not yet arrived in the Commonwealth, and, at all events, that it is not within the reach of our Parliamentary Librarian.
– I think I read the debates a few weeks ago.
– Then the honorable and learned member has been more fortunate than I have been, for I have been unable to secure copies of them.
-i got them from a patent attorney, who may have had advance copies.
– I have been unable to get them. The honorable and learned member for Angas, having read the debates, will be able to correct me; but I understand that the House of Commons of Canada this year passed the Bill, but limited its operation to incorporated unions, and that when it went before the Senate that nominee House rejected it. I have the Canadian Hansard debates for1 904, and I propose to refer very shortly to what I find there. Unfortunately, in that year a technical error was committed in not putting the Bill, which related to trade, before a Committee of the Whole House in the first instance, and the Speaker was, therefore, reluctantly I should say, compelled to rule it out of order. The reference to the Bill’, to which I direct the attention of honorable members, is to be found in the Canadian Hansard of the House of Commons for June, 1904, Vol. II., columns 3829 and 3830, from which I quote the following: -
Mr. RALPH SMITH (Vancouver) moved the second leading of the Bill (No. 35) respecting union labels. He said : - I do not think if necessary, Mr. Speaker, to take up the time of the House for many minutes in explaining this measure. A Bill similar to this has already gone through the House, but was defeated in the Senate. This House -
He is there speaking of the House of Commons of Canada, the popular Chamber - has given its opinion three different times that the request made by the trades unions of this country in favour of a registration of the union label should be complied with. Members of this House on both sides -
I ask honorable members’ attention to that - have agreed to that principle, but unfortunately the Senate has seen fit to kill each Bill to that effect as it came before that body. The principle of the present Bill is very simple. It provides that any body of men may present a label representing their production to the Minister of Agriculture, and the Department of Agriculture shall provide a certificate of the registration of such label.
The Department of Agriculture takes the place ofthe Registrar of Trades Marks. The report continues -
Mr. Heyd. Could there be any objection to that ?
Mr. RALPH SMITH. The House of Commons has never objected, but the objection comes from the Senate, inspired by the Manufacturers’ Association. The union label is operating in this country very extensively, and there is nothing in this Bill which would bring about a condition of things that might not happen under the present operation of the label.
– The use of the label is not compulsory.
Mr.RALPH SMITH. No, there is nothing provided in the Bill to compel any employer to use it. The use of the label, if the Bill passes, will be the same as it is now. It will only become operative on the voluntary consent of the working men and the manufacturers. The Bill provides against a fraudulent use of the label -
That is what we say -
The request is a very reasonable one, and one which has been granted by thirty-one States of the American Union.
Since then other States have legislated on the subject, and now there are forty States and Territories which have done so.
Of course, there the power to provide legislation of this kind is in the hands of the State Governments, which is not the case in the Dominion, but thirty-one American States have provided for the simple principle of registration of the union label. In England the same thing is provided for under the Trade Marks Act, and the Manufacturers’ Association of that country do everything to encourage the operation ofthe principle of the label.
Finally, I invite the attention of honorable members to this statement, which was made, unchallenged, by a responsible member of the Canadian House of Commons -
In my opinion the tendency of the operation and use of this label would be to bring the organized bodies of working men and the organized bodies of manufacturers together, and thereby bring about a better understanding between them, and better conditions of industrial peace.
– Has the Attorney-General been quoting the remarks of the Minister in charge of the Bill ?
– The remarks of the member in charge of it.
– The Ministry declined to father it.
– The Prime Minister of Canada declared himself to be in favour of the Bill.
– From what I read, I thought that he was trimming.
– I will read to the honorable and learned member exactly what he said. The rest of the discussion, from the report of which I have just quoted, is immaterial to us, since it is concerned with the Speaker’s ruling that the measure was out of order, because the standing order had not been complied with, requiring that the measure should be submitted in the first instance to a Select Committee. Let me now quote from the Report of the Proceedings of the Canadian House of Commons of the 3rd August, 1904, volume V., columns8260 and 8261. Mr. E. F. Clarke, a week before the prorogation of the House, asked the Prime Minister -
If it is the intention of the Government to expedite the passage of Bill (No. 135) respecting Labour Union Labels? I think an assurance was given that the Bill would be taken up by the Government and passed.
Sir WILFRED LAURIER. There are numerous public Bills which are not amongst Government orders on the paper, the passage of which the Government have been asked to favour, but at this late period of the session I think it would not be possible to pass these Bills, and I think this one must share the fate of the others. I regret that the Bill has not passed -
I invite the attention of honorable members to that sentence - but I think it will come up early next session.
– It was left open to the Canadian Ministers to vote for or against the measure.
– It is clear from what I iia ve read that both parties in the Canadian House of Commons are in favour of the principle here at issue, the House having, on at least four occasions, passed a Bill providing for the recognition of the union label, although the Senate - a nominee Chamber - has as often rejected it. The Prime Minister of Canada is in favour of the Bill, and there has been no outcry against it there. I have not been able to get a copy of the debates for this year, though I have tried my best to do so, and have sent to the representative’ of Canada here for them ; but, so far as I can gather, even from adverse criticism, the House of Commons has since agreed to a Bill, limited in its operation to incorpoarted unions, while the Senate has again rejected the measure. Therefore, the people of Canada are in favour of this legislation, and it is only, the action of the nominee House of Legislature that has prevented it from Decerning law a considerable time ago.
Mr. JOSEPH COOK (Parramatta).The Attorney-General, if he were conducting a case in court, and such evidence as he has given to the Committee were offered by the opposing side, would make veryshort work of it. He has not told u» whether Mr. Ralph Smith was a supporter of the Canadian Government when he made the speech which has been quoted!, nor did he tell us what is the attitude of the Government of Canada in regard to the measure.
– I have said that the Prime Minister of Canada is in favour of it.
– He was expressing his opinion concerning the business of a private member.
– Mr. Clarke had reminded him that the Government had promised to take up and to pass the Bill.
– All that he said was that he, personally, favoured this proposal of a private member. Under whose auspices was the Bill finally passed?
– The whole House passed it.
– Had the House been unanimously in favour of it, the Government would not have permitted a private member to remain in charge of it. Governments do. not usualy allow private members to pass Bills to which there is no opposition of any kind ; they are too ‘ desirous of placing such measures . on their own programmes.
– The honorable member does not deny tha accuracy of the quotation ?
– Not at all ?
– There were speeches against the proposal.
– The AttorneyGeneral read what was merely a statement of the Prime Minister of Canada concerning the business of a private member, which he said he, personally, would be glad to see passed.
– What is of significance to us is that the Prime Minister of Canada left this an open question with the Go,vernment. Why do not Ministers here do the same?
– Exactly. ‘ On the strength of a statement of the Prime Minister of Canada concerning a private member’s business, the Attorney-General asks us to believe that the Canadian Government and House of Commons are in favour of this legislation.
– The Canadian House of Commons has four times passed legislation of this character.
– The AttorneyGeneral tried to show that the Canadian Government Have been in favour of it.
– I did not say so.
– Do honorable members trunk that if the Government of Canada had believed that a majority would solidly support! such a measure they would not have taken it out of the hands of a private member, and assumed charge of it themselves?
– If the measure now before us were a private measure, and Ministers were allowed to deal with it as an open question, the Bill would not pass.
– We should be perfectly satisfied if this Government would treat the measure as the Canadian Government Treated a similar Bill. We have been told that the Canadian Senate has rejected the measure three or four times. May not that be the reason why the House of Commons has agreed to it? I have heard nominee Houses referred to as cowards’ castles, because they afford an opportunity to members of the popular Assembly to evade their responsibilities by not offering opposition to measures which they know the Upper House will reject. When the honorable member for Wentworth asked the Attorney-General whether in Canada the union label- provisions were associated with a Trade Marks Bill, the latter declared that to be a quibble; but the question goes to the root of the matter, because the Government have themselves admitted that this Parliament has no constitutional right to legislate on the subject, unless union labels can be regarded as trade marks.
– I said long ago that our power to legislate in this connexion was covered by the trade marks provision of the Constitution..
– Exactly. Then why did the honorable and learned gentleman characterize the question of the honorable member for Wentworth as a quibble ?
– The Constitution of Australia is not the same as that of Canada, and therefore the question did not arise there. The point which I wish to make clear is that the Canadian House of Commons favours legislation of this kind.
– The AttorneyGeneral admits that this Parliament has no right to legislate on the subject, except by doing what has not been done anywhere else in the world - in neither Canada nor the United States - by tacking these provisions on to a Trade Marks Bill.
– Similar provisions were rejected in Canada when inserted in a Trade Marks Bill, because the Department reported against them.
– Exactly. There is evidence on that point. The Commissioner of Patents and the Commissioner of Trade Marks were summoned to the Bar of the House to give expert opinion, on the subject.
– We have not taken such opinion here.
– No. In both the United States and Canada the opinions of experts were obtained, and in both countries it was declared that legislation of this kind was entirely foreign to a Trade Marks Bill, and, consequently, was rejected when associated with such a measure. The AttorneyGeneral admits that this Parliament has no right to legislate on the subject, unless by some process of reasoning the union label can be brought within- the constitutional provision relating to trade marks.
– In the United States of America the subject has been left to the legislation of the States. Why should not the same thing be done here? ,
– Had the framers of the Constitution any idea that the trade marks power would be used in this way ?
– I have ‘already expressed the opinion that we are trying to extend our powers under the Constitution in every conceivable direction, and I am certain that if we pass these provisions the workers of the community will reap a crop of litigation which will be very costly to them. When they set that cost alongside the paltry benefits which will be conferred upon them, they will not thank us for legalizing the union label.
Honorable Members. - Divide ! divide !
– It is extraordinary that honorable members of the Opposition should now display such anxiety to proceed to a division upon this important question. Only three hours ago the honorable and learned member for Corinella was denouncing honorable members on this side of the Chamber for having entered into a conspiracy of silence, and even more recently the honorable member for Parramatta, referring to some agreement that had’ been entered into, threatened to disregard it if honorable members on the Government benches exercised their right to address themselves to the proposal now before the Chair.
– I said that I should do so itf they spoke at undue length.
– I recognise that it is almost impossible to influence the votes of honorable members upon the main, question at this stage, but I think that it is only right that I should place mv opinions on record. I propose to deal with the matter from only two aspects. I am content to leave the constitutional question to such an eminent authority as the honorable member for Parramatta, but only because I am convinced that his view will not be- shared by the majority of honorable members. The whole of the arguments used by honorable members opposite have been in support of granting the fullest protection to members of the mercantile and manufacturing community who use trade marks, whilst denying it to workers or associations of workers who may desire to attach a distinguishing label to their workmanship. It has been urged that the proposal for the adoption of workers’ trade marks is on a par with that made in connexion with the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, under which the Court would have the power to give preference to unionists in certain cases. Although I approve of preference to unionists - and I think that it might, with greater propriety, De termed “security to unionists” - I claim that the proposal now before us is quite distinct from any such provision. It is proposed that -
No person shall falsely apply to …. or knowingly sell or expose for sale . . . any goods to which there is falsely applied …. a mark which is a distinctive device design symbol or label registered by any individual Australian worker or association of Australian workers corporate or unincorporate.
Those who would deny the protection thus sought to be extended to workers’ trade marks must stand self-confessed as defenders of thieves. I know that honorable members of the Opposition will at once say that they do not believe in thieving, or in permitting persons to improperly make use of trade marks belonging to others, and yet they are prepared, by default, to practically give their countenance to such proceedings. We have been told that these proposals would confer undue advantages upon the unions, and honorable members opposite have expressed great concern for the unfortunate men who are outside the unions, who, with their wives and families, will, according to their representations, be driven to starvation, owing to the tyranny exercised by the unionists. In this connexion, I propose to quote one or two statements which appear in a report recently published in the Argus. According to the report referred to, a witness who recently” gave evidence before the Coal Commission said that he and other hands employed in one of the coal mines in Southern Gippsland conceived the idea of starting a union, and posted a notice to that effect. Although he was not told so, he was sure that he was dismissed from the service of the company because of his participation in that movement. It is well known that no man can obtain employment in the coal mines of Southern Gippsland unless he is a non-unionist - he must be a free labourer or a “ loyalist.”
It was stated, further, that the men employed at one mine were earning only 5s. 1 id. per shift. One man stated that he was induced to apply for employment at the Outtrim Colliery, but upon being told that he would have to pay ^15 for a block of land, which he thought was worth only -£2, he left the mine.
– Would the honorable member read the manager’s categorical denial of all those statements which appear at a later stage of the report?
– The honorable member is not correct in stating that any such denial appears iri the report to which I have referred.
– Then it must have been published on the following day.
– If any such denial was made, it must have been published whilst I was temporarily absent from Melbourne. Will the honorable member for Corangamite deny that a man, in order to obtain employment at the Outtrim Colliery, must be a non-unionist ?
– I know nothing, about it. I am in no way connected with the mine.
– The honorable member is conveniently ignorant of facts which tell against the employers, whose interests he is advocating.
– What has all this to do with the union label?
– It has been argued that the union label would present opportunities to unionists to boycott manufacturers who employed non-unionists, and traders who sold goods bearing other than union, marks. I am not prepared to admit that they would do so. I hope that they would not. But if they did take such extreme measures they would have abundant justification in the examples furnished by employers.- I need only refer to the operations of the shipping ring for another illustration of the boycotting tactics pursued by large trading organizations. We are being victimized to some extent by the shipping ring because of the restrictions they have placed upon competition in connexion with the English mail service, and we know that, in order to conform with the conditions laid down by the ring, the steamers belonging to the Aberdeen line on arrival at Sydney have to discharge their Brisbane cargo and proceed on to the latter port in ballast. If they do not do so, they will be subjected to competition in the trade which they are now permitted to control, lt is needless to say that as the result of these operations higher freights are being charged upon consignments of goods to Brisbane. Under the proposal now before us, the public will have an opportunity of declaring whether they are in favour of fair conditions of labour, or whether they are content that the goods which they require should be manufactured under circumstances such as have been referred to by the honorable member for Bland. It is not necessary to go to Adelaide in order to find instances of sweating, because similar conditions exist in Melbourne, Sydney, and other large industrial centres in the Commonwealth. When it was proposed to establish a daily labour newspaper in Sydney the proprietors of the Sydney Morning Herald and the Daily Telegraph sent out circulars to their agents notifying them that if they associated themselves in any way with that project they would cut off supplies. If that was not a threatened boycott, I do not know what is. Then, again, those who ha.ve been connected with mining communities know that it is recognised upon all hands that the Employers’ Association keeps a black-list. The honorable member for Maranoa produced such a list upon one occasion, and of my own knowledge, I can say that such a list exists in various mining camps in this country. It has been urged that this is the wrong time and place to insert the proposals of the AttorneyGeneral. It is not often that I am guilty of quoting from the New South Wales Hansard, and if the circumstances were not so exceptional, I should hesitate to do so now. In speaking to a motion of censure on the Dibbs Government in 1892, regarding the arrest of certain strikers at Broken Hill, I find that the deputy leader of the Opposition
– - So long ago as 1892?
– Yes. I admit that it is a long time ago, but the quotation will serve to indicate how the opinions of honorable members may undergo a change.
– The honorable member’s own ideas have changed.
– I’ hope they will never change to the extent of inducing me to consider, with the honorable member, that the residents of the back-blocks have degenerated. Upon the occasion to which I refer the deputy leader of the Opposition said -
That is why I protest so strongly against the way in which the Government have trotted out the law and order bogey, because I believe it to be detrimental to the whole of the people of this country, and the best interests of any country, to accentuate the question in such an acute form. Leniency should be shown to men striving in a legitimate way to improve their position.
A little later on he said -
People say they do not object to trade-unions ;
That is exactly what we hear from honorable members opposite.
Everybody is a trade unionist nowadays, but when the conditions become hard enough, and a conflict arises between trades unionism and tyrannical conditions, these people are the first to turn round and say, “ You have gone far enough.”
