House of Representatives
6 June 1956

22nd Parliament · 1st Session

Mr. Deputy Speaker (Mr. C.F. Adermann) took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.

page 2827



Minister for Supply · PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– Yesterday I promised to give the honorable member for Adelaide an answer to a question which he asked concerning a report that there had been radio-active rain in Adelaide since the Monte Bello explosion. I have identified the source of the report as the Adelaide University. It reported a slight rise in radiation, which was quite insignificant and, so I am advised, almost certainly not due to the Monte Bello explosion. As I have said before, we have already operating in various places throughout Australia about 30 sampling posts, and we have received reports from all of them. Some, near the Western Australian coast, report a slight rise in radiation background - again insignificant - and the post atWoomera records a still slighter rise. As I have also told the House, the Scientific Safety Committee reported, after the Monte Bello explosion, that the very rigid requirements imposed by it for meteorological protection of safe-firing conditions, and for examining the subsequent radio-active fall-out by sea and air operations, were fully met by those in charge of the tests, and that the operation was carried out without any hazard whatsoever to life on the mainland, to ships at sea, or to aircraft. It must be remembered that mankind is at all times subject to what is known as natural radiation. If, anywhere in the world, air is sucked through a filter paper, activity will be detected, and this fluctuates very greatly - as much as ten times - due to various natural influences, and is not in any way dangerous. Every time one takes an aeroplane trip to an altitude of, say, 10,000 feet, radio activity increases considerably. So, too, when one goes to the doctor to have an X-ray or, indeed, if a geiger counter is applied to one’s wristlet watch at any time a high counting rate is recorded. On the question of radiation in relation to atomic tests, Sir Anthony Eden recently told the House of Commons after his talks with President Eisenhower -

Both the British and the United States Governments at present share the conviction that the radiation dose to human beings arising from the testing of these weapons at the present rate is insignificant compared with the radiation dose rising from natural causes.

This accords with the view, which I have already quoted in this House, expressed by Sir John Cockcroft to the House of Commons committee recently. In the same connexion Dr. Eddy, the chairman of the United Nations Organization Radiation Committee and a very celebrated X-ray expert in the Department of Health, informs me that the information presented to the committee - . . by the delegations of India, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States regarding measurements of fall-out which had been made in those countries over a considerable period indicated that the radiation to date from fall-outs was only a fraction of the natural background.

I sum the matter up in this way: the Government’s scientific advisers, who are men of great eminence and responsibility, say that the Monte Bello test, as with all our other tests, was carried out without any risk whatsoever, present or future, to life or property in Australia and in surrounding countries. We shall continue to act on their advice in such a way as to ensure that there is no risk whatsoever in the future. The source of my information to-day is Professors Martin and Titterton and Dr. Eddy.

Dr Evatt:

– Who is the author of the document the Minister has read in his answer ?


– I am the author of the document, the contents of which are based on information supplied to me by Professors Martin and Titterton and Dr. Eddy.


– Following the reply from the Minister for Supply to-day, it will be recalled that the same situation has arisen in New Zealand since the Monte Bello test. I say that, whilst the Minister’s report states that no relationship can be proved between the tests and the radio activity of rain in certain places, it must be admitted that it is extraordinary that, notwithstanding the advice of the experts, rain which has fallen in South Australia has never before shown radio-activity. The matter cannot be lightly passed over, when it is only a few days or a week since the test was held.


– Order ! What is the honorable gentleman’s question ?


– My question? I think the document should be made available to the House. I do not think that this is a laughing matter, because I have seen in Japan the results of radio-activity on human beings.


– Order ! It is certainly not a laughing matter, but this, after all, is question-time.


– Then I should like to ask the Minister for Supply whether he will lay on the table of the House the document in relation to the reports issued by the experts to whom he has referred.


– The honorable gentleman yesterday, presumably as a matter of urgency, because it was during the time for questions without notice, asked me a question on this matter. I undertook to get him an immediate reply. I have just given him a reply, which is based on information furnished to me by the very distinguished scientists, Professors Martin and Titterton and Dr. Eddy, and I have told the House precisely what they have to say on the matter. Each of them has given his approval to my answer to the honorable gentleman in the words used. As to the question of rain inNew Zealand, the honorable gentleman is a little confused in his mind. Does he not remember that there was a hydrogen bomb explosion in the Pacific some time ago?