That is precisely the sentiment which we hear expressed by members of the Opposition. They declare that they believe in trade unionism, but only to a certain extent. I am prepared to admit that there is some justification for certain honorable members entertaining a particular view. For example, the honorable member for Wentworth, who has been reared in the atmo-sphere of Oxford, and under luxurious conditions
– And with a golden shovel in his mouth.
– I do not know that that fact will contribute to his happiness to any great extent.
– I would rather have that in my mouth than a “ gag.”
– The honorable member may get the latter before he expects it. There is a certain amount of excuse for the honorable member holding the views that he does, although it is regrettable that he does not thoroughly understand the aims and ambitions of the toilers of this country, but there is no excuse whatever for the honorable member for Parramatta, who is an ex-coal miner and ex-check weighman of New South Wales, denying the right of the miners of Lithgow to purchase goods manufactured under proper conditions. I see no reason to anticipate the dire disaster that has been predicted in the event of trade unions being granted the measure of justice that is proposed in this Bill. We have been told that some honorable members believe in voluntary trade unionism, and that they will support the non-unionists as against the unionists. Can they cite any instance ir> which the unionists have1 attempted to trample upon the non-unionists when they have been successful in securing beneficial conditions tor themselves ? Up to the present time, all the privileges which unionists have won have been enjoyed by the community without discrimination. The real motive underlying the action of certain honorable members is that which prompted them to oppose preference to unionists in connexion with the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill. Their difficulty lies in the fear that they will be required to face an organized opposition to their candidature at the next election. I shall support the proposal of the Government, which is designed to extend to workers the same protection that is accorded to other sections of the community.
Question - That the proposed new clause be read a second time - put. The Committee divided.
Majority … … 4
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Proposed new clause read a second time.
– I gave notice of an amendment altering the character of the clause, but it appears to be quite clear first, from the utterances of the Attorney - General, and the honorable member for Bland, at various times during the debate, and, secondly, from what has just transpired, that the sole result of my moving that amendment would be a division exactly similar to that which has been taken on the clause, with the exception, of course, of the vote which I hear has been missed on the other side.
– We gave the Opposition a pair too many.
– I think that must be so. But leaving that out of account, it seems to me that no alteration would take place in the voting on my amendment which is practically to substitute a different scheme for that contained in the Bill. That being so, andas I have no desire to see the business of the Committee delayed by a discussion arising on proposals which cannot be carried, I shall not move the amendment standing in my name, but will leave to the Government and their friends the responsibility of bringing into the industrial arena this excellent two-edged sword.
– As we havehad a straight-out vote on the principle involved, I am glad that the honorable and learned member for Corinella has withdrawn the amendment of which he has given notice; but there are a few matters relating to this clause to which I desire to draw attention. Honorable members will find that the word “ knowingly,” which appears in paragraph b, is missing from paragraphs a and c of the clause, so that the offence to which those paragraphs refer is merely that of falsely applying a mark to goods. Under paragraph a, if a man falsely applies to any goods, for the purposes of trade or sale, a workers’ mark, it will be no defence to plead that it was done without knowledge, that the mark had been registered in the name of a union, or of any one else ; nor will there be the defence for which provision is made in the Commerce Bill which places upon the defendant the onus of proving that he was not acting knowingly in contravention of the clause.
– Is the plea of want of knowledge of registration a defence to a charge of falsely applying a trade mark?
– There is no such offence as this in connexion with ordinary trade marks. Honorable members will recollect that when the Commerce Bill was under consideration it was pointed out that we could not constitutionally make the same provisions in regard to internal commerce as we were making in relation to the external trade of the Commonwealth. But that is what we are proposing to do in this Case. It seems to me that the word “ knowingly “ has been omitted from the paragraphs in question so as to make them more stringent and less fair to the party charged in connexion with internal offences, than are the provisions of the Commerce Bill. For instance, clause 9 of the Commerce Bill provides that no person shall import any goods to which a false trade description is applied. That is practically the offence dealt with under paragraph a of the clause now under consideration. But in the Commence Bill there is the following qualification in favour of the defendant, which has been omitted from this clause: -
It shall be a defence to a prosecution for an offence against this section if the defendant proves that he did not knowingly import the goods in contravention of this section.
But for that provision, the offence is practically the same in each case; in the Commerce Bill it relates to a false application of a trade description; whilst under this clause it is the false application of a worker’s mark. Under the Commerce Bill, if. the defendant can show that he did not knowingly apply the false trade description, he is held to be not guilty; but the AttorneyGeneral’s draftsman has omitted all reference to that defence in the clause now under consideration. I wish to draw attention to the Trade Marks Acts of the States. The South Australian Act of 1892, like several of the Trade Marks Acts of the other States, is based upon English legislation, and it contains several of the provisions of the Merchandise Marks Act of 1887. That Act contains provisions such as we have inserted in the Commerce Bill, against falsely applying trade marks to goods, and in that Act also the word “ knowingly “ is used. I think honorable members will see that it was with a view to make this provision more stringent than the ordinary law of the States and the Commerce Bill that the word “knowingly” has been omitted from these paragraphs. If the Committee wishes to leave the clause as it stands, well and good. All that I can say is that if a man imported goods, and did not know at the time that the trade mark which they bore had been registered, he would be adjudged guilty, although he could really prove his innocence.
– A man might import goods, and be unaware that they bore a certain trade mark until they arrived here.
– Exactly. Under paragraph b, the offender must knowingly sell or expose for sale any goods to which a mark has been falsely applied.
– If a man places a false mark on goods, he must do so knowingly.
– No doubt the supposition of the draftsman was that if a man falsely places a trade mark upon goods, he must know that he is doing so in contravention of another man’s right. But the same observation might be applied to the English Trade Marks Act of 1887, the Acts of the States, and the Commerce Bill, where the word “ knowingly “ is used. There are several other variations from the existing States legislation, as well as the Imperial Act, and the Commerce Bill, to which I could draw attention. It is my duty to call attention to the fact that we are making the law as regards the false application of the union mark far more harsh against the defendant than under the existing law would be the case, where there is a penal violation of the rights of the proprietor of a registered trade mark. My inclination is to move that the word “ knowingly “ be inserted before the word “ falsely.” I do not know whether the Attorney-General will accept an amendment to that effect.
Mr. McCAY (Corinella).- I desire to know whether the Attorney-General intends to accept the suggestion of the honorable member for Angas, either to use the word “knowingly “ as regards all the provisions, or to add a proviso, as in. the Commerce Act, that it shall be a defence if the defendant proves that he did not knowingly do it.
Mr. ISAACS (Indi- Attorney-General). - I do not feel inclined to accept the first suggestion., because I cannot conceive that a man can falsely apply a mark of this kind to goods without doing it knowingly. I am inclined, however, to accept the suggestion to insert the word “ knowingly “ in paragraph c. I was discussing this matter with the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne this afternoon, and the result of my consideration was that it is possible for a man to innocently import goods that have a false trade mark, be- cause the)’ may have been produced here, exported, and imported. Under these circumstances, I think it is fair to put the word “ knowingly “ in paragraph c, but not in paragraph a.
Amendment (by Mr. Glynn) agreed to -
That the word “knowingly” be inserted before the word “import” in paragraph c of subclause 1.
Mr. GLYNN (Angas).- I think that the Attorney-General ought to insert the word “ and after the word “ of “ in the phrase “ for the purpose ot indicating, “ in subclause 1. As the clause stands now, if a mark is one which has been adopted for the purpose of indicating conditions of trade, how is the man who imports the goods, or falsely applies the mark, to know the state of mind of the man who adopted the mark ? It may have been adopted for the purpose of indicating conditions of trade, but there is nothing on the mark itself to show that. If a man is to be punished for putting on a trade mark, it ought to be clearly such a mark as shows the object of its registered owners.. But, as the clause stands, as long as their purpose exists, although it may never have been indicated to the defendant, still he is guilty. What I ask the Committee, in common fairness, to do is to insure that, not only must the object be to indicate conditions of trade, but that that object must be somewhere indicated to the person who is charged.
– I think that in cases there would be great controversy as to whether, in fact, it did indicate it.
– Suppose that in England, or elsewhere, a man did register a mark or symbol such as may be obtained by a union in the Commonwealth, and honestly put that ni 6:k on his goods, and that a union in Australia registered that mark as a trade mark. Surely it is not intended to punish the ann in England or elsewhere for doing that which he had a perfect right to do ! We ought not, by our legislation, to prevent such imports from coming in. I ask the Attorney-General to consider this matter very carefully.
Mr. ISAACS (Indi- Attorney-General). - I regret that I cannot accept the suggestion to amend the clause in this direction, because, if I did, it would break down the whole part. I cannot conceive that any one abroad can invent a mark which signifies that it is an Australian union mark, and then honestly apply it to goods being sent to Australia.
– But suppose that the mark has no reference to Australia, and simply consists of the words “ Hatters’ Union.”
– It must not be an, imitation of one registered here.
– I should say that as we are legislating for ourselves it is difficult to imagine that any foreign mark can accidentally be such a close imitation of an Australian workers’ mark as to be calculated to deceive.
Mr. LONSDALE (New England). - Suppose that a star, together with the words “Hatters’ Union,” or “ Bootmakers’ Union,” is registered in England, and is honestly applied to goods made by unionists, but is similar to a label which has been registered here, should the English manufacturer be liable to punishment for honestly using his own mark to represent that his goods were made by union labour? It will be an outrage if we attempt to do anything of the kind. An amendment ought to be made in order to prevent that man from being punished.
Mr. GLYNN (Angas). - I notice that towards the end of sub-clause 1 the words “ substantially identical with a labour mark” are used. These words are not contained in the legislation on which the clause has been framed. This is really an adaptation of the provisions dealing with the fraudulent application of trade marks contained in the Trade Mark Acts of the States and in Imperial legislation. I have compared the Statutes very carefully, and I can see that with certain omissions to make the clause more stringent it is simply a redraft, of course with such variations as are necessary for its general object. In the Commerce Act the words used are - or any mark so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive ; but in this clause the words used are - or any mark substantially identical with a labour mark, or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
It is a pity to have two Federal Statutes directed to the very same end, but containing different methods of creating the offence. It will introduce confusion. In the Commerce Act it is provided that no person shall import any goods to which a false trade description is applied, and its definition of “false trade description” ends with the words - which makes the description false or likely to mislead in a material respect.
These are to some extent, similar to the final words of sub-clauseI of new clause 73 ; but in the Trade Marks Acts of the States and in the Imperial Act the same words are used as are employed in this clause. If the words “ substantially identical with a labour mark “ are retained, they must mean something different from the concluding words “ So nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.” That doubt will not exist under the Commerce Act or under the States laws. I think the AttorneyGeneral will agree that importations in violation of the principle of this provision are already covered by the Commerce Act. Not only is the wording of the provision different,” but the penalty is one-half of that which is provided for in the Commerce Act.
– I am willing to make the penalty £100.
– Will not the honorable and learned gentleman consent to the excision of the words to which I have called his attention?
– No, I am afraid that a loop-hole would be left if I did.
– Perhaps the honorable and learned gentleman Will explain why the words “ substantially identical “ are retained? I do not know what the phrase means. It doesnot mean “ similar,’’ or “so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.’”
Mr. ISAACS(Indi - Attorney-General). - To show the honorable and learned member for Angas that I am adopting the same phraseology as is used in other parts of the Bill, I desire to call his attention to clause 53, which reads in this way -
The rights acquired by registration of a trade mark shall be deemed to be infringed by the use in respect of the goods in respect of which it is registered, of a mark substantially identical with the trade mark, or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
We have already passed that clause without objection, and’ I do not see why we should not use the same language in this provision.
Proposed new clause, as amended, agreed to.
Amendments (by Mr. Isaacs) agreed to-
That the following new clauses be inserted : - 74A. - (1) A worker or association may register a workers’ trade mark in the prescribed manner and shall thereupon be deemed the registered proprietor thereof, and be entitled to institute legal proceedings to prevent and recover damages for any contravention of this Part in respect of that trade mark.
A workers’ trade mark may be removed from the register for the causes and in the manner prescribed, and subject thereto the registration of the trade mark shall continue for fourteenyears at the expiration of which it shall cease unless renewed in the manner prescribed.
A workers’ trade mark shall not be capable of assignment either by act of the parties or by operation of law.
Parts III., IV., V., and VI. of this Act shall not apply in relation to workers’ trade marks.
A workers’ trade mark shall not be registered if it is substantially identical with any registered trade mark within the meaning of this Act or so nearly resembles it as to be likely to deceive. 75A. Nothing in this Part shall be so construed as to make it lawful for any person or association or combination of persons to do any act which it would have been unlawful for such person association or combination of persons to do before the commencement of this Act. 781.-(1) This Part shall apply to all goods included in or specified by a resolution passed by both Houses of the Parliament that in their opinion the conditions as to the remuneration of labour in connexion with their manufacture are fair arid reasonable.
A resolution shall be deemed to have been passed at the commencement of this Act, by both Houses of the Parliament that the conditions as to the remuneration of labour are fair and reasonable in respect of goods which are manufactured in any part of the Commonwealth under conditions as to the remuneration of labour prescribed, required, or provided in relation to the goods, by an industrial award or order, or an industrial agreement, under an industrial law.
In this Part “ an industrial law “ means any Act or State Act existing at the commencement of this Act and providing for conciliation or arbitration or both conciliation and arbitration, or the determination of the remuneration of labour in connexion with industrial matters or the manufacture of goods or any statutory modification amendment or re-enactment thereof respectively, or any Act or State Act passed after the commencement of this Act and declared by resolution of both Houses of Parliament to be an industrial law within the meaning of this Part; and “ industrial award or order “ includesany determination of any Special Board or Court under an industrial law.
A resolution passed or deemed to have been passed as aforesaid may be by both Houses of the Parliament revoked in whole or in part, and thereupon this Part shall to the extent of the revocation cease to apply. 78J. - (1) The Minister may cause to be designed” and registered a trade mark (in this Part called the Commonwealth Trade Mark), consisting of a distinctive device or label bearing the words “ Australian Labour Conditions.”
The Commonwealth trade mark shall not contain the name of or indicate any State.
Parts III., IV., V., and VI. of this Act shall not apply in relation to the Commonwealth; trade mark. 78K. - (1) Upon the registration of the Common wealth trade mark, the Minister shall be deemed to be the proprietor thereof, and shall be entitled to prevent the unauthorized application of the Commonwealth trade mark.
The rights of the proprietor of the Com monwealth trade mark shall be deemed to be infringed by the unauthorized application to goods of a mark identical or substantially identical with the Commonwealth trade mark, or so nearly resembling it as to be likely to deceive.
The Minister may sue to prevent infringement of the Commonwealth trade mark. 78L. The application of the Commonwealth trade mark to goods shall be deemed tobe unauthorized unless -
it is applied by or by direction of the first proprietor of the goods, and is so applied by the authority of the Minister; and
it is applied to goods to which this Part applies; and
the first proprietor of the goods has personally manufactured them, or has paid for the labour other than his own in connexion with their manufacture at least the minimum amount prescribed, required, or provided to be paid to persons actually making the goods by an industrial award or order, or an industrial agreement under an industrial law. 78M. - (1) The authority of the Minister to any person to apply the Commonwealth trade mark may be given either generally or in respect of specific goods, and shall be given if in his opinion the trade mark will not be applied except as authorized by this Part.
The Minister may revoke his authority in whole or in part if in his opinion a person to whom it has been given has applied or is likely to apply the trade mark in a manner unauthorized by this Part.
Amendment (by Mr. Isaacs) proposed -
That the following new clause be inserted : - 78N. - (1) No person shall wilfully infringethe rights of the Minister as proprietor of the Commonwealth trade mark.
Penalty : Fifty pounds.
Penalty : Fifty pounds.
Mr. McCAY (Corinella). - I should like the Attorney-General to tell me, whether he thinks that it is advisable for matters concerning infringements of the Commonwealth trade mark in connexion with specific cases to come before the Houses of Parliament. Is it advisable, for instance, that Parliament should have to consider whether John Brown and Company are to be allowed to use the Commonwealth trade mark or not? It seems to me that the House will be set a very difficult task.
– It is not Parliament that will have to deal with the matter.
– I am considering the application of this proposed new clause to new clause 78 1.
– Parliament will only have to determine whether the law shall be applied; not as to the individual using the mark.
– I understand that this is only to apply in cases where a State law is in existence?
– That is all.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
Amendments (by Mr. Isaacs) agreed to -
That the following new clauses be inserted : - 78 O. No person shall knowingly import into Australia any goods, not manufactured or produced in Australia, to which there is applied - (a) the Commonwealth trade mark, or
a mark substantially identical with the Commonwealth trade mark, or
a mark so nearly resembling the Commonwealth trade mark as to be likely to deceive.
Penalty : One hundred pounds in addition to any liability to forfeiture provided by law. 78P. The Commonwealth trade mark may, on the application of the Minister, be removed from the register in the manner prescribed.
– I move-
That the following new clause be inserted : - Any person who unlawfully conspires with any other person or persons to induce or attempt to induce any person not to deal with or accept employment from any manufacturer, trader, or employer because such manufacturer, trader, or employer -
does not apply or is not entitled to apply a workers’ trade mark to goods; or
sells goods to which a workers’ trade mark is not applied ; or
does not sell goods to which a workers’ trade mark is applied, shall be guilty of an indictable offence.
Penalty : One hundred pounds, or twelve months’ imprisonment.
I shall not attempt to deal with this matter at length, because the whole question has been thoroughly debated. The honorable member for Northern Melbourne has justified boycotting in one or two directions. The object of this new clause is to prevent improper boycotting.
– Would the honorable member apply it to any one but a unionist?
– I see no reason why it should not apply all round. It is not intended to apply to any particular case. A law which is right and proper, as applied to one, should apply to all.
– If an employer says that he will not buy the labour of a certain man, would the honorable member compel him to do so?
– Such proper discretion is not limited by this clause. An employer may use his own discretion as an employe may do.
– What is the difference between the use of proper discretion and a boycott ?
– We have been repeatedly told during this debate that the whole purpose of this effort is to secure humane conditions for the workers ; that is, fair wages and hours of labour, and proper sanitation. Surely every one desires to secure those conditions for the workers. We are all heartily agreed in that desire. We are told, in addition, that another object is to resist the pirating of trade marks which any individual or association of workers may register under this Bill. I also agree with that. If organized workers are entitled to register a trade mark, they should have the full protection of the law to insure that it shall not be pirated. But there is a fear that the whole force of Part VII. of the Bill will be used for coercive purposes - that is, for enlarging the strength of the labour organizations.
– Does not the honorable member believe in their being powerful?
-There is no reason why they should not strengthen themselves as much as they can. But, in my judgment, it is not right that Parliament should pass legislation for giving to one section of the community - employers or employes - power to strengthen their organizations by Act of Parliament. Therefore, in asking the Committee to consider this clause, I am merely asking for the adoption of something which will prevent the Bill from being, improperly used. Honorable members opposite have said, time after time, during the debate, that they have no desire to make this a coercive measure, cr to use it by way of boycott.
– We want to make it ait effective measure.
– If the common law already provided them with sufficient protection, there can be no possible objection to placing this clause upon the statute-book in order to make clear what the intentions and purposes of the measure are. The clause makes it clear that a trade mark is not to be used for illicit purposes : and I should say that if it is used for political purposes, or to compel men to join a union, it would be used for illicit purposes. The bona -fides of honorable members opposite will be shown by agreeing to the clause. If their professions are to be accepted - and I do not dispute them - they can have no reasonable objection to my proposal.
– The honorable member would have reason to doubt our sanity if we accepted this amendment.
– Some honorable members doubt that now, but I should not be so rude. I should prefer to say that most honorable members opposite are fully alive to the advantages which they hope to gain under this Bill. The proposed new clause has received a great deal of consideration. We have debated its subject-matter at considerable length. Its language is plain and straightforward. Its object is to prevent boycotting. I have much pleasure in submitting it.
– The honorable member for Kooyong in this clause is, I think, trenching very dangerously on the limitations to the constitutional rights of this Parliament. I do not think we have the power to enact conspiracy laws. Some honorable members on the other side have complained of the introduction into the Trade Marks Bill of provisions to give protection to a workers’ trade mark as being foreign to the general purposes of a trade marks law. Surely it is still more foreign to the purposes of such’ a law to include in it a series of provisions relating to conspiracy ? Apart from those who are known to be pushing their opposition to the union label provision to the utmost possible extent, and speaking of unbiased persons, it is news to me to hear it contended that to enact provisions for the protection df a mark to be applied to goods in the course of trade is foreign to the purposes of trade marks legislation. But certainly it can reasonably be held that a provision dealing with’ the subject of conspiracy, and enacting something completely new, is foreign to legislation- dealing with trade marks. Leaving that matter, I point out that the honorable member for Kooyong said that the voting upon this clause would test the sincerity of the professions of honorable members on this side. I should like to know, as a test of his professions, what steps the honorable member proroses to take to deal with the boycotting indulged in by the proprietors of ordinary trade marks? So far as I know, the honorable member intends to take no steps whatever in regard to them.
– What sort of boycott do they indulge in?
– How can they boycott ?
– We do not expect the honorable member for Wentworth to know, but I ask the honorable member for Mernda whether in respect of some of his goods he permits more than one trader to distribute them in a particular town ?
– Yes, the more the better.
– Then the honorable member’s practice in that respect differs from that followed by many other manufacturers. I am sure the honorable member will be candid enough to admit that he personally knows of a great number of manufacturers who limit their agency to one trader in a town, and boycott every other trader in it.
– The honorable member for Mernda does the same thing himself, in Queensland. He has only one agent in Rockhampton.
– What is there improper in that?
– I do not say that it is improper for a manufacturer to do that. In some cases, I can quite understand that it might be absolutely justifiable from business considerations; but I do say that it is in restraint of trade. There is no freedom to the one hundred and one other traders in a town to purchase the goods of the manufacturer who adopts that practice, in order to distribute them to the public, though they may desire to do so. The practice, therefore, resolves itself into a boycott of certain individuals in that town. The principle on which legislation has always proceeded in regard to trade marks in every British community, and indeed in every civilized community in the world, has been to grant legislative Protection to the owner of a trade mark, independently of what he does with that trade mark. In the laws of England, of America, and of every continental country, so far as I have been able to ascertain, no question is raised as to how the owner of a trade mark mav care to use the symbol in respect of which the community has given him protection, and in the use and enjoyment of which they have confirmed him. Why should this principle be introduced now, when the interests of the workers are at stake? Because they are concerned the honorable member for Koovong has suddenly become alive to the necessity of protecting the public against boycotting.
– It will work both ways.
– I, personally, contend that there is no likelihood of any effective boycotting resulting from the establishment of the proposed union’ label, because the public will soon show by their lack of sympathy that it is not profitable for any one to indulge in boycotting of the kind suggested. I say that if honorable members who are opposed to the union label provisions insist upon and succeed in introducing a clause that will have the effect of limiting the operation of the workers’ trade mark, I, for one, will take every step possible to provide that the owner of every trade mark used in the ordinary course of business, and given protection under this measure, shall be brought under review by the authorities as to the manner in which he uses that trade mark, and as to whether it is used in the public interest or not. If we are to have legislation to say how this concession by the community is to be used, it should be applied all round without discrimination. This clause should be proposed in another part of the Bill, and applied to all trade marks, in order that the action taken under them all might be brought under review in every instance, and that some public authority, whether a. Government officer, a board, or some such body, shall pronounce whether the holder of a trade mark is entitled to continue in the use and enjoyment of it, iq view of the manner in which he is operating it in the interests or against the interests of the public. If the honorable member for Kooyong is prepared to amend his clause so as to make it apply to all trade marks indiscriminately - because, after all, a trade mark is in the nature of a monopoly since it is a concession from the public to a particular” individual, permitting him to acquire proprietary interests in his mark, and extending to him the assistance of the whole machinery of Government to secure his enjoyment of it-
– I thought it was a question of conspiracy, only a moment ago.
- 1 say that the false use of a trade mark is a question of conspiracy, and all the evasions of the honorable and learned member for Corinella will not induce the public to believe that the attitude assumed1 by him can have any other result than that of assisting the pirate and the forger. In this clause the honorable member for Kooyong is going either too far or not far enough. He should put no such proposal before the Committee, or he should be prepared to submit a clause which will apply the restrictions he proposes in this clause equally to every form of trade mark. If the honorable member does that, I shall be prepared to support him.
Mr. ISAACS (Indi- Attorney-General). - I do not think that the honorable member for Kooyong intends to suggest anything unfair. But I can assure him that his proposal is unfair: In the first place, it offends not only against the spirit of the rule just referred to by the honorable member for Bland, inasmuch as it does not pretend to apply that rule all round to all trade marks, but it does not presume to say to other traders : “ If you unite to induce your customers not to deal with somebody else, you shall be guilty of an offence.” But there is something more. Even in regard to the workers’ trade marks, this is the most onesided proposal I ever heard of. So far as I can understand! it at all, the clause provides that if there is a conspiracy - and I do not know what a conspiracy to induce any person to do anything of his own will may be - for the purpose of inducing any person not to deal with any manufacturer, trader, or employer, because he does not use a workers’ trade mark, and the persons engaged in it are to be liable to punishment, why” is there not also a proposal to make it punishable for employers to induce other persons not to employ unionists, or not to give employment to any person or deal with* any person who does use a workers’ trade mark? Why is this proposition so one-sided? I could appreciate the difficult position in which the honorable member for Kooyong would be placed if he returned to the Chamber of Manufactures, and said, “ I have moved a clause which renders you liable to punishment as criminals if you unite together and decide that you will not employ unionists., or that you will give preference to persons who do not employ unionists,” or that they would place themselves in a similar position if they did what Mr. Walpole threatened, in the letter which I read the other evening, that the bankers and manufacturers might do - bring pressure to bear on persons who did use workers’ trade marks. I can imagine the astonishment with which the honorable member would be received if he had such a communication to make. Yet it would be only fair to include such a provision as a counterpart to what he proposes in this clause. Let us deal with the clause as it stands. I ask honorable members what we are to understand by it? It provides that-
Any person who unlawfully conspires with any other person or persons -
To do what? - to induce or attempt to induce any person not t* deal with or accept employment from any manufacturer, trader, or employer - who does not use a workers’ trade mark. I ask honorable members to imagine the position created. Two persons meet together, and they say : “ We will use our best efforts to persuade a certain individual or fellow-worker not to deal with a certain man, because he does not use a workers’ trade mark.” Instantly, under this clause, they would be criminals.
– That would affect the whole of the members of the Anti-Sweating League.
– As the honorable member for Melbourne Ports points out, this clause would put the whole of the members of the Anti-Sweating League in gaol in about a week.
– Perhaps that is what is desired.
– That would be the effect of this clause; but I am satisfied that the honorable member does not intend that it should achieve any such unfair conse1quences
– The honorable member did not know that it was loaded.
– I say that that might be the effect of the clause, but I propose to show the Committee that there is no necessity for any such provision. I was very careful to put into the Bill the provision to which the Committee has agreed in clause 75 -
Nothing in this Part shall be so construed as to make it lawful for any person or association or combination of persons to do any act which it would have been unlawful for such person, association, or combination of persons to do before the commencement of this Act.
In other words, if there is any conspiracy or unlawful act which, at the present moment, would render those committing it liable to punishment, they will be equally liable after the Bill is passed.
– I understand that that provision covers the ground which I desire to cover by my amendment?
– It does not create a new offence, but leaves the law as it is at the present moment.
– It doesnot alter the law.
– That is so. It says, in effect, that no power is given to the workers to indulge in criminal practices. It is very doubtful whether this Parliament can pass any criminal law. I do not know what the Statute law is in all the States, but at common law, and by the Statutes of two of the States, conspiracy and boycotting, in the sense of intimidation, are prohibited, and it is the business of the States to make their laws in this respect effective if they are not now sufficiently stringent. Section 20 of the Employers and Employes Act of Victoria, No. 1219, passed in 1891 and based upon the English Act 38 and 39 Vic, cap. 86, section 7, provides that -
Every person who with a view to compel any other person to abstain from doing or to do any act which such other person has a legal right to do or abstain from doing wrongfully or without legal authority -
uses violence to or intimidates such other person or his wife or children or injureshis property ; or
persistently follows such other person about from place to place ; or
hides any tools clothes or other property owned or used by such other person or deprives him of or hinders him in the use thereof ; or
watches or besets the house or other place where such other person resides or works or carries on business or happens to be or the approach to such house or place ; or
follows such other person with two or more other persons in a disorderly manner in or through any street or road - shall on conviction thereof by a court of petty sessions, or on inducement or presentment as hereinafter mentioned be liable either to pay a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds, or to be imprisoned for a term not exceeding three months, with or without hard labour.
Attending at or near the house or place where a person resides or works or carries on business or happens to be or the approach to such house or place in order merely to obtain or communicate information shall not be deemed a watching or besetting within the meaning of this section.
Section 7 of the Western Australian Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act - 64 Vic. No. 19 - contains almost the same provision. Under these circumstances, and having regard to the facts to which I have already referred - more particularly the onesided “nature of the proposal - I have no option but to oppose the amendment.
Mr.THOMAS (Barrier). - I was very much amused when I found that the honorable member for Kooyong had given notice of this amendment. I understand that his intention is to prevent what is known as boycotting ; but such an amendment as he has moved would have come with better grace from any other honorable member. My reason for saying so is that he is associated with a company which employs probably more men than are employed by any other company, and uses the boycott very rigorously. I know from personal experience that it does so, because it boycotted me. I was president of the Miners’ Association at Broken Hill previous to a certain strike, and was boycotted on that account, by not being allowed to work in any of the mines there. Mr. Vosper, who was then treasurer of the association, was similarly treated, and had ultimately to leave Australia to obtain work. He went to South Africa.
– And we lost a firstclass citizen.
– Yes. After the strike things were a little more mixed, and a number of persons were placed on the black list. A Mr. Greenhalgh, who was working as an engineer for the Block 10 Company, was boycotted, not being allowed to obtain work in Broken Hill. I suggested that he should try to get work in Adelaide. We went there together, and on arrival he was met in the street by a man whom he knew as associated with one of the large engineering firms there. This man told him-, “You will get no work in Adelaide. Immediately you left Broken Hill, we received a telegram saying that you would come here to look for work, and instructing us that you were not to be employed.” If any of the mine managers at Broken Hill dismisses a man for a reason which he thinks to be beyond the ordinary, he submits his name to the secretary of the Mine Managers’ Association, whose duty it is to communicate the fact of the dismissal to each of the other mine managers, and, consequently, the man is not only notallowed to obtain work again from the company from whose service he has been dismissed, but is unable to obtain employment from any of the other companies in the town. Some years ago a man named Williams was working for the Proprietary Company under a contract. Previous to the visit of the New South Wales Arbitration Court to Broken Hill, those working under contracts in that company’s mine were dismissed if they broke them, although the company could break them at any time. Williams’ contract was broken in this way, and, on taking the matter into Court, he compelled the company to pay him what was due to him. But, as a result, he was boycotted. A document, signed by Mr. Horwood, the manager of the Proprietary Company, containing a description of Williams, was sent to the managers of all the other mines. At any rate, a copy was sent to Mr. Phillips, the manager of the Junction, and it came into our possession.
– This was a good many years ago.