– Blame the Yanks !


– Do not blame the poor old Australian for the alleged radioactive fall-out in New Zealand.

Honorable members interjecting,


– Order! If the House will not come to order, I shall call on the business of the day.

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– I address a question to the Minister for External Affairs. Has the right honorable gentleman’s attention been drawn to recent top-level administrative adjustments in Russia which will particularly affect a highranking diplomat whose name I may not mention in this place during questiontime, but which, I understand, means “ hammer “ ? As this particular diplomat would now appear to have far more time to attend to his overseas correspondence, would this be an appropriate time to write and ask him for his ideas on the Russian socialist system and for his opinion about his Russian colleagues who, fortunately for them, remained in Australia in 1954?

Opposition members interjecting,

Minister for External Affairs · LP

– I am afraid that, for once, I must fail my friend from Corio, in that I have not access to information that would enable me to answer his question, largely by reason of the fact that I am not sufficiently in the confidence of Mr. Molotov to be entering into private and confidential correspondence with him. If I might venture to suggest to my friend from Corio that he might possibly feel inclined to recast his question and address it to some one other than myself-

Honorable members interjecting,


– I realize very well that the honorable member for Corio does not need any advicefrom me in these matters, but perhaps I might suggest to him that, in recasting his question and seeking the information that he clearly wants, he might preface it, if Mr. Deputy Speaker were agreeable, with a question at large, which he might put into this form: Is there a doctor in the House?

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– I desire to ask the

Minister for External Affairs a question which is not pre-arranged and which he should be able to answer of his own knowledge. Is it a fact that, before the negotiations in relation to Singapore conducted by the Prime Minister, Mr. Marshall, were unsuccessful, he, as the Minister for External Affairs, or the Australian Government, advised the

British.. Government not to give the Government of Singapore powers under the new Constitution to deal with internal security and that he associated the New Zealand. Government in that advice ? Is it. a fact that, after that, the British Government insisted upon those terms for the settlement of the constitutional position in Singapore?


– I do not know where the right honorable gentleman gets his information, but it is very far from being the truth. Before the discussions in London on the Singapore problem, I took advantage, of the opportunity of being in Singapore and had a discussion lasting for a considerable number of hours with Mr. David Marshall, who, by the way, is the Chief Minister of Singapore, not the Prime Minister. I had a number of hours with Mr. Marshall and also with senior British officials in Singapore and elsewhere. I gave such advice - it was unsought, of course - as appeared to me to be good to Mr. Marshall himself on this matter. We had a perfectly equable and amiable conversation about this matter as a human and political problem. I had by chance had some little experience of this sort of thing a certain number of years ago. There is no question, of over-simplifying this matter by saying that, on behalf of the Australian Government or on my own behalf, I recommended to the British Government that it should deny control of internal security to Mr. Marshall and his Government of Singapore. That would be, a complete travesty of the situation. Certainly I discussed internal security. Nobody could consider the situation in Singapore intelligently without considering the major problem of Singapore at this time, which is internal security, and [ said certain things outright to Mr. Marshall himself on this question. On my return to Australia, I reported to the Prime Minister and to Cabinet on the discussions that I had had and the views that I had formed by reason of extended conversations with Mr. Marshall and with British and other people in Singapore. As a result of that, the Government, through the Prime Minister, sent a telegram of advice - that is all it was - to the British Government on how we saw the Singapore problem, which dealt with defence, external affairs, internal security and all the other ganglion of subjects that makes up the question of the constitutional future of Singapore. It is entirely wrong to say that we gave any clear-cut advice or recommendation to the British Government in the terms that the Leader of the Opposition suggests. I hope I am not uncharitable in saying this, but I can only interpret what the right honorable gentleman has said as an effort to be mischievous.

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– In view of the decision of the Minister for the Interior to evict from a Commonwealth cottage at Belmont an English immigrant and his wife and three children, will the Minister for Immigration inform me what responsibility rests with the Department of Immigration to ensure that persons who nominate immigrants to this country carry out their guarantee to provide accommodation? What is the position of immigrants when other accommodation is not available following the effluxion of the period of the guarantee? Does the Minister agree that five persons should be thrown on to the streets, especially at winter-time, just to satisfy the ego of a Commonwealth inspector at Newcastle and a disgruntled sponsor? In view of the fact that the family referred to has been in Australia only sixteen months, and does not owe arrears of rent, will the Minister confer with his colleague and ascertain whether alternative accommodation can be found for the family if the Department of the Interior must have the cottage it now occupies ?


– The facts of the matter referred to by the honorable member have not been brought to my notice. I shall investigate the circumstances and, if it is desirable, I shall consult with my colleague, the Minister for the Interior. The honorable member may expect a written reply from me when I have gone into the matter thoroughly.

Mr Griffiths:

– Will the Minister make sure that they are not evicted in the meantime?


– I shall look into that aspect of the matter.

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– I direct a question to you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. “Will you take up with the Australian Broadcasting Commission, either directly or through the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Committee, the question of announcing more frequently and more accurately the names and electorates of honorable members whose speeches are broadcast? I have received complaints that the listening public sometimes are not given these details. Indeed, only yesterday I happened to hear the unmistakable voice of the honorable member for Calare attributed to the honorable member for Angas.


– I shall be pleased to discuss this matter with the Parliamentary Proceedings Broadcasting Committee and, if necessary, with the broadcasting authorities.

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– I wish to address a question to the Acting Prime Minister. [ direct the right honorable gentleman’s attention to a statement attributed to the alternate general manager of the Bank of New South Wales Savings Bank Limited to the effect that the bank will make available £4,000,000 a year, to be increased as deposits with the bank increase, to finance the purchase and building of homes, with a maximum loan of £2,500, and that the loans will be available in the States and localities from which deposits come. As such a statement will cause many intending home builders and owners who are depositors with the Commonwealth Savings Bank, which has severely restricted advances for home building and purchase, to withdraw their deposits from that bank and lodge them with the Bank of New South Wales Savings Bank Limited in the hope of obtaining loans—


– Order ! The honorable member is making a great deal of comment. I ask him to proceed with the question.


– I am proceeding with it now. Will the Acting Prime Minister confer with the Governor of the Com monwealth Bank of Australia with a view to having the Commonwealth Savings Bank abandon its present policy of restricting housing loans and adopt a liberal policy of making advances to depositors who desire to build or purchase homes?


– The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been most generous, and as liberal as the circumstances will permit, towards home. builders in Australia. The statistics prove that beyond doubt. However, the observations of the honorable member will be taken into consideration. I shall discuss the matter with the Governor of the bank.

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– Has the Minister for Social Services given consideration to the general question of a contributory national insurance scheme covering social security for the aged? Has the Minister any information about the value of schemes of this kind which are in operation in other countries, and have any calculations been made of the cost of a contributory national insurance scheme adequate to provide the social security benefits we in Australia now enjoy?

Minister for Social Services · RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES · CP

– I think the House may agree that this is a tall question from the lofty and honorable member for Gwydir. But I shall do my best to answer it. Officers of the Department of Social Services are constantly carrying out investigations into compulsory contributory national insurance schemes that are in operation in other parts of the world, and I am bound to say that the investigations have not been reassuring. There is nothing to indicate that those schemes are any better than our own system of providing social service benefits. After all, compulsory contributions are only another form of taxation. Whereas income tax is levied on different incomes at different rates - and, indeed, not at all on some incomes - compulsory contributions are arbitrarily imposed on every insured person, and no cognizance is taken of the ability of the person to pay. If a contributory scheme were introduced in Australia, and if the additional contribution were determined on a flat rate covering all incomes, that rate of contribution would be lOd. in the fi. On the other hand, if a contributory scheme were introduced here, with the contribution determined on a flat rate per capita of population, the cost would be an additional 13s. 6d. a week for every employed person. That calculation takes into account age pensions only, being based on the rate of pension prevailing at present, but being paid to all persons of a pensionable age.