– It was while I was a member of the New South Wales Parliament. I was asked by the Association to consult a barrister as to whether the action of the mine managers was not a conspiracy to prevent Williams from following his lawful occupation, and, on. consulting the honorable and learned member for Angas, we were informed that we could not proceed unless we could definitely prove that other mine managers besides Phillips had received copies of the document. With Mr. Cann, who now represents Broken Hill in the State Legislature, I saw the right honorable member for East Sydney, who was at the time Prime Minister, and AttorneyGeneral of New South Wales, and thehonorable member for Parramatta, who was then Secretary for Mines ; but nothing could be done. The Proprietary Company, however, is still acting in the same way, and’, as the honorable member for Kooyong is its managing director, he is the last man in the Committee who should have moved such an amendment as this. If the honorable member thinks that boycotting is wrong, he should prevent his own crowd from boycotting. The mine manager of the Proprietary is his servant, and he could, if he wished to do so, put a stop to the practices to which I have referred. Captain Jack Warren, the manager of Block 10, told Greenhalgh that he would take him back but for the fact that his directors had instructed him that Greenhalgh and several others were not to be again employed. I have referred to these cases to show that the employers of Australia resort to the boycott. If the workers, who are in a majority, will not use the powers which they possess as electors, to protect themselves against such action, they must suffer the consequences. But the honorable member for Kooyong, before trying to prevent them from boycotting when they have the opportunity, should pre- i vent the companies which he controls from using the boycott. I do not say that a man who misbehaves or does not do his work should not be dismissed by his employers, but it is going too far to say that he should not obtain employment from any one else. There would be a certain amount of fairness in the amendment if the honorable member applied the same penalties to all. But his great anxiety is lest the workers shall use the boycott.
– Would it not be better to prevent either party from using it?
– There are occasions when boycotting is absolutely justifiable, and it is certainly unfair to prevent men from boycotting, when their employers boycott them. I trust that the honorable member will withdraw the amendment, and allow us to get on with the Bill. Perhaps he will not be prepared to accept the amendment suggested by me before he has had an opportunity of consulting the Chamber of Commerce, because it might not suit the members of that body. As the proposed new clause stands at present, it would be unjust in its operation, and, if it is pressed, I shall certainly vote against it.
Mr. GLYNN (Angas). - I would urge the honorable member for Kooyong to withdraw his amendment. I agree with the honorable member for Bland and the AttorneyGeneral. I do not think that we have the power to pass the amendment. Moreover, if the evils at which it is aimed do arise, the laws of the States will suffice. As we have passed clause 73, we should stultify ourselves if we immediately afterwards adopted another provision intended to stop certain developments that were likely to follow. In the first place, we should not pass a provision thatwould be unconstitutional ; and, in the second place, we should not anticipate any evils that may arise under the clause to which we have agreed. In addition to this, I think that the proposal of the honorable member goes a little further than he intends, because it makes an invidious distinction.
– I do not think that any argument would go to the root of this question sodirectly as that which might be based upon the history of the honorable member for Kooyong in connexion with the exercise of the very weapon which he now desires to placebeyond the reach of the workers. The honorable member stands in the same position as Satan reproving sin. He knows full well what is meant by the boycott, because he has used it, not only upon the mainland, but also in Tasmania, perhaps more than any other man in Australia. When the people of the island State awoke from their stupidity, and decided to follow the example of the electors in the Australian States by returning to the State Parliament ,a representative who was in sympathy with them, they selected a man of clean reputation, who was considered one of the best workmen employed on the Mount Lyell mines. Immediately he was elected as a labour representative, the boycott was applied to him by the directors of the company for whom he had been working, and he was thrown out of employment. The allowance made to a member of Parliament in Tasmania is very small, and yet an honest toiler,’ merely because he was considered worthy to represent his fellows in the Legislature, was, through the instrumentality of men of the type of the honorable member for Kooyong, absolutely prevented from earning his living. The weak point of the proposed new clause was clearly indicated by the honorable member for Bland, and the honorable member for Kooyong had the ground completely cut from under him when he was asked to remove the invidious distinction, made to the disadvantage of the workers, and to permit the provision to apply to all persons who had the privilege of using trade marks. Those honorable members who talk most glibly against class legislation are prepared to place a weapon in the hands of the employers which will enable them to hound down the workers. They are content that the directors of the Broken Hill mines should be allowed to conspire U deprive men of an opportunity of earning their livelihood. When honorable members bring forward propositions of this kind, it is well that we should be able to turn back a few pages of their history, and see the black marks recorded against them by the workers. This is a bare-faced proposition, and I scarcely expected that the honorable member for Kooyong would stoop so low as he has done. No men in the world are less inclined to use coercion, or to resort to the boycott than are the workers. No men have suffered more than they have from the exercise of such powers, and they would be the last to mete out to others the injustice That has been inflicted upon themselves. The honorable member for Kooyong apparently regards the workers as demons almost equal to those with whom he is as sociated. He represents them as men who ought to be shackled, to be loaded with leg-irons as in the past. Thank God, those days are gone, and it is not possible for individuals like the honorable member for Kooyong to work their will. The workers are now represented by men who will see that justice is done to all, and I hope that this will be the last time that any honorable member will have ,the temerity to submit a proposal of this kind. The honorable member may well be prepared to withdraw his amendment. He may well regret that he ever brought it forward. Perhaps it is as well that the proposal should be put to the test, in order that we may demonstrate that such legislation cannot be placed upon our statute-book. The object of the amendment is to rob the toilers of their true representatives, or, in other words, to destroy their unity outside, so that they may not be able to secure proper representation within the walls of Parliament. The employers wish to have full liberty to meet together, and conspire against the workers who may be within their control. No legislation -is proposed to limit their powers in this direction, but the moment that the workers desire to exercise the1 same liberty of action, and to prevent the employer from robbing the consumer, and misrepresenting the producer, gentlemen, like the honorable member for Kooyong, wish to put leg-irons on them. All such efforts are, however, too late. The time has gone, never to return, when the people would submit to such restraints upon their liberty. They have received the advantages of education, and are fortunately in a position to safeguard themselves against the machinations of the representatives of capital. If the other- legislative proposals of the honorable member are no more liberal than that which he has put forward tonight, his place is not in this Parliament. He should be consigned to the museum, so that enlightened citizens might go there and gaze upon the curiosity which once represented a section of the people in the Commonwealth Parliament.
Mr. KNOX (Kooyong). - It is quite evident that my amendment has bitten my honorable friends in the Labour corner. They have, in effect, admitted that powers are conferred upon them bv the Bil] which they intend to use, and which they do not desire to have restricted in any way. Fortunately, honorable members regard the va pourings of the honorable member for Gwydir as of very small concern, and I do not attach any importance to what has fallen from him. I do, however, pay some regard to the statements of the honorable member for Barrier. We have repeatedly been told that a strike took place at Broken Hill in 1888 and 1891. It is customary for the honorable member to exhume the history of the events which led up to “that strike, and of those which followed it. On more than one occasion he has given utterance to the very statements which he has repeated to-night. I would ask him to consider what has befallen those who originated that strike. Some are discredited by all with whom they were formerly associated. We knew more than the honorable member did of what was being done at that time. There has been a great change since 1888. even in the unions. Thev have altered their methods, and have taken up a very much more reasonable attitude than they did in the old days, and. so far as the Broken Hill companies are concerned, they now receive every justice and consideration.
– Williams’ case had nothing whatever to do with the strike. It occurred in 1900.
– The honorable member has referred to’ a matter of which he has led the Committee to suppose that I had personal cognizance. So far as I am personally concerned, the honorable member has misrepresented the facts, because I knew nothing whatever of the cases to which he has alluded.
– But as a director, the honorable member would not shirk responsibility for the actions of his manager.
– Upon one occasion, when the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill was under consideration, the honorable member for Barrier did mention a case into which I inquired. I found that his information was absolutely inaccurate. All I have to say is that when the Broken Hill strike was in progress the honorable member was an active agent of the unionists. In those clays he was regarded as a very fair and moderate man, and I must confess- that I have had no reason to change the opinion which I then formed of him. ‘ He has always displayed a reasonable discretion which does him infinite credit.
– It is a matter of public notoriety that there was a black-list amongst the mine-owners of Broken Hill.
-If that be so, I knew nothing of it. There were men there who were disturbers of the peace - agitators - whose actions certainly did not advance the interests of the workers. The honorable member for Barrier has made a number of charges as to which I have no personal knowledge. He is perfectly well aware that when the Broken Hill strike was in progress, I did everything that a man could do to benefit the workers. My conscience is absolutely, clear upon that point. I endeavoured to do justice to all men. In regard to this clause, I think that the AttorneyGeneral, has made a very fair explanation. In submitting it, I said that I thought it should be made > to apply alike to employers and employes, and that, in so far as it unfairly pressed upon the workers, it was not in accordance with my wishes. I unhesitatingly say that, if the adoption of the union label, which has provoked so much opposition, will only secure to the workers that which we have been told it is designed to secure, nobody will regret that opposition more than I will. I claim that the whole motive underlying the Government proposals is a desire to strengthen trade unions and to endow them with greater political power than they possessBehind all humanitarian considerations, there is the intention to use the union label for coercive and class purposes. I say that under Part VII. of the measure, special consideration is secured to the workers-
– That statement is incorrect.
– Lawyers and large bodies of mercantile men, who have had to consider this question, entertain the same opinion. Unfortunately, in this House, it is regarded as an offence to be an employer of labour. In view of the clear exposition of the provision made by the AttorneyGeneral, I do not feel prepared to press for a. division upon my proposal, particularly as I admit that the law should be made toapply all round. I. therefore, ask leave towithdraw the new clause which I have submitted.
– I object to the withdrawal of the clause. I was astonished to hear the honorable member for Kooyong declare that he knew nothing whatever of the black-listing which took place in connexion with the miners” strike at Broken Hill. That black-listing meant the starvation of innocent women and children.
– That is rubbish. If the honorable member can cite any specific case of that character, it will be inquired into.
– -Scores of such cases can be specified. Several were mentioned by the honorable member for Barrier, and I know that in some instances innocent women and children’ had to suffer. Cases in which the boycott has been used could be multiplied, but I am sure that the honorable member for Kooyong will not be ready to lift his finger to put an end to that practice. I have seen employers’ black-lists in connexion with the Australian Workers’ Union, of which I have been an officer for many years. As labour members are aware that such lists existed in connexion with the Shearers’ Union, and the mines at Broken Hill and Kalgoorlie, it is curious that the honorable member for Kooyong should know nothing whatever about them. Not long ago, the hotel and restaurant employes in Kalgoorlie brought a case before the Arbitration Court in Western Australia. That tribunal’ decided that the conditions under which they laboured were far from satisfactory. What was the result? The officers who took that case into Court were” able to obtain a fair award, but when they returned to their work they were instantly dismissed. Yet the honorable member for Kooyong talks about boycotting. He declares that the union label will be used for the purpose of establishing a boycott. What kind of boycott can it be used to initiate? Only the boycott that we all indulge in to-day - that of extending a preference to the tradesman whose goods we favour. The honorable member for Kooyong has said that it is becoming an offence to be an employer. The very reverse is the case. I was just as good a unionist when I was an employer as I was when a workman. It is becoming an offence to be a unionist. Let the honorable member ask the directors of the Melbourne Tramway Company, or of the Melbourne Gas Company, if they will allow one of their employes to belong to a trade union. For any person in. the service of those companies to jo.in such an organization would mean instant dismissal. That is the so-called “ liberty” that exists, not only in Victoria, but in the other States, and yet those who say that they are opposed to boycotting and shout for liberty do nothing in this House to rectify such a state of affairs. I am glad that the honorable member for Kooyong has submitted this amendment, because it has given us an opportunity to afford the public an insight into the condition of affairs existing throughout the Commonwealth. But for the fact that it is time we passed this Bill through its remaining stages and proceeded with the consideration of other measures, I should be disposed to detain the Committee by citing the numerous cases of intimidation on the part of employers that have come under my observation. At Port Adelaide, for instance, when the workers dared to stand up for their rights, the guns of the Protector, which was at that time the only Australian warship were loaded to the muzzle to shoot down the finest body of men with whom I have had the pleasure of being associate’. But I am glad to say that the Ministry of the day thought better of it. Then, again, we have actually seen guns taken to Newcastle to shoot down innocent men, simply because they dared to stand up for their rights.
– And also to Western Queensland.
– That is so. This action was taken, not because of any offence committed by the men, but because they dared to assert that they were unable to keep their wives and children in the. comfort they deserved.
– That was the tyranny of the “boodleier.”
– Tyranny is not the word to describe it. Every one is aware of what was attempted in this direction in Victoria. When the Attorney-General quoted a provision in a Victorian Act against intimidation and conspiracy, I was almost led to think that he was. reading from the infamous Irvine Coercion Act. The Statutes of the States amply provide against intimidation without any action on our part. I shall not press my objection to the withdrawal of the motion, but if it went to a division I should be very much surprised to find even half-a-dozen honorable members of the Opposition supporting it.
– At all events those who supported the amendment would lower themselves in the estimation of the people, and I think that the honorable member for Kooyongis well advised in proposing to withdraw it.
– I object to the withdrawal of the amendment, because I think that the better course would be to adopt the suggestion made by the honorable member for Bland, that it should be made to apply both to employer and employe. The honorable member for Barrier has made a very strong indictment against boycotting, and most honorable members will agree with him. But whilst the Labour Party admit that the boycott on one side is absolutely wrong, they propose to legalize resort to it by the other. I have always objected to boycotting, and when I was an employer of labour, I did not join an employers’ association. A boycott on the part of an employer is just as criminal and as cruel as is a boycott on the part of a union or an individual employe. We know that it would not be a bad thing if this clause were applied to some of our employers, and those who work for them. Let us take, for example, the action of some insurance agents. I know of agents who have deliberately done a cruel, and, to my mind, a criminal act. By libelling an opposition society they have induced people to surrender policies - upon which . they have, perhaps, paid premiums for years - in order to take out fresh policies in other institutions. If a provision of this kind could be so applied as to make such an act an offence, I should have no objection to it. The objection has been raised that the amendment would prevent a commercial traveller from pointing out that it is a mistake to buy the goods of an opposing firm. I hold, however, that a traveller should rely on the quality of his own goods, and not seek trade by blackguarding and vilifying his competitors. If the. amendment applied to such cases it would have a good effect. I object to a boycott either by employers or employes ; but the whole object of the union label clauses, to my mind, is to set up in Australia that which has been such a fruitful source of fighting and disunion between employers and employe’s in the United States of America - the boycott as established by the union label.
– The boycott in the United States has had nothing to do with the union label ; not a tittle of evidence has been produced to support the honorable member’s contention.
– I believe that the union label has had a great deal to do with the boycott there, and that, if we took away the power to exercise the boycott in connexion with the union label, many who advocate the provisions now under considera tion would think that “ the game was not worth the candle.” The whole object of the union label is, in my opinion, to force men into unions, and to give unionists an undue advantage over non-unionists. I have no objection to men joining unions; I believe that unionism is an exceedingly good thing for the workers. But I object to the whole force of the Commonwealth Legislature being brought into operation to compel men to do that which is contrary to their own judgment. I am quite prepared to accept the suggestion made by the honorable member for Bland, that the amendment should be so amended as to apply equally to employer and employe. If we did that, and made boycotting on either side a criminal offence, I do not think that the opposition which has been raised to the union, label would be continued.
– Would the honorable member make it an offence for a man to join a union?
– I have just said that I think it is well for a man to join a union.
– Would the honorable member make it an offence to refuse to allow an employ to join a union? ,
– If there be aconspiracy on the part of employers to black-list a man because he joins a union, I am quite prepared to make that act an offence, just as I should make it an offence for a union to declare that a man shall not obtain employment unless he joins its ranks. I am ready to hold the scales of justice evenly? That which I am prepared to mete out to the one I am ready to extend to the other. The boycott is a danger, and is the most cruel system that could be brought into force. If the practice does exist in Australia on the one side, instead of attempting to legalize it on the other, our object should be to remove it altogether. Practically, the whole, of last session was devoted to the consideration of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, which was designed to prevent difficulties arising between capital and labour. And yet we have spent a considerable part of the present session in passing legislation which will have a diametrically opposite effect - the effect of creating greater friction between capital and labour. If the amendment be made to apply equally to employers and employes it will have a decidedly beneficial effect, and
I shall have much pleasure in supporting a proposal to that end.