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– Has the Acting Prime Minister seen a report of the debate that took place last week at the Tasmanian congress of the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen’s Imperial League of Australia, on the question of war service homes administration? If he has seen the report, has he noted the general dissatisfaction that was expressed in regard to, (a) the method of dealing with applications for loans, (b) the delay of fifteen months or more that takes place between the time when an application is accepted and the time when the loan is granted, and (c) the generally unsatisfactory position in relation to government administration of the War Service Homes Act? If the right honorable gentleman has seen the report, will he now allow a full discussion on the motion dealing with war service homes, notice of which appears on the notice-paper in the name of the honorable member for Hindmarsh, and which, in general terms, covers the problems dealt with at the Tasmanian congress ?


– As I have not seen the report that the honorable member has mentioned, I cannot comment on all the other observations made by him.

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– Is the Minister for External Affairs aware that Soviet-built battleships are being delivered through satellite state channels to Mediterranean powers? Does he think that the wooing and return of Yugoslavia to the Communist fold might provide an excuse for a proper Soviet fleet to operate in the Adriatic and Mediterranean seas?


– I am not personally aware of the matters that the honorable member has mentioned, but because of the serious nature of them I shall certainly investigate the position and advise the honorable gentleman and, if necessary, the House, of the result.

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– I preface my question to the Acting Prime Minister by referring to a reply given by the Prime Minister to a question asked by the honorable member for Phillip on the 21st March on the subject of the celebrations in London in connexion with the centenary of the Victoria Cross. The Prime Minister stated at that time -

The Government will assist the widow ov mother of a deceased Victoria Cross winner and, in the case of a Victoria Cross awarded posthumously, the person to whom the medal was awarded, being either the widow, mother or child of the winner.

Will the Acting Prime Minister inform the House who made the recommendations as to eligibility to represent a deceased Victoria Cross winner? Why is the father of a deceased Victoria Cross winner not eligible if the mother is deceased ? Will all Australian Victoria Cross winners be represented in London? Has the father of any deceased Victoria Cross winner been ruled as ineligible for assistance by the Australian Government? Does the Acting Prime Minister consider that the father of a deceased Victoria Cross winner is any less worthy to represent his son than a mother, particularly in cases in which the mother is deceased ? I remind the Acting Prime Minister of the words used so often in ceremonies in memory of deceased ex-servicemen - “ Lest we forget “ and “ We will remember them “ - and ask him to take immediate steps to see that the father of any deceased Victoria Cross winner who is anxious and willing to attend the celebrations in London as the sole representative of his son is given the same assistance as would be given to the mother if she were not deceased.


– As the question asked by the honorable member is based on a question that was directed to the Prime Minister and answered by him, I shall look into the matter and see what information I can give to him in connexion with it.

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– I preface a question to the Minister for Health by saying that I understand that there is some anxiety in certain circles in Australia concerning the proposed fluoridation of water. I ask the right honorable gentleman whether, in his own judgment, that anxiety is well founded. Is he aware of any medical authorities elsewhere in the world who have criticized the fluoridation of water and described it as being injurious ?

Minister for Health · OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP

– The question of the fluoridation of water has been considered by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, which expressed the opinion that an optimum amount of fluorine in the water was of benefit in reducing the incidence of dental caries and that so long as it was kept at the right amount it did no harm. Of course, this is a fairly wide question. The fluoridation of water is not merely a matter of putting fluorine in the water and leaving it at that. It involves constant supervision and estimation of the amount of fluorine in the water. The prevention of dental caries depends on other factors being taken into consideration as well as the supply of fluorine. I am not aware of any adverse reports from responsible authorities elsewhere in the world, but I understand that the fluoridation of water supplies is practised to a considerable extent and supported by responsible opinion in the United States of America.

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– I ask the Minister for Supply whether the Government, has continued the policy of stockpiling strategic materials which was initiated when the Government’s official view was the likelihood of war in 1952. What has happened to the supplies originally accumulated? . Are they being retained or have they been released into the economy!