– I have no desire to detain the Committee, but as I was secretary to the Amalgamated Miners’ Association, during the period referred to by the honorable member for Barrier, I wish to support the statements he has made. The honorable member for Kooyong has attempted to discredit them ; but one of the mine managers in Broken Hill - a personal friend of mine - informed me that the organized mine managers sent him a circular, containing the names of eight men to whom employment was not to be given. This treatment was not meted out, as the honorable member for Kooyong would have the Committee believe, to an undesirable class. They were decent men, and no fault could be found with their workmanship, or their character. They were simply unionists, and the cruel part of this action was that they were nob made aware that work was not to be given to them in the Broken Hill district. Their wives and families were practically starving whilst th’ey were seeking employment, and although every mine manager to whom they went said, “ I have no room,” not one of them told them that they were boycotted. Every organization of employers practices the boycott. In no mining district where the employers have been organized, has the boycott not been -practised. The Broken Hill mine manager to whom I have referred said that no reason was given to him for refusing to employ these men; but he dare not give them work. I have had a personal experience of the boycott. I was secretary of the Amalgamated Miners’ Association for sixteen, years, but am not sorry that I was boycotted out of the mining industry. Hundreds of men are systematically boycotted. I have known a man to be boycotted, not only in his own district, but in other districts, and indeed in other States, whither he had gone in search of employment. This means, in individual cases, the grossest persecution based on personal spite. I am astonished that a representative of the employing classes should have dared to put before the Committee such a one-sided proposal as that now under consideration. We know that there is no likelihood of the workers availing themselves of the union label to exercise the boycott’, but the employers, measuring other people’s corn bv their own bushel, appear to consider that there is. The most systematic up-to-date boycott is that practised by the Pastoralists’ Union. It is so completely organized that confidential circulars are sent out, and confidential reports are obtained. In New South Wales and Queensland the pastoralists not only boycott a man, but try to drive him out of the country. With them it is not a matter of preventing a shearer from getting work in a particular shed, or at his occupation, but preventing him from getting any employment in the Commonwealth at that occupation. A man is to be driven right out of shearing. Why ? Because he dares to stand up for his rights, or for those of his fellow-men. Some honorable members talk about what the employers do. But any one who has had experience of bushmen’s work knows how employers boycott a hawker. He is not even allowed to go to the station to provide the men with goods. He is boycotted so that the men shall be compelled to get their stores and clothing from the station store - in the olden times at very exorbitant rates. The pastoralists attempt to boycott even the employment of’ the cooks for whom the shearers pay. No doubt an action for conspiracy would lie against an organization for boycotting in this way, but there is great difficulty in furnishing the necessary proof. Men attempt to dodge the boycott, frequently by changing their personal appearance, but generally by changing their names. The boycott is so complete in some cases that I am astonished that the employers do not adopt the thumb-print system. It is astonishing to me that this proposal of the honorable member for Kooyong should lie upon the table for so many days without its unfairness dawning upon him. He has had ample evidence of the tendency of the class which is crying out against the union label to practise the boycott. Perhaps he has done a wise thing in asking for leave to withdraw his proposal, because, in my opinion, the common law is sufficiently strong to deal with such cases.
– Why does the honorable member persist in flogging a dear! horse ?
– I object to the withdrawal of the amendment, because I wish to see how many honorable members are prepared to vote for a. one-sided proposal.
– In view of the very wild statements that have been made during the last hour, a few words are necessary from those who do not think in the same way as the speakers immediately - preceding me. Previously I have explained that 1 am against the use of the boycott by either employer or employe. I expressed the opinion that, not on one side, but on both sides, the boycott would be employed to effect the results desired. I still believe that on the one side the only effective means of using the label’ will be by the boycott, and that the other side ‘will resist its use and encourage the use of another label - one belonging to an association of employers - by the boycott. I have also pointed out that the boycott is a most undesirable system to be introduced into the commerce of the country, not by employes only, but also byemployers. What the honorable member for Gwydir said in the last part of his speech I could not hear, because he had worked himself into a hysterical condition. But in the first part of his speech I understood him to hold up his hands in horror at the boycott; to say that he could not conceive how any man could use such a weapon, and to call down upon the heads of its users all the anathemas which he could command. Let me remind the honorable member that, time- after time, the boycott has been used as a fighting weapon, not merely on one side, but on both sides. Let me ask those honorable members in the corner, who supported the strike of 1890, what was done on that occasion? The unions boycotted, right and left, the goods of men who had not the remotest connexion with the strike, including the wool from the stations and the coal from the mines. So intensely’ bitter did they feel that they threatened even to close the bakers’ shops in Sydney.
– It was the coal mine owners who locked out the miners.
– The honorable member knows that I am speaking of the conveyance of the coal, and that on that occasion the boycotting was carried to a greater extreme than ever previously in Australia. If it led to the adoption of the boycott by the employers, then, though both boycotts were undesirable, those who suffered from the one should not come here and whine when they employed the same method on their side.
– The boycott by the emplovers was the greater crime.
– I do not intend to go into that matter, but merely to point out that on that occasion the boycott was used with a desperation and to an extent that has never been seen in Australia either before or since. Therefore, its users should not come here to whine and complain that a similar weapon was used on the other side.
– We only say that, if we are to have the boycott, the power to use it should be general.
– I am against the use of the boycott on either side, and I regret that a measure of this sort should contain a proposal which I believe will only be effectively carried out on either side by the employment of the boycott.
– Other people do not believe that.
– I cannot expect everybody else to think as I do.
– I mean to say that it is not admitted. <
– I am only expressing my own belief. If this weapon is to be effective, it must be applied by means of a boycott, and it may come to this pass in the long run, that wool and wheat, unless it be grown by union labour, and the bales and bags branded with the union mark, will not be conveyed by union carriers.
– The grower’s consent must be obtained.
– Surely the honorable member does not believe me to be so simple as to accept that remark. The grower’s consent will be obtained bv the use of the boycott.
– How could he be boycotted ?
– Just as a pirate cannot by law force people to allow him to use their goods for his purposes, so a union cannot by law force the owner of goods to allow the union to use them for their purposes, but just as a pirate can use unlawful means, so they can use other means which are not contemplated by the law, and that will be an intimation to a man that if he does not adopt the label, or if he is not in a position to do so through not having union, men, he must get into a position to use it, and use it, or his goods will be boycotted.
– That is the trouble.
– That is the trouble with the honorable member. For a long time the Labour Party and the
Labour Leagues have been endeavouring - and they have almost succeeded - to get the unions affiliated with the Labour Leagues. If they can get them affiliated, and can by any means - by boycott or otherwise - increase their membership - they think that they will increase their political power in the constituencies, and apply a law, which is professedly meant only for industry, to politics in order to gain their ends.
– That is the outgrowth of a vivid imagination.
– The honorable member need not suggest that that is not one of his expectations.
– Is the honorable member aware that the political organizations are separate from the unions?
– At the conference in Sydney, the unions decided, by two votes only, not to join the political Labour Leagues.
– By the votes of two delegates ?
– Yes. It was stated on that occasion by some of the labour leaders that it was anticipated that in a short time the proposal for affiliation would be carried.
– But we take the nonunionists into our party.
– I admit that in the Labour Party and the Labour Leagues there are non-unionists. I have not the least doubt that it can be shown that in some cases employers have improperly used the boycott ; but, on the other hand, it can be shown that on certain occasions the employes have used the boycott to a more extreme extent.
– The honorable member knows that since that time we have passed legislation in New South Wales to prevent anything of that kind being done.
– Since that time legislation has been passed to fix the conditions of industries in the States.
– By the Labour Party?
– Partly by the Labour Party; they were never sufficiently strong to pass the legislation alone. We are, however, enacting a provision which ought to be quite unnecessary when we have the legislation. I object to strife in industry if it can be avoided. I object to tyrannical actionby either side. The strongest objection to the union label is that the results desired cannot be obtained, as there is no provision under this legislation to obtain them, without the use of the boycott, and if it is used on one side, most certainly it will be used on the other side for all it is worth. If strife can be avoided in industry, well and good. I do not see how the proposal of the honorable member for Kooyong can effectively prevent strife. And in one respect I . agree with the Attorney-General, that it is exceeding the limit of our constitutional power, even more than we have already done in connexion with the trade union mark. I am glad that the honorable member for Kooyong proposes to withdraw his amendment. It certainly will surprise me very pleasantly indeed if I find that after the Bill has become law, steps are not taken to compel, by the means of boycott, the use of the union label by employers, and the consumption by the public of the goods to which it is attached.
– I have heard a great deal of talk from honorable members on the other side about the boycott in America. I know that country thoroughly, and I have never once heard! of a boycott there over a union label. If any honorable members opposite care show me any city in America where there has been a boycott under the union label, I will make them a handsome present.
– Has the honorable member plenty of money?
– There will be no difficulty about the present. I have learned more about America from honorable members opposite on this occasion than I learned all my life before, although I travelled that country from north to south,, and from east to west. I want to know where the “boodleiers” of every country get their money from? They get it, because the working people do notobtain what they earn. If the working people got what they earned the “boodleiers” could not live in palaces whilst workers lived! in hovels.
– Will the union label give it to them ?
– My heart goes out to my friend from New England. Unfortunately, he has got into bad company. Not that honorable members sittingin opposition are bad individually ; butI amsorry to say that there is a trust. It is a political trust. While the right honorable member for East Sydney is its president, and other honorable members opposite are its directors, the honorable member for New England is its messenger boy. That trust is trying to destroy the interests of this great Australian Commonwealth for the benefitof foreign ‘ ‘boodleiers. ‘ ‘ I have heard honorable members opposite say that elective Judges in the United States can be bought and sold. When the honorable member for Bland quoted the Chief Justice of Kentucky as having given a decision on the union label in favour of the workers, the honorable and learned member for Werriwa said, “ Oh, you can buy these American Judges.” Now, the Chief Justice of Kentucky gave his decision in favour of the workers. The workers had no money with which to buy him. If the Chief Justice had been in the market, the grafting “boodleiers” who opposed the union label would have paid him millions. They have the money to buy the Judges if they are to be bought; not the working men in whose favour the decision was given. I am amazed that some honorable members opposite who have come from the people - who were not born in the purple - who have not come down, but have risen up - should say that the American Judges can be bought. Those who have raised themselves from the people should be the last to make such statements. I listened to the speech of the honorable member for Kooyong. Unfortunately, he cannot get away from his class. Mr. James Long, one of the best miners in. the State of Tasmania, who was formerly working in the North Lyell mine, was dismissed after he was elected to Parliament ‘for that State. The honorable member for Kooyong is a director of the Mount Lyell ‘mine. Because Mr. Long, as a unionist, complained several times about the working of the mines, where the lives of men were in danger, he was quietly dismissed, and when asked for a reason, they told him that they, did not keep Members of Parliament working in the mine. Some of the rich men of this country have formed combinations and organizations within organizations ; and they are murderers ; because men with wives and children to keep are prevented from getting work owing to these combinations of murderers having organized to prevent them from earning an existence by blacklisting them. I say that such men ought to be strung up in the public square. Yet they have the impertinence - the absolute audacity - to stand up in this House and try to carry class legislation - murderous legislation - against an unfortunate working man, preventing him from getting enough to eat. Oh ! when I see the fat representatives of the bloated “boodleiers” standing up in this House - men who cannot spend the income which they enjoy - and objecting to workers receiving fair consideration, I can scarcely find words to express my feelings. When President Roosevelt talked about race suicide he made a mistake.I would tell the workers not to have enormous families under the present economic conditions ; they can only be the slaves to do the dirty work of the wealthy.
– The honorable member is a disgrace.
– When I think of the hundreds of men that I have seen starving in this country, and when, I see rich men-
– A disgrace to the House.
– Honorable members who have risen virtually from starvation are a disgrace to the House when they fight against the cause of the workers.
– A disgrace to any community.
– Let the honorable member go back to the place he came from. I have no hesitation in telling him that his conduct in this House has been a disgrace.
– I takethe honorable member’s remarks as a compliment.
– This is not the first time that the messenger boys of the “boodleiers” have taken remarks against them as compliments. I see men standing up here night after night fighting against the stragglers of this country, putting up jobs for their organizations-
– I rise to order. Is the honorable member justified in saying that jobs are put . up in the House, or that he has witnessed jobs being put up in this Chamber ?
– No. It is distinctly out of order, and I ask the honorable member to withdraw the observation.
– I did not say “in this Chamber.” I said I have witnessed jobs in this House. If that is regarded as offensive, I shall withdraw it. But I still think it, and know it.
– The honorable member must not qualify the withdrawal.
– It is withdrawn.
– The honorable member should specify the individuals if he knows them.
– I can specify them. The honorable member made a speech in this House only a few weeks ago in favour of the union label, but yesterday he turned head over heels, and he voted against it to-night.
– That is not correct.
– The honorable member must address himself to the proposed new clause.
– I feel sore and grieved on this question. It is enough to upset any man’s temper when he sees letters, in the newspapers day after day begging for hard-up and starving families.
– Will the union label help them?
– Honorable members ought to do everything possible to relieve such people from suffering, and to ameliorate their unfortunate condition. But dowe find them doing that? We find fights going on day after day not to help the strugglers and toilers, but’ to help those who already have more money than they can spend. Money requires no assistance. It can take care of itself. It is the unfortunate people without money who require assistance. I am opposed to this amendment, and shall insist upon it going to a division. The deputy leader of the Opposition has said something about “ a disgrace to the House.”
– I say that the honorable member is a disgrace to this Chamber.
– I must ask the honorable member to withdraw that statement.
– Yes, sir ; in deference to you I must withdraw it, of course.
– I am going to insist upon a division.
– A man who gets up in this House and deliberately advocates race suicide should be condemned.
– That is another declaration without any foundation. I want honorable members opposite to stand up and be counted. I want the workers of this country to see who wish to put on the statute-book class legislation of the most heinous and damnable description.
– Order ! The honorable member must not use such terms.
– I will withdraw the word “ damnable,” and say “ diabolical “ instead. Why was the amendment moved? What was its object? I feel very sore on this question. The object, apparently, is to brand the whole of the workers of this country as absolute criminals, and to send them to gaol for such an offence as the honorable member for Kooyong desires to create. It is for these reasons that I shall insist upon a vote being taken.
– Is if the pleasure of the Committee that the honorable member for Kooyong have leave to withdraw the proposed new clause?
– No; I object. I want a vote on it.
– I hope that if there is to be a division on the clause, the honorable member for Kooyong will accept the suggestion of the honorable member for Bland, and make it applicable to all sections, of the community. I do not propose to vote for the clause in its present form, because I believe that if it should be unlawful for employes to do what is suggested in the clause, it should be equally unlawful for employers. I do not believe in class legislation, or penalizing in one section of the community what another section may do with impunity.
– Well, let it go.
Proposed new clause, by leave, withdrawn.
– I move-
That the following new clause be inserted : - 75A. No person shall apply any workers’ trade mark to any product of the agricultural, viticultural, horticultural, dairying, or pastoral industries.
Penalty : One hundred pounds.
This clause should not require very much explanation. It may be said that there is no necessity for such a clause, but if that is so there will be no harm in inserting it in the Bill.
– It will cover everything.
– No, it will not. The people who have to make their living from the land are placed in a very different position to those working in factories or in cities or town industries. They have no certainty whatever that they will get any return for their labour. They are the sport of the seasons, and it is therefore well that they should be far removed from any risk of loss to which they might be subjected by the application of these provisions.
– The honorable member intends that the clause should apply only to primary products.
– That is all. I had framed the clause at first in another way, but there were certain objections to it, and I thought it better to put it in the form in which I now submit it. It is intended to apply only to primary products, and perhaps “butter and cheese are the only products to which, it would apply which might in any way be termed manufactured products. I need not take up the time of the Committee in further explaining the clause, the intention of which must be perfectly clear to every honorable member.