– I cannot give thehonorable gentleman details- of all theitems that have been stockpiled. It is true that, during a period, which wascausing the Government some anxiety,, some years ago, we did go in for thestockpiling of certain strategic materials.. We would have gone in for more purchasing for stockpile purposes except” that, at that time, everybody else in the world was trying to do the sameand the supplies were not available:. We stockpiled some millions of pounds’” worth of rubber from Malaya and somemillions of pounds’ worth of aluminium ingot, and some other materials. Thosestockpiles have been retained with onesmall exception which I shall mention, later. Our stockpile of rubber is- “ turned over “ from time to time. Thai is to say, it is released to the tradeso that it will not deteriorate, and fresh supplies come in. But it is essentially a strategic stockpile for defence purposesand as such is retained. My recollection is that a small quantity of aluminium ingot was released to cover some emergency, but I am not clear about the pre-, else details of that matter. If the honorable gentleman wishes to have any further details and will let me know about them I shall be glad to give them to him.

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– I desire to ask theMinister for the Interior the followingquestion: - As this will be the first occasion on which Australia has been, honoured with the privilege of holding the Olympic Games which will be held: in Melbourne later this year, and in. view of the probability that they will not again be held in this country for some considerable period of years, will theGovernment use the film units of the Department of the Interior or the film units of private enterprise, or both, tomake a full-length film of the interesting formalities of the games, including themain events in various sections, interspersed by shots of Australian cities and joints of natural beauty, with a view topreserving the games on film for posterity, assisting in publicizing Australia,, and endeavouring to stimulate theimportant tourist trade to this country?’

Minister for the Interior · PATERSON, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– Perhaps the honorable member, and the House generally, will be pleased to know that already there is being circulated throughout the world, for release, particularly in American theatres, a film entitled Melbourne - Olympic City. It is the first film in cinemascope to have been made by the National Film Unit, and it has been designed to exploit the full publicity value of the Olympic Games in a way that will, I hope, show an immediate cash return by bringing tourists to this country to witness the games. The value of a film of the games as a medium of advertising is open to very great question, but the whole question of what part of the games is to be filmed is at present one for negotiation with the Olympic Games Committee. However, we shall keep the honorable member’s question in mind.

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In committee: Consideration resumed from the 5th June (vide page 2823).

Clause 7.

Postponed proposed section 16ag (Power to grant preference to members of organizations).

Minister for Labour and National Service and Minister for Immigration · HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP

– I move -

That at the end of proposed section 16ag the following sub-sections be inserted: - “’ (3.) Where-

the Commission has, under subsection (1.) of this section, directed, by award or order, that preference shall begiven to members of an organization which is an association of employees: and

a person, upon application made to the Registrar in the prescribed form and manner, satisfies the Registrar that thu person’s conscientious beliefs do not allow the person to be a member of such an organization, the Registrar shall, subject to sub-section (5.) of this section, issue to the person a certificate to the effect that, while the certificate, or a renewal of the certificate, is in force, an employer bound by the award or order is not required, by reason of the award or order, to give preference to members of the organization over the person, and the certificate has effect according to its tenor. “’ (4.) A certificate under the last preceding sub-section remains in force for such period, not exceeding twelve months, as is specified in the certificate, but, subject to the next succeeding sub-section, may be renewed from time to time by the Registrar for such period, not exceeding twelve months, as the Registrar thinks fit. “’ (5.) The Registrar-

shall not issue a certificate to a. person under sub-section (3.) of this section in relation to a direction under sub-section (1.) of this section unless the person haspaid to the Registrar . such amountas would, in the opinion of the Registrar, be payable by the person to the organizationspecified in the direction iu respect of entrance fees, and, subscriptions if the person became a member of the organization on the day on which the certifi- cate isto be issued andcontinued to be such a member for the period during which the certificate is to remain in force; and

shall not renew the certificate unless the person has paid to the Registrar such amount as would, ‘ in the opinion of the Registrar, -be payable by the person to the organiza.tion in respect of subscriptions if he were a member of the organization immediately before the renewal of the certificate and continued to be such a member for the period during which the renewed certifi cate is to remain in force. “‘(6.) The Registrar shall pay amounts received by him under the last preceding subsection into the Consolidated Revenue Fund. “‘(7.) In sub-section (3.) of this section, conscientious beliefs’ means any conscientious beliefs whether the grounds for the beliefs are or are not of a religious character and whether the beliefs are or are not part of the doctrine of any religion.”.