Mr. ISAACS (Indi- Attorney-General). - I can see that it is the honorable member’s intention, as he has now expressed it, that his clause should apply only to the primary products of the industries re’ferred to. But, as framed, I’ think it would go much further. I have no objection to expressing, in a clause, what I think would really give effect to the honorable member’s intention. I do not think there is any possibility, of the natural operations - if I may so refer to them - on farms and vineyards being affected by this part of the Bill. There was no intention to apply this part to those primary operations. I have framed a clause which I think the honorable member will admit will carry out his intention, and if the Honorable member will move his clause in the form I suggest I shall be willing to agree to it. I do not, for instance, like the expression “mo person shall apply any worker’s trade mark to any product.”
– That would subtract from the common law rights of individuals.
– Exactly. I suggest that the honorable member might propose his clause in the following form : -
This Part shall not apply to any primary products of the agricultural, viticultural (including wine-making), horticultural, dairying (including butter-making and cheese-making), or pastoral industries.
That, I think, would carry out, in perhaps, a more perfect form what the honorable member desires, and at the same time will clearly not impinge on the real intention of the Bill to cover manufactured products.
– Would the proposed clause apply to wool ?
– Yes, as a primary product of the pastoral industry. If the honorable member for Echuca will move his clause in the form I have suggested, I am willing to accept it.
Mr. McCOLL (Echuca). - I have very much pleasure in accepting the AttorneyGeneral’s suggestion. The clause as the honorable and learned gentleman has framed it appears to me to cover all the ground that I intended should be covered.
Mr. WATSON (Bland). - I have informed the Committee on several occasions that personally I believe that, as a matter of principle, we should extend legislative protection to a trade mark, symbol, brand, design, or whatever other form it might take, whether it is held or owned by a nonunionist, an employer, or an employe, or any one else in the community. So long as it is his own property, I think we should extend legislative protection to i’t. In view of that principle, I certainly see very grave objections to the proposed new clause ; but I must admit that, as a matter of practice, I see no possibility of the union label, which has been made the bone of contention in this, Bill, being applied to the products described. For that reason, I am not prepared to press the objection I undoubtedly hold to the principle involved in the new clause, even in the form suggested by the Attorney-General.
Mr. HUTCHISON (Hindmarsh).- I see no reason why the Committee should agree to the proposed new clause, even in the amended form suggested. Why should we pass this exceptional legislation when we are being continually charged by honorable members opposite with supporting class legislation? I agree with the honorable member for Bland that there is very little likelihood of the union label being applied to the primary products of the industries referred to; but if it should happen that any wine-maker or any other primary producer should desire to make use of a workers’ trade mark, why should we prevent him ? An associated body of agricultural labourers might desire to use such a mark, and, as it could only be applied to the products of their labour with the consent of their employer, why should we prevent its use where that conSent is obtained ? I think that the honorable member for Echuca should not endeavour to interfere with the primary producers. If they do not want this workers’ trade mark, they need not have it; but if they do desire it, the honorable member’s clause would1 prevent them having it, and I am unwilling to assist the honorable member in that.
Mr. SPENCE (Darling).- The position taken up by the honorable member for Bland is a sound one. I am connected with probably the only industry referred to in the new clause that is organized. I refer to the pastoral industry. I think it most improbable that those concerned in that industry would ever desire to apply a union label to its products, because the whole object of the label is to aid the sale of the employer’s product.
– The retail sale.
– Exactly. The pastoralists’ bales of wool are not likely to sell any better, because they happen to have a union label applied to them. I admit that it is possible that on occasions they might have sold better if such a workers’ trade mark had been applied to them, because, at one time, it was admitted that union-shorn wool fetched higher prices and was better classed because it was shorn by unionists. That was in the days when strikes arid difficulty existed which, under the laws we have passed, may not exist in future. I do not think it likely that the primary industries will ever call for a union label, and for that reason it appears to me to be unnecessary to insert any such clause in this Bill. I can conceive that the time may come when those engaged in the butter trade may desire to make use of a workers’ trade mark.
– Most of the products of the dairying industry are disposed of wholesale.
– That is true, and really the union label will be effective only in connexion with the retail trade. I have no strong objection to the proposed new clause, but it does not appear to me to be worth while to include it in the Bill. My difficulty is that if pastoralists or others engaged in the industries referred to in the clause should desire to make use of a workers’ trade mark, whilst it is possible the unions concerned would not object, I do not see why they should be prevented from doing so.
– I intend to support the proposed new clause. I agree with the honorable member for Bland and others who have spoken that it is not practicable to apply the union label to the products of the primary industries referred to. I support the clause, however, for another reason, and that is because there has been so much misrepresentation as- to the effect of the union label provisions. From one end of the Commonwealth to the other, farmers especially have been invited to believe that under these provisions, when their bags of wheat and boxes of butter reach Melbourne, Williamstown, or Sydney, they will not be shipped unless they bear a union label. If we remove these industries from the operation of the Bill, it will show that although many members of the Committee have been charged in the press with voting against the interests of the farmers and primary producers, there are persons inside this House prepared to safeguard their interests as well as persons outside.
Mr. LONSDALE (New England).- It is rather amusing to me to witness the new development. The honorable member for Riverina has told the Committee that because the farmer has been informed that if the union label is not put on his bag of wheat or box of butter, it will not be shipped by union men, he is prepared to vote for the proposed new clause, to show that that statement is not true.
– To prevent it being true.
– But the honorable member is proposing to vote to remove those industries from the operation of the Bill. This is most extraordinary logic, because if the statement made is not true, there is no reason why this clause should1 be agreed to. The honorable member for Riverina represents a farming constituency, and this is the kind of legislation we have here, where men vote for classes. If the union label is a good thing, let it be applied all round. I do not propose to vote that it should, because I object to it altogether. I am prepared to remove one industry from its operation, if I cannot remove all. But if honorable members think that it is a good thing, they should see that it is applied all round. We have been told that the object of the union label is to enable the retailer to raise the price of h;s goods. The great object of it is to benefit the retailer. That is an extraordinary way to put the position. This is n generous and kind piece of legislation ! We have been told that the mark cannot be placed on things sold wholesale : that it is intended for things sold retail. Is that why it is not to be placed on butter? Do housewives buy butter bv the box? If the workers’ trade mark is a good thing, why should it not be placed on every pat of butter? Honorable members are changing their position, because they wish to stand well with the farmers who are their constituents. The honorable member for Echuca is perfectly logical, because he is altogether opposed to the provisions of Part VII. of the Bill, and as he cannot get rid of them altogether, is trying to circumscribe their scope. But many honorable members sitting on the other side of the Chamber will vote for the amendment, because they know what the feeling of their constituents is. They know that the farmers do not wish to come under these provisions.
– All my constituents will come under them.
– The honorable member., no doubt, thinks himself very courageous j but all his constituents are unionists, or in sympathy with’ legislation of this kind. However, I rose merely to point out the hypocrisy of those who, while supporting the proposal of the Government, are willing to vote for the amendment. I shall vote for it, because I am altogether opposed to the provisions of Part VII., and, as I cannot defeat them, shall do what I can to 1-imid their effect.
Mr. KNOX (Kooyong). - I shall support the amendment. The speech of the honorable member for New England reveals the insincerity of the objects and purposes of Part VII. Surely the community will be astonished to find that honorable members who have hitherto supported the proposals of the Government are willing to vote for this amendment, preventing the application of those provisions to primary industries. However, I am glad that the Minister has accepted the amendment. The Government are finding that, after all, they must rely on the support of honorable members on this side of the Chamber.
Mr. JOSEPH COOK (Parramatta).I shall support the amendment, and congratulate the honorable member for Echuca on having brought the Attorney-General to reason with regard to at least a section of the community. Honorable members opposite will no longer be able to say that this is not class legislation, inasmuch as we have now a specific proposal for the exclusion of certain classes from its operation.
– I, for one, object to the amendment.
– The honorable member must do so if he wishes to be consistent. But what of the consistency of the Attorney-General? Adamant to the last degree concerning any other place, he is soft as putty when the electorate of Indi is in question.
– -How can the honorable member expect the Attorney-General’ to offer him anything in the future?
– Is this being offered as a concession to the Opposition? The Attorney-General was climbing down before the honorable member for Echuca had well pointed his gun. He had prepared a ladder by which to descend before the honorable member had moved his amendment. What is the reason for this change of front? The only reason that I can find is that the Attorney-General represents a large number of agriculturalists and primary producers. He has said that this is only a concession to what fie believes to be popular prejudice and” ignorance regarding the scope and intention of the measure.
– As usual, the honorable member’s imagination is running away with him. I did not say a word to that effect.
– I shall be glad to hear the Attorney-General defend his position. I wish to know why he is ready to exempt some persons from the operation of the Bill, while compelling others to submit to it. My position is that of the honorable member for Echuca. If I cannot get all I want - if I cannot get rid of the provisions of Part VII - I shall be glad to exempt from their operation the primary producers of the community. The fact that this special exemption is being accepted is the clearest indication that there is some foundation for the statements which have been made throughout Australia, that the Bill, if passed in its original form, would endanger the interests of our primary producers.
Proposed new clause, by leave, withdrawn.
Amendment (by Mr. McColl) agreed to-
That the following new clause be inserted : - 75A. This Part shall not apply to any primary products of the agricultural, viticultural (including wine-making), horticultural, dairying (including butter-making and cheese-making), or pastoral industries.
– I move-
That the following new clause be inserted : - 74A. Notwithstanding anything in this Part con.tained -
No Association shall register a Workers’ Trade Mark -
if its rules are either burdensome or oppressive and do not provide reasonable conditions for admission to or continuance in membership ;
if its rules or other binding decisions permit the application of its funds to political purposes or require its, members to do anything of a political character.
No Association shall by any legal proceedings prevent, or recover damages for, any contravention of this Act in respect of its registered Workers’ Trade Mark -
if its rules are either burdensome or oppressive and do not provide reasonable conditions for admission to or continuance in membership ;
if its rules or other binding decisions per mitthe application of its funds to political purposes or requireits members to do anything of a political character.
Political purposes” in this section does not include obtaining or maintaining provisions applying to all persons in any particular industry, without discrimination as between those who are and those who are not members of a union, with respect to the regulation of the following matters : - (i.) Preservation of life and limb.’ (ii.) Compensation for injuries or death. (iii.) Sanitation. (iv.) The sex and age of employes, (v.) The hours of labour, (vi.) The remuneration of labour, (vii.) Protection of salaries and wages, (viii.) Other conditions similarly affecting employment.
I propose to insert in this Bill the exact safeguard that was adopted in the Arbitration Act of last session. It is admitted that the object of the union label proposals is to increase the sale of union-made goods, and, consequently, to discourage, the sale of non-union-made goods. Therefore, the provisions of the Bill will act in an indirect way in the same manner as the provision for preference to unionists in the Arbitration Act. When the Arbitration Bill was before this Chamber, four members of the present Government approved of the adoption of a provision’ similar in every respect to that which I am now submitting. It was considered that, whilst the Act might be used to increase the membership of unions, no opportunity should be afforded for forcing recruits into the trade organizations with a view to unduly interfering with their political freedom. The only gain which the Labour Party secured as the result of their magnificent fight for the Arbitration Bill’ in its original form was the recognition of organizations formed for the purpose of maintaining the industrial peace of the Commonwealth, and not with the object of furthering political ends. If we do not insert a provision such as that now proposed, the powers conferred under the Bill may be used to increase the membership of political organizations.
– But political unions cannot register under the Arbitration Act.
– I am speaking of unions apart from those registered under that Act.
– What union would do as the honorable member describes ?
– Take the case of the Australian Workers’ Union, which has in the past devoted itself very largely to political objects.
– They will not want to register a union label ; in fact, they will be prevented from doing so by the amendment which has just been adopted by the Committee.
– If my amendment will not apply to the Australian Workers’ Union, why are honorable members objecting to it ? According to their showing, very few unions have political objects. Why do honorable members oppose a safeguard of this kind, unless they intend to use the union label for the purpose I have indicated? I wish to bring this Bill, which provides for a form of preference to unionists, into line with the Arbitration Act, which avowedly deals with that subject. Some time ago, the present Prime Minister very clearly showed that such a provision was necessary. At page 2981 of Hansard, 1904, he is reported as having stated -
When you have a body of men collected together into a trades union by the fact of their pursuing kindred industrial pursuits, forming a compact body in association with other similar bodies, standing shoulder to shoulder for their own advantage, as they are entitled to do, what is more natural than for the politician to say - “ If I can obtain that united phalanx behind me; if I can secure command of a portion of its funds; if I can get control of its paper, and if I can induce these unions to attack my adversaries, I shall obtain the command of one of the greatest potencies which I can enlist on my side.” There is nothing more natural than that politicians under those circumstances, should set out to capture the unions. But that ought not to be our object.
Those words were uttered by the Prime Minister in connexion with a similar proposal, and I desire to ask him whether he will now follow upon the lines he adopted in connexion with the Conciliation and Arbitration Act.
– The cases are hot parallel.
– The position is absolutely the same. A preference to unionists was proposed in both cases. Upon the former occasion the Prime Minister, the
Vice-President of the Executive Council, the Treasurer, and the Postmaster- General voted in favour of a similar proposal to that which I have submitted. They supported the view which the Opposition is adopting to-night. They are the only gentlemen, who have gone back upon their former position, and I maintain that they should assign some reason for their change of front.
– I rise to a point of order. Is the honorable member in order in discussing a general vote of censure, or is he merely entitled to debate the ques- tion which is before the Chair?
– The honorable member for Newcastle is only prolonging the agony.
– I claim that my remarks are perfectly relevant to the proposal under consideration. Personally, I desire to catch the last train, but I do not intend to be “bluffed.”
– I understood that the agreement was that the debate should terminate at 11 o’clock.
– The action of Ministerial supporters has made this question a non-party one. Under these circumstances, surely Ministers should fearlessly express their individual views. The VicePresident of’ the Executive Council has already informed us that he has never approved in its entirety any Bill which has been introduced by a Government. If that be so, it is due to the Committee that he should rise and explain his change of front. Last year, when he was asked bv the honorable member for Darling what was wrong with’ the stringent rules of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners, tie replied -
Nothing except that there is no room for old or weak men.
I merely wish to say that the exigencies of those old and weak men are exactly the same to-day as they were then. Of course, I can quite understand that the honorable gentleman’s position is different. As a personal friend of the Prime Minister, he is faced with the alternative of showing a common sympathy for the liberties of “ old and weak “ people, or of sacrificing his own position in the Government.
– The honorable member’s remarks are not in order. The question be fore the Chair is not the conduct of any (Minister, or of any member.
– With all due deference to you, sir, I am endeavouring to show that the views of certain Ministers are in accord with the amendment under consideration.
– Irc doing that, the honorable member is out of order. He has nothing whatever to do with the views of anybody but himself.
– I think that I have a right-
– Not to discuss the Chairman’s ruling.
– I think that I have a right to discuss the attitude which certain Ministers adopted upon a former occasion towards a similar proposal to the one now before the Chak. I propose to press this clause to a division, because I particularly desire to ascertain the position which the four Ministers to whom I have referred intend to take up.
Mr. ISAACS (Indi- Attorney-General).” : - We must not allow a proposal of this kind, even although it be unsupported by any reasons, to go to a vote without stating our objections to it. We have had experience in this respect, and I think that
Ave should be prepared, however briefly, to state our reasons for objecting to a proposition of this kind. Whatever reason there might have been - and I do not think there was any sufficient reason - for inserting a similar provision in the Conciliation and’ Arbitration, Bill, there is absolutely no analogy between the two propositions. The very essence of Part VII. of the Trade Marks Bill is that it will not give a preference of any kind whatever; it will simply give to the workers precisely the same right that every one else is getting. Instead of offering a preference, it will take away a disability. Therefore the only ground that could be suggested’ for the honorable member’s amendment does not exist. In the next place, under the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, the unions or organizations are of a limited character. They must be registered, and t consist of at least 100 members ; but under this Bill any individual worker, or association of workers, however small, in addition to the registered unions, may have a trade mark. Then, again, I would point out that the amendment offends exactly as that moved by the honorable member for Kooyong offended against fair play, because it places no corresponding obligations on employers who have trade marks. Whether they consist of companies or not they may employ their funds for political purposes; they may do anything they please, and yet they are to enjoy all the rights of the Bill. Under the honorable member’s proposal a disability, and an invidious one, is to be set upon the workers. For these reasons, I think that the Committee ought to reject it.