Briefly, the purpose that we have in mind is to meet the situation which has been brought to our notice that certain persons in the community, who, by virtue of conscientious beliefs which they hold, are not willing to become members of a union, find themselves prejudiced for the purposes of employment in an occupation to which preference applies. I have no doubt that many honorable members have had the advantage, as I have had, of discussions in recent weeks with representatives of those persons who hold these views very strongly. I am certain that such honorable members would have been impressed with the earnestness and sincerity ofthe persons concerned, and as a Parliament we should be prepared to recognize the existence of a conscientiously held belief in this regard. There is a precedent for the course we propose to take in the behaviour of other parliaments in regard to this matter, in New Zealand, New South Wales, and, I understand, Queensland. There is also a precedent, in principle at any rate, in the way in which we have legislated in relation to trainees under the National Service Training Scheme. In the amendment I have not gone as far as was desired of me by those persons who made representations to me and to other members of the Government. This proposed provision will exempt an employee, but it was also put to me that there should be a corresponding provision exempting an employer from the obligation to observe preference where the employer held a conscientious belief in that regard. It may be that beliefs of that kind are seriously entertained by employers, but frankly I found it somewhat difficult to convince myself that the holding of beliefs of that character in relation to one aspect of an award of a court, namely preference, might not be said to apply with almost equal force to almost any other provision of an award. I do not feel the same obligation to extend the kind of relief sought to the employer as I do to the employee. The case of an employee is that of a man gaining a livelihood and having to maintain a family. He might be prejudiced in respect of that livelihood if preference were exercised against him solely on the ground that he entertained a conscientious belief against accepting membership of a union. It may be said that an employer, too, would experience some embarrassment, financial or otherwise, but, subject to hearing the views of the committee, I do not think that the argument holds with the same force. This is a question on which we need not, I think, express ourselves in purely party, terms. It is an important and interesting question of social and political conduct, and there should be a frank expression of views on the part of members of the committee irrespective of where they sit in the chamber. We have given recognition to the fact that persons who are members of a union have made some contribution to the conduct of the union and the union, by its conduct, has perhaps been able to secure benefits which are of value to its members. In accordance with the practice that has grown up in other parliaments that have dealt with this sort of problem, we take the view that a person who is given the benefit of exclusion from the preference provision should not at the same time be relieved of the financial obligation which he would otherwise incur as a result of membership of the union. In this case, provision is made for a contribution to the Consolidated Revenue Fund, through the Registrar, of an amount that will correspond to what the person concerned would otherwise have paid into the funds of the union appropriate to his occupation.

The establishment of the fact that a conscientious belief is held will take place before the Registrar of the court. J think that is preferable to requiring the fact to be established before a magistrate, as happens in certain other cases. Th, Registrar is more likely to be fully alive to the industrial implications of a particular situation than is a magistrate. He is more likely also to be able to assess realistically the existence or otherwise of the conscientious belief which is the basis for exclusion from the preference provision. I believe that the amendment will commend itself to most of the members of the committee, and I offer it to them for their consideration.


– We offer no objection to the amendment proposed by the Government. We take the view that people who have a genuine conscientious objection to joining a union should be given some relief. The Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) has indicated that the corresponding decision in New South Wales was a parliamentary decision. As a matter of fact, the proposal was put forward by the party to which I have the honour to belong. In Queensland the decision was made by the Arbitration Court of that State, but, if my memory serves me correctly, the Queensland court went a little further than did the New South Wales legislation to ensure that persons who sought exclusion from the preference provisions were actuated by genuine conscientious beliefs. I think the Queensland court stipulated that a payment equal to the contribution to the appropriate trade union, plus 10 per cent., should be made by people who applied successfully to the Registrar for relief, on conscientious grounds, from the provisions of awards which gave preference to trade unionists.

I agree largely with the point of view expressed by the Minister. An attempt must be made to give relief to people who have genuine conscientious objections to joining unions, but, at the same tinto, we must give to the trade union movement the maximum possible guarantee that this provision will not be allowed to become an avenue of escape for people who want to break down trade unionism and disorganize the relations .between trade unions and employers’ organizations within the framework of industrial arbitration in Australia. We believe that the amendment will meet the position of the employee.