Proposed new clause negatived.
Amendment (by Mr. McColl) proposed -
That the following new clause be inserted.: - 78Q. This Part shall not apply to any primary product of the agricultural, viticultural (including wine-making), horticultural, dairying (including butter-making and cheese-making) or pastoral industries.
Mr. ISAACS (Indi- Attorney-General). - I would draw the attention of the honorable member to the fact that substantially the Commonwealth trade mark will not apply to anythingto which a State law does not apply,so that it stands in a different position, it seems to me. from that of what is called the union label. The clause relating to the Commonwealth Trade Mark in effect declares that we are to have a Commonwealth trade mark only in. regard to such things as those to which States laws apply. For instance, if it is thought right by the State to apply the mark to wool - and I do not know whether, there is a State law - -
– There is an award of the Arbitration Court of New South Wales applying to the industry.
– There would be, of course, one relating to the shearers. Surely it would beright to apply the Commonwealth mark in that case.
– And if the employer desired.
– Quite so. This provision, does not apply any new Commonwealth provision. It simply takes up the States law. The States Legislatures cannot pass a trade mark law.
– What is the advantage if the States have passed a law in this respect ?
– The advantage is that the States cannot pass any trade marks law.
– They can pass a marks law.
– That is a different thing, but I am not altogether sure that the honorable member is right. My idea is that if the mark were to be used in trade, the State could no longer deal with it. The point is that the Government proposal will not apply if there be no State law to allow it to be carried out.
Mr. McCOLL (Echuca). - Clause 78i provides that -
This Part shall apply to all goods included in or specified by a resolution passed by both Houses of the Parliament that in their opinion the conditions as to the remuneration of labour in connexion with their manufacture are fair and reasonable.
Myobject in moving the amendment is to exclude the rural industries from the operation of the Commonwealth trade mark and workers’ trade mark clauses of this Bill.
– There is . no question of unions involved.
– No; but I think it would be more satisfactory if the farmers were kept beyond therange of these provisions.
Mr. WATSON (Bland).- I trust that the Committee will reject the amendment.
– There is the exception to which the honorable member for Echuca refers. The clause does go a little beyond theState right.
– I trust that, in any event, the Committee will not make an exception of the character sought by the honorable member for Echuca. I did not press my objection to the application of this proposal to the workers’ mark provision of the Bill, although I opposed the exclusion of rural workers from the Conciliationand Arbitration Bill, and, on principle, must still object to such an omission in this case. I take it that the Commonwealth label is to be a certificate that the award of the State authority has been observed in the manufacture of the goods to which it is applied.
– There is this addition - although I do not say that it means any addition to the principle involved - that the mark may be applied upon resolution passed by both Houses of the Parliament.
– I believe that the object of that provision is simply this : That whilst the Commonwealth label might be applied under an award given by a State authority, a man living in another State, where there wasno such legal machinery in existence, might be paying equal wages and observing the same conditions in relation to the same industry, and he would very properly apply to be placed in the same position as were those engaged in the industry in the State in which an award had been given.
– Hear, hear.
– Where do we find such a statement in the Bill ?
– I take it that that is the intention in giving the Parliament power by resolution to allow persons who are not working under the award of a State authority to adopt the label.
– That is substantially the intention.
– It will permit the Parliament to place men who would otherwise be at a disadvantage on an equal footing with those who are under the control of a State authority.
– . But it goes further than that.
– The honorable member would not object to the Parliament doing what it thought rightin this respect.
– I think that in this respect we have an effective check, and that is the Constitution.
– In any case, I trust that the Committee will not accept the proposal. I consider that we have gone quite far enough in adopting the previous proposal.
Mr. DUGALD THOMSON (North Sydney). - I cannot follow the AttorneyGeneral in his statement that this necessarily applies to only goods which are dealt with by the laws of some States.
– With this exception, that practically where there is no State law, both Houses of this Parliament have to pass a resolution, in order to apply the Commonwealth mark to primary industries. Unless they are dealt with by the State law it will not apply.
– Could it not be made to apply to a single firm as it stand’s ?
– It is true that it applies to goods, but I see nothing to prevent the Parliament, whether a State has fixed the conditions or not, from fixing the conditions ; that is to say, it could override any fixing of conditions by a State. Where the Commonwealth law comes into conflict with the State law, the former, if it is constitutional, will override the latter.
– But the honorable member must see that there is the safeguard of both Houses of this Parliament.
– To my mind, the Parliament of the Commonwealth has already gone very near to exceeding its powers. If it’ has the power which is claimed bythe Attorney -General, and it is no safeguard to say that the two Houses of this Parliament have to pass a resolution which will enforce those powers and override State laws. How the Attorney-General can say that it is constitutional to give power to the Houses to override the decision of a tribunal appointed by the State to fix rates of wages and hours of labour, I do not know.
– On the contrary, the honorable member, if he supports the amendment, proposes to ignore the decision of the State tribunal in many cases.
– Not at all, because it only provides that the Commonwealth label shall not be applied to these goods. The Attorney-General is trying, by granting the Commonwealth label, to practically override conditions which may exist under the decision of the State tribunals
– I do not think so.
– We know that States tribunals, differing as they do in form, and dealing with different conditions, do not impose the same labour conditions. The Commonwealth condition must be, I take it, a universal condition, and there must be no discrimination. They can refuse the granting of the Commonwealth label to one State, although the rate of wages and the hours of labour may have been decided by its tribunal, whilst they can grant it to another State, where different rates of wages and hours of labour may have been established by its tribunal. In my opinion, we are trying to go too far, and, therefore, I support the proposed limitation.
Mr. McWILLIAMS (Franklin).- Since the Committee has unanimously accepted an amendment that certain industries should be exempted from the operation of the law in one particular, I can see no reason why we should not be consistent, and apply the exemption all round. If, however, honorable members really think that the whole of the agricultural industry should be brought under the- operation of the law, they should not have accepted the previous amendment.
Question - That proposed new clause 780. be read a second time - put. The Committee divided.
Majority … … 14
Question so resolved in the negative.
Title agreed to.
Bill reported with amendments.
Motion (by Mr. Isaacs) agreed to -
That the Bill be recommitted for the purpose of reconsidering clauses 2, 3, 4, 12, 20, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34,59, 60, 67, 97; and for the purpose of inserting a new clause to follow clause 61.
In Committee (Recommittal) :
Clause 2 (as amended) -
This Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation not less than six months after the passing of this Act.
– The first clause with which I wish to deal is clause 2, for the purpose of omitting “ six “ months and substituting “ three.”
I observe in the Argus newspaper of today a most erroneous statement. It is absurd, however one reads it, but it is erroneous when not absurd. It states that, with reference to the time of coming into operation of this Bill, I said last week that I had agreed to the period of six months in the absence of the Minister of Trade and Customs; who would be charged with its administration, and that since then the Minister had made inquiries, and had informed me that the work of preparing the necessary machinery could be done in a shorter time than six months.
– That was not the reason mentioned.
– It was practically the reason. I explained the matter very clearly to the Committee. But that is not the point which I wish to make. It is stated in the Argus that the new amendment was not foreshadowed when the arrangement was made the other day for the completion of this Bill to-night. That is absolutely incorrect. Idid state, and I think that manyhonorable members will, bear me out-
– Is it in Hansard?
– Some of them have told me to-day that they remember it. But it is also in Hansard, at page 5890. I distinctly stated, on the 28th November -
With regard to the commencement of the Act, honorable members will recollect that we amended clause 2 in order to provide that the Act shall commence on a day to be fixed by proclamation, not less than six months after its passing ; but I understand from the Minister of Trade and Customs that the Department can be organized very much sooner than that, so that we may have to recommit the clause, in order to shorten the period provided for.
Some honorable members of the Opposition have told me that they remember my statement; and there is no doubt that I was very careful to mention the matter. So that the statement in the Argus to-day is quite incorrect. It is also stated that members of the Opposition said that if the amendment which I foreshadowed were introduced, they would not consider themselves bound by their undertaking. I am sure that the members of the Opposition are too honorable to go back upon their undertaking, even if I had moved the recommittal without having previously intimated that I intended to do so, because there is no connexion between the two matters. I do not believe that the Opposition members ever said anything of the kind, but if they did, they were under a. misapprehension. I shall offer strong reasons for shortening the commencement. Six months is a long time. I had at first considered, as I stated at the time, that the Act could not be brought into operation for six or eight months. Because of the necessity of organizing the Department and taking over the State Departments I thought six months Would be necessary. But the Patent Office will have to take over (he Trade Marks branch, and the Minister of Trade and Customs tells me. it can be organized in about three months’ time. It may take a little longer ; but all we desire to do is to provide a minimum., and to say it shall not be less than three months. That is a concession. Honorable members must recollect that, inasmuch as we are by this Bill keeping the States Acts in operation for fourteen years from the time at which a trade mark is granted under those Acts, we shall every month be allowing new trade marks to be registered under the States Acts, extending the operation of those. Acts, creating confusion, and delaying uniformity. We do not desire to hurry the matter unduly ; but, on the other hand, we do not desire that it shall be unduly delayed. Consequently, I propose to strike but the word “ six,” with a view to insert the word “ three,” and, while it may be four, five, or six months, if we are ready in three months time, we do not desire to unnecessarily delay the operation of the Bill for six months. That is the whole position.
– The honorable and learned gentleman only proposes to give State trade marks the currency given them under the States Acts.
– That is so. But the honorable member must see that a State trade mark granted to-day will have a currency of fourteen years from to-day. The provisions of the State Trade Marks Act, under which it is granted, will remain operative ki respect to it for that period, amd unless the owner of the trade mark chooses to bring it under this Bill, uniformity will be delayed. I am sure that there is confusion enough at the present time, and merchants in different parts of the Commonwealth will find that the sooner I hey come under the uniform Federal Act the better. I move -
That the word “ six,” line 2, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word “ three.”
-! confess that I was one of those individuals who were under the impression that the Attorney-General was departing from the agreement he made the other day. When I read the. statement which appeared in the Argus fo-day, I certainly agreed to the full with all the comment consequent upon the declaration of that alleged fact. I do not hesitate to say that I should have considered it to be a breach of the agreement had there not been any undertaking of the kind given, by the Attorney-General. I am glad to hear to-night that the honorable and learned gentleman did make that intimation to the Committee.
– Several members of the Opposition remember it.
– So I believe; but I was totally unaware of it until I heard of it to-day, and even to-day I was told that there was no mention of it in Hansard. I am therefore glad to have heard the statement read from Hansard by the Attorney-General. With regard to the time at which this Bill shall come into operation, six months after its passing was contended for, and agreed to, not so much in order to suit the convenience of those inaugurating this Department, and the convenience of the Minister of Trade and Customs, who is to undertake the administration of the measure-
– Not my convenience; the convenience of the officers who will have to administer it.
– That is the same thing. That was not the idea prevalent in the minds of honorable members who asked for a six months’ postponement of the operation of the measure, but that we should have some consideration for the merchants, traders, and exporters of Australia, who will have all sorts of accommodations to make in connexion with their businesses consequent upon the passing of this Bill. It prohibits certain goods coming into the Commonwealth, and makes it an offence to import them. Time will therefore be required to enable importers to make all their importing arrangements conditioned by the provisions of this measure. Six months’ notice was deemed to be the minimum reasonable time which ought to be allowed. Now the Attorney-General proposes to cut that period down to three months, and it is easily conceivable that all sorts of trouble will arise by reason of the shortness of the notice. I strongly urge the honorable and learned gentleman, even now, not to insist on cutting the time down to three months, unless he can show some further reasons than those relating merelyto the accommodations to be made for the administration of this measure. We should remember always that there are consumers, importers, and the proprietors of these marks to be considered. As we intend to make them work under a new set of conditions, the least we can do is to give them ample time to accommodate their business arrangements to meet them.
-I desire to support the position stated by the deputy leader of the Opposition. I wish, also, to refer to the statement of the Attorney - General in relation to what appeared in the Argus this morning. I had no recollection of the Attorney-General making the statement to which he has just referred. I was perfectly willing to accept the honorable and learned gentleman’s assurance, and was prepared to do so although I had failed to find the reference to it in Hansard. I know that amongst members of the Opposition there was a general belief that no such intimation had been given, and that this was an entirely new proposal. In the circumstances it appears to me that a very natural error has crept into the Argus, and I certainly do not think that the statement appearing in that newspaper was wilfully made or made from any vindictive or improper motive.
– I think we should adhere to the term of six months, as already agreed upon, because there will be a great many arrangements to be made. I should like to impress upon the Attorney-General, as I have tried to do before, . that, in making arrangements for the coming into operation of the Bill, the opportunity should be taken to prepare officers in the different States for the reception of applications underit, so that all shall be placed on the same fooling. I endeavoured to secure an amendment of the Bill to give effect to that suggestion, but the Attorney-General assured me that provision for it would be made by regulation. It is only fair that applicants in any of the States should be given an opportunity to register their applications in the States in which they reside, and that the time at which they are received in those States should be accepted as the time of their reception in the central office. I hope that arrangements will be made to facilitate the reception of applications in all the States.
– It was at my suggestion that the extension of time was -originally agreed to. I argued not that it would take that time to getmatters ready in the Department, but that there were many trade marks registered in the different States by people at the other end of the world; that there would be a rush to register existing trade marks under the Commonwealth law, and that success would depend very largely on getting in first. Therefore, I suggested that time should be given, so that it should not be said that we prevented any one now having a State registration, and entitled to Commonwealth registration, from obtaining it, and so that those not on the spot should have the same opportunity to place their case for registrar tion before the Registrar as would be given to others better situated. I also thought that time was required to enable the Governments of theStates to re-arrange their staffs. In my opinion, some such rearrangement will be necessary, because I do not think that the Commonwealth will take over all the States offices since, in many of these offices, the officials are doing other work besides attending to the registration of trade marks. I admit that the AttorneyGeneral, in accepting the amendment, said that he did so for another reason also.
– For another reason- not “ another reason also.”
– I supposed that my arguments had something to do with his acceptance of the amendment:’ At any rate, he said that it would probably take six months to make rearrangements. Still, my arguments are as strong now as they were when I first expressed them. I do not think that the honorable and learned gentleman will lose anything by, delaying matters.
– This is only a minimum: I will meet the honorable member by agreeing to a period of four months.
– I think that the period should be six months; but I feel that, under the circumstances, I cannot force the Minister, and must accept four months.
Amendment amended accordingly, and a greed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 3 (as amended) -
This Act is divided as follows : -
Amendment (by Mr. Isaacs) agreed to -
That after the figure VII. the words “ Workers’ Trade Marks “ be inserted.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 4 (as amended) - “ Person “ includes a body corporate and a firm.
Amendment (by Mr. Chanter for Mr. Crouch) proposed -
That after the word “ firm “ the words “ and any association of persons “ be inserted.
Mr. ISAACS’ (Indi- Attorney-General). - A great deal has been said about associations of workers having . the right to register trade marks. When a deputation of employers waited upon me on the 10th August last, they objected to what they termed discrimination. 1 said that I was willing to give thisright to individual workers, and to non-unionized workers, if I may use the word. That we have done. I also asked them: “ Do you wish for an employers’ union label ?” and Mr. E. E. Smith, who, I think,is president of the organization which waited on me, said : “ We do not wish it. We do not want either.” Consequently, I did not provide for it in the Bill, though I was willing to do so. The proposal now put forward would, if carried, allow associations of employers to register a trade mark if they wished to do so, but I think that’ it would be better to insert the words “ and any association of persons, bodies corporate, or firms.”
– I understand that the word “person” is not used in clause 73?
– No; but this provision has nothing to do with Part VII. of the Bill.It really enlarges the meaning of the word “person,” so that not only individuals, but firms, and bodies corporate, not being workers, or associations of them, may register trade marks.