With regard to the employer, some people take the view that he should not be required to enforce the preference provisions if he has a conscientious objection to doing so, but our view is that such freedom of choice would throw wide open the possibility that some employers would not attempt to maintain the principle of compulsory unionism within the organizations in their control. We have considered the amendment offered by the Minister and believe that it is in line with the New South Wales provision. We have two things to say about it. First, the trade union movement must be protected at all times, and at all levels, against any evasion of our policy - which is apparently that of the Government also - of ensuring that, to the extent to which it is physically possible, trade unionism shall be observed in industry. Secondly, we must see to it that people who have a genuine and conscientious religious objection shall be able to satisfy the Registrar that they are not merely attempting to burke their responsibilities. On those two grounds the amendment is acceptable to the Opposition.


– I accept without hesitation the decision given by the honorable member for Blaxland (Mr. E. James Harrison) on behalf of the Labour party, but I should like to have something to say about it.

I was for many years an official of the Queensland branch of the Australian Workers Union. As honorable members know, in Queensland we have, not preference to unionists, but compulsory unionism.

Mr Anderson:

– Shame!


– I would expect such a remark from the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Anderson), but I remind him that, notwithstanding his conservative views, I am entitled to express my views in this House. The Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) hit the nail right on the head when he said that people who claim to be conscientious objectors will often accept every clause of an award except that which relates to preference to unionists. They will gladly accept wage increases and the holiday and annual leave provisions, but will object to the preference clause, even though the whole of the benefits under an award have been won as a result of the diligence, study and research of union officials.

I know that I am expressing my own point of view, and I do not intend to vote against the amendment. Government supporters may criticize me but I shall give my honest views on the matter. If exemption is given to conscientious religious objectors the matter cannot logically stop there. I wish to be quite frank and say that, because there was no choice, we had in the ranks of the Australian Workers Union in Queensland many people - there were probably thousands in a similar position throughout Australia - who belonged to the Liberal and Australian Country parties. They hated being obliged to take out a ticket in the Australian Workers Union. If we give exemption to a conscientious objector on religious grounds, should we not also say that the supporter of the Liberal party, the Australian Country party or the Communist party or, indeed, any person who dislikes Labour for one reason or another, shall be exempt? All these people are anti-Labour and anti-union, and they should be conceded the rights enjoyed by religious objectors.

Mr Freeth:

– The Liberal supporter is not necessarily anti-union.


– If not, he will have no objection to joining the union.

Mr Freeth:

– He may object to subscribingto Labour party funds.


– That may be so, and then he is surely entitled to the same immunity as is enjoyed by the objector on religious grounds.. Let us take the matter to its natural conclusion. I have always given the Minister the credit for being fair minded in regard to these matters. He pointed out that the objector to preference for unionists was always ready to take the other advantages contained in an award, which is never won without considerable expense. If every one said, “ I am a conscientious objector and can establish that fact before the Registrar “, there Would be no contributors to trade union funds, and no one would derive any benefits.

Mr Freeth:

– How does the returned soldiers’ league get its results?


– Order! The honorable member may not interject.


– Does the honorable member, who insists on interjecting, want us to go back to the bad old days? I have been in arbitration courts hundreds of times, but have never heard the returned soldiers’ league cited as a party to a claim before a court. If the honorable member believes that it is so easy to get results from the Arbitration Court he should try it. In any event, there is no analogy between the returned soldiers’ league and the ordinary trade union.

Mr Freeth:

– Of course there is.


– I cannot keep answering the honorable member because I wish to address my speech to the whole House. I recall that when I made an interjection while he was speaking I was thrown out. It seems that he is having a better run. The Minister mentioned the New South Wales act. This morning my leader handed me a judgment, delivered by the late Mr. Jim Riordan, which pointed out that in Queensland also there was provision for conscientious objectors. That judgment appears on the records of the Queensland Arbitration

Court.; The only objections that I have ever heard during my experience as an Australian Workers Union official have been from ex-servicemen, who are automatically . immune from the compulsory preference clause. Not once have the employers tolerated it. They have told the ex-servicemen that they must take out a. ticket or they will not be employed. From the judgment of the late Mr. Jim Riordan it is obvious that the right obtains in Queensland also, but I have never heard of a conscientious objector in that State. If the Government is going to start it, it should be honest and finish it. Anybody who conscientiously objects - and anybody can say that they conscientiously object, not merely for this or that or the other reason - can, I claim, be covered by the provision contained in the amendment.