– Butthey will be liable to be met with the objection that they are not the owners of the goods.
– That is another matter. They may be the owners of the goods.
– Is this only a pretence?
– No. There may be an association of employers who may choose to say : “ We will have a combined business, and will register a trade mark for that business.” , This provision will enable them to do so.
– I will amend the amendment, as suggested.
Amendment amended- accordingly.
Mr. LONSDALE (New England).- The amendment is being accepted by the AttorneyGeneral in order to make it appear that he desires to act fairly towards associations of employers as well as associations of workmen. He knows very well, however, that trade marks cannot be registered except by the owners of the goods to which they are to be applied, and that, therefore, the amendment can confer no advantage upon associations of employers who are not the owners of the goods which are to be made the subject of the trade mark. In order to make the provision absolutely fair in its operation, it should have been inserted in Part VII. of the Bill, so that the same colnditions would have applied to associations of employers and workmen.
– We could not make provision for employers’ associations in a portion of the Bill that relates solely to workers’ trade marks.
– If the AttorneyGeneral had desired to act fairly to the employers, he could have inserted another clause. The provision now proposed to be made is a mere sham. So far as I am concerned, the Attorney-General can load up the Bill as he likes. To use his own words, the amendment can do no harm ; but I protest against this humbug in connexion with our legislation.
Amendment, as amended, agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Amendments (by Mr. Isaacs) agreed to -
Clause 12 (Trade Marks Office).
That the following words be added : - “ and a sub-office shall be established in every State other than the State in which the Trade Marks Office is established.”
That clause 20 be transposed to stand after clause 98 as clause 98 A.
Clause 29 (Associated trade marks).
That the following new sub-clause be inserted at the beginning of the clause : - “ (lA.) Where application is made for the regis tration of a trade mark so nearly resembling a trade mark of the applicant which is already on the register as to be likely to deceive or cause confusion if used by a person other than the applicant, the Registrar may require as a condition of registration that the trade marks shall be entered on the register as associated trade marks.”
That the following words (inserted in Committee) be left out : - “ shall each have all the incidents of an independent trade mark, but.” That the following new sub-clause be added : - “Except for the purpose of assignment or transmission and subject to the provisions of this Act as to use of associated trade marks, associated trade marks shall be deemed to be registered independently.”
Clause 30 (User of associated trade mark).
That after the words “ associated registered trade mark “ the following words be inserted : - “ or of the trade mark with additions or alterations not substantially affecting its identity.”
Clause 31 (Series of trade marks).
That sub-clause 2be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words : - “ (2) all the trade marks in a series of trade marks so registered shall be deemed to be, and shall be registered as, associated trade marks.”
Clause 33 (Lodging of application).
That after the word “office,” sub-clause 1, the words “or a sub-office “ be inserted ; that after the words (inserted in Committee) “likely to deceive,” sub-clause 2, the words “ and whether the trade mark or any matter therein is common to the trade “ be inserted ; that before the words “the Registrar,” sub-clause 3, the words “Subject to this Act” be inserted.
Clause 34 (Appeal).
That the words “Any party,” sub-clause 3, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words “an applicant.”
Clause 59 (Apportionment of marks on dissolution of partnership).
That the words “firm or” and “firms or” wherever occurring be left out.
Clause 60 (Assignment of associated trade marks and series of trade marks).
That the words “and series of trade marks” be left out.
Clause 67 (Correction of register).
That the following new paragraph be inserted : - “ (rr.) Striking out any goods or classes of goods from those in respect of which a trade mark is registered.”
Clause 97 negatived.
Amendment (by Mr. Isaacs) proposed -
That the following new clause be inserted : - “ 6ia. Where a trade mark has been lawfully assigned or transmitted, a notification of the assignment or transmission, in the form and authenticated in the manner prescribed, may be given to the Registrar, who shall thereupon register the assignment.”
– I think the idea of the honorable member for South Sydney was that some simple form of transfer should be provided in the case of trade marks, and that it should be possible to bring about that result by the parties going before a magistrate and paying a small fee-
– If the honorable member will permit me, I should like to say that that result can be effected in a much simpler way than he indicates. In the case of a patent, a transfer can be indorsed upon the back of it. But in the case of a trade mark, the position is different. One cannot merely put an indorsement upon the back of a trade mark certificate, because he cannot transfer a trade mark, unless he transfers with it the goodwill of a business. What I propose is that there shall be a notification of the assignment of a transfer in the manner prescribed, and that the Registrar shall register it so as to save the expense of a long assignment. This provision will be an intimation to those who frame the regulations that they must provide for a short registration.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
Bill reported with further amendments.
Motion (by Mr. Isaacs) agreed to -
That the Standing Orders be suspended to enable the Bill to be passed through its remaining stages forthwith.
Motion (by Mr. Isaacs) proposed -
That the Bill be now read a third time.
– I think it is very undesirable that any Bill should be pushed through the House in one sitting. In my opinion, after amendments have been made in it, and before the third reading is proposed, it should be reprinted. The adoption of that course forms one of the greatest safeguards which the public possess against hasty and ill-advised legislation.
– I hope that the honorable member for Corangamite will not object to the procedure which is now being adopted. If this House were a deliberative assembly, I could understand his arguments; but, as it is merely a machine for registering the opinions of small coteries outside, his remarks have no application.
Mr. ISAACS (Indi- Attorney-General). - I am sure that the honorable member for Wentworth is speaking for himself, and himself alone. Under those circumstances, we may accept him at his own valuation. I agree with the honorable member for Corangamite that, under ordinary conditions, it is well to allow as much time as possible to elapse between the report stage of a Bill and its third reading.’ But at this period of the session, with the amount of work that we have before us, I think that we are acting wisely in pushing the measure through’ all its stages. We have taken a good deal of trouble to see that it is in proper order, and when we have obtained a fair print of it, after it has passed from this Chamber, I shall have it carefully looked into, and any verbal inaccuracies corrected. Although we have passed through a very exciting time in connexion with this Bill, during which we have verysturdily sustained our respective positions, I am happy to say that there is not the slightest vestige of anything but good will amongst honorable members all round.
Mr. JOSEPH COOK (Parramatta). - I agree with the statement of the honorable member for Corangamite, that it is in the highest degree undesirable that Bills of this important character should be rushed through hurriedly. But I should like to remind him that this procedure is simply an alternative to a much more brutal way of completing the consideration of the measure.
– It seems to me that the remarks of the honorable member for Parramatta are about the most ungracious that I have heard emanate even from a member of the Opposition. Of his own free will he deliberately entered into an arrangement by which this Bill should be put through all its stages in one sitting, even in the brutal way of which he complains.
– Nothing of the kind.
– To whom is it due that the force and brutality of which the honorable member complains has been exercised? Undoubtedly to members of the Opposition, who, not satisfied with legitimate discussion upon it. have persistently and constantly wasted time from the very moment it was introduced.
– I claim that the Opposition have discussed this measure upon absolutely fair lines. Upon the first occasion that it was considered in Committee, we offered to agree to 57 clauses of it.
– Oh, let us go home.
– I did not intend to say a single word in connexion with this motion, but when the honorable member for Bland takes the stand that he did, he cannot expect to close our mouths.
– The question before the Chair is the motion for the third read ing of the Bill. When the honorable member for Bland went, as I thought,, beyondthe scope ofthe motion, I called him to order, and I cannot allow the honorable member for New England to proceed beyond the limits to which I allowed, that honorable member to go.
– The honorable member made statements as to the attitude of the Opposition, to which there should be some reply. We have treated the Government fairly, and any waste of time that has occurred has been due to Ministerial action. I do not wish to discuss the Bill at this stage, but feel it incumbent upon me to defend the Opposition from the unwarrantable attack made upon it by the honorable member for Bland.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Bill read a third time.
Mr. DEAKIN (Ballarat - Minister of
External Affairs). - I move -
That the House at its’ rising adjourn until 10.30 a.m., and have every hope that we shall be able to catch our trains at the usual hour tonight.’
– -I protest against this new proposal, which is ‘ unreasonable when associated with the obstinate attitude adopted by the Government with regard to the work of the session. In my long parliament tary career, I have always seen the approach of the close of a session specially provided for, both as to hours of sitting and in other respects ; but I have never known a proposal of this kind to be made in the absence of a declaration on the part of the Government of the dayas to the work to be performed during the remainder of the session. We are practically within two weeks of Christmas, and yet the Ministry are deliberately bringing down new legislation almost every week.
– That is only padding.
– We have two new Bills promised this week. What does the honorable member mean?
– That they are trying to frighten us.
– Does ‘the honorable member imagine that the Government are bringing down these new Bills with no intention of passing them?
– I do.
– I believe that the Honorable member will find that he is mistaken. If he considers that they are engaged in a hypocritical pretence of the kind he suggests, that is an additional reason why he should assist us in resisting the proposal that the House shall meet at such an early hour. At this time of the session, the Government ought to make a clear and definite statement as. to the business which they intend to transact before the prorogation, and, if necessary, they should put a period to the time of rising. That has been done in the Legislatures of Victoria and New South Wales. The Victorian Government has stated their intention that the local Legislature shall rise on the 1 2 th instant.
– It is only a few Bays before the contemplated prorogation that such a statement is made.
– The statement to which I have referred was made a fortnight prior to the proposed date of prorogation. A fortnight will carry us to the 16th December, when honorable members must leave, if they are going to spend Christmas at home. The representatives of North Queensland and Western Australia indeed must leave Melbourne not later than the 16th inst, if they are to be home by Christmas, and unless we make up our minds to come back after Christmas, the Government ought to be in a position to say on what day they propose that the House shall rise. Unless they are prepared to treat honorable members in that reasonable, fair, and customary way, I, for one, shall object most strongly to this proposal to take up the further time of the House. If we are to be here from 10.30 a.m. until 11 or 12 p.m., we cannot give to the proposed legislation that attention which it requires. Such a proposal means not only sweating in a physical sense, but the degradation of the House in a way that is demoralizing. Why should honorable members sit here till midnight grinding out legislation, about which they are practically ignorant.
– Hear, hear.
– I am sure that the honorable member does not know half of what is going on. He is kept here to interject about legislation of which he is ignorant.
– The honorable member, as usual, is absolutely incorrect.
– Lately, as soon as I have risen to speak, the honorable member has at once jeered at me.
– Order ! I must ask the honorable member to address himself to the question before the Chair.
– I am pointing out that the Prime Minister is making an outrageous proposal. Let him say when he intends the House to rise, and what isthe minimum quantity of work that he desires us to deal with. If his proposal be reasonable, we shall be glad to help him to carry it out as completely and readily as we can, but he ought not to try to deprive us of the few hours we have to prepare to consider the legislation submitted to us. If his proposal be carried, legislation will be voted upon in ignorance by the majority of honorable members who follow the blind lead of the Government. This motion can mean nothing else. It is unfair to the country that honorable members should not be allowed time for the consideration of the important questions awaiting their consideration. Therefore, in the absence of any further statement by the Prime Minister, I shall be compelled to resist to the utmost his proposal that we shall meet as early as 10. 30 a.m.
– It has always been regarded as the duty of the leader of an Opposition to protest against a proposal of this kind, but I think that it is one of the most practical suggestions for clearing the notice-paper that has come be-« fore any Parliament with which I have been associated. The honorable member for Parramatta is connected with a party which has frequently suggested the advisableness of resorting to day, instead of night sittings.
– Always when there has been a definite object in view.
– The honorable member has now an opportunity, for the first time, to give effect to the policy which he has advocated. He has urged before to-night that we should meet during the daytime and not at night.
– I say so now.
– This is a proposal to meet day and night.
– The Prime Minister said that he wished the House to meet at 10.30 o’clock in the morning, to enable honorable members to go home at the usual hour. I venture to say that if we apply ourselves to the work, it will be done in a more satisfactory manner to the country. Undoubtedly, without accusing any one of doing a wrong thing, a great deal of time has been uselessly wasted during this session. We can put up a good record if we will only apply our minds to our work. It is not uncommon in the States Parliaments for nearly all the important Bills to be passed in the last week or two of the session.
– I hope that if the Prime Minister has made up his mind to have . prolonged sittings, he will make some specialarrangements for the Hansard staff. Otherwise, it will mean sweating of the most brutal description. Even sitting as we do, the Hansard staff have to come back in the mornings to read proofs. Their work is not finished by any means when the House rises; they have their “takes” to complete, and if we sit thirteen hours a day they will have to work from fourteen to sixteen hours at a stretch.
– The honorable member ought to have considered that when he was assisting to keep us here for fifty-seven hours.
– I think that what I am saying is reasonable, and I hope that it will receive consideration from the Prime Minister.
– Hansard deserves every consideration.
– It is not desired by the members of the Anti-Sweating League, or, I am sure, by Labour members to make the Hansard staff work for fifteen or sixteen hours a day until the end of the session. I hope that if we are to have prolonged sittings, special arrangements will be made for their relief.
Mr. LONSDALE (New England).Approaching the close of a session it is customary for the Prime Minister to state what work he wishes Parliament to do. In the newspapers we read that a number of new Bills are to be introduced. Surely the Prime Minister cannot expect that the Bills on the notice-paper, and the new Bills which are to be introduced, can receive proper consideration if we sit so many hours a day? There is a sort of idea abroad that when a Bill is drafted it is perfect. If that were the case, the best thing we could do would be to close the Parliament, and allow the draftsman to frame our legislation. The time of the House has been wasted this session, not by members of the Opposition, but by honorable members on the Ministerial side. For instance, fourteen days were wasted over the closure. A good deal of time has been wasted in the past by the honorable member for Wide Bay. But for the waste of time which has occurred these long sittings would not be needed. If the Ministers had gone on straight with their measures they would have been almost passed by this time. If we are to meet at half-past 10 o’clock in the morning, the Prime Minister should let us know what work he expects us to do. I do not wish’ to come to Melbourne every week. I am willing to sit for whatever time may be necessary, in order to bring the session to a close. We are told that we are to have an Anti-Trusts Bill, and I presume that we shall be asked to sacrifice our opinions, and to accept it holus-bolus. The Trade Marks Bill furnishes a good example of the manner in which the Government Bills are framed. The contingent notice-paper is crowded with amendments which have been framed by Ministers, in order to perfect their own measures. Although the Bills are introduced in this imperfect form, still we are expected not to say a word about their defects, but to accept them all. If the Prime Minister will outline his programme for the rest of the session, I shall be prepared to do all I can in order to get out of this place as soon as possible, but I am not prepared to sit long hours in order to pass an Anti-Trusts Bill.
– The deliverance of the honorable member for Wide Bay would have been more pertinent and apposite to the occasion had it been made last session when the honorable member for Maranoa and others thought it necessary, in discussing the Appropriation Bill, to describe the colour of persons hair and eyes, what they ate, drank, and wore, and to mention the number of buttons on their coats. There has been nothing of that kind attempted from this side of the House. All criticism has been confined to legitimate channels, and I guarantee that a reference to Hansard will disclose that the waste of time took place last session, at the instance of Labour members then sitting on the Opposition benches, and not this session. If there is anything which has iustified the Opposition in criticising measures it is the fact that hardly a measure is introduced which it not immediately followed by the placing of a number of amendments on the contingent notice-paper by the Ministry themselves. Almost every measure has been shown to be so imperfectly drafted that Ministers have immediately drawn up a number of amendments. We have just dealt with a Bill literally studded with amendments proposed by the Minister in charge of it, and now we find that the Minister of Home Affairs has drawn up a number of amendments for insertion in the Electoral Bill. These facts afford ample justification for the conduct of the Opposition in. so closely scrutinizing these measures. It is not a fair thing to expect honorable members to come here and be sweated day after day in this fashion. I am much surprised that members of the Labour Party should be the first to “barrack” for this sweating system.
Question resolved in the .affirmative.
House adjourned at 13.32 a.m. (Wednesday).
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 5 December 1905, viewed 6 July 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1905/19051205_reps_2_30/>.