– I think the provision is wide enough to do that.


– Personally, I believe that anybody who is working in industry and receives the benefit of an award should be compelled to take a ticket in the union that has brought about the conditions that he enjoys.


.-] find it extremely hard to understand how a man who can stand up in this place and boast about compulsory unionism, can be regarded as a fit and proper person to express a valid opinion on any matter at all. I do not understand how anybody can dare to stand up in a socalled free country and support compulsory trade unionism. To impose compulsory unionism in a free country would be like putting dog collars on people. I say that this is a country for free men.

Honorable members interjecting,


– Order ! I ask the committee to maintain silence.


– The Labour party, through its leader, boasts about human rights, and contends that, right throughout the world, any man, black, brown or brindle, should have the right to free association and not be compelled to join an organization. The Australian Labour party wants that right to be enjoyed by everybody in every country of the world, except the Australian worker. I have no time for compulsory unionism. I believe in trade unionism, I believe that people should join trade Unions, but I also believe that nobody should be compelled to join’ a trade union. That is in accordance with the Charter of Human Rights. ‘ That is what I stand for ; that is what should apply to the Australian worker; but honorable members opposite stand for a sort of polyglot Charter of Human Eights. I support the amendment.


.- I. should like to make, a few observations on the proposed sub-sections before the committee. I say at theoutset that I am an enthusiast for compulsory unionism, which has prevailed in my profession, journalism, for more than a quarter of a century, certainly in relation to employment on the metropolitan dailies which have representatives covering the activities of this Parliament; but I contend also very strongly for the right of conscience, and I believe that that is a right which this Parliament must act to protect. That is a very difficult problem to solve, and I congratulate the Minister forLabour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) and his officers on having made an attempt to provide protection for those people inthe community who feel themselves impelled by conscience to belong neither to a trade union nor to an employers’ association. I agree that the benefits that are available as to conditions in industry have been won, inthe main, as a result of direct action by industrial unions, by agreememt between employer and employee organizations, or by awards of the Commonwealth Arbitration” Court on questions affecting those two groups. It is true that every employee to-day gains the benefit of conditions that have been won by trade union activity of one sort or another over very many years; but it is undeniable that there is in the community a. very considerable body of people who, as I have said previously, because of their religious beliefs, are impelled by theirconsciences not to belong to either anemployeroremployeeorganization.

Ithink the amendment proposed by the Minister provides protection far theemployee who feels, by conscience, that he must not become a member of a trade union. He is required to gain, and the amendment provides that he shall gain, no. financial benefit from refraining from joining a trade union.It is provided that the equivalent of the trade union membership fee must be paid to Consolidated Revenue by the conscientious objector. Let me say that I think that it requires very strong conviction and very considerable courage for people in this community to say that their consciences will not allow . them to join a trade union or an employers’ association. I think that that requirement of both conviction and courage itself provides a safeguard against any too widespread use of this provision; because I think that each individual application must be as a result ofvery firm conviction and very considerable courage in a country in which trade unionism flourishes and forms so strong a part of community life.

Those who have spoken to me on this matter have pointed out the position of individual employers. I' agree that it would be wrong to incorporate any provision which could give an employer the right to secure for himself exclusion from the preference provisions. There is, however, the case of the individual employer, in the terms of an award, particularly in the clothing trade, and especially in relation to what is known as "making up", who. may be called upon to enter into an agreement and, by entering into that agreement be in fact, . accepting three conditions, the agreement generally providing conditions as to hours of work, rates of pay. and. for compulsory unionism. I ask the Minister whether the amendment in its present form, which covers and protects the right of conscience of the employee, is worded sufficiently widely to cover theindividual employer who maybe required to enter into such an agreement. What I should liketo know, when the Minister speaks again on the amendment, is whether the cover given to an employer isthat which is given to the employee in thecircuin- stancesIhavementioned. {: #debate-13-s7 .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr EVATT:
Leader of the Opposition · Barton .- This is a very important amendment. It has been discussed by the Opposition, which reached the conclusion that it should not be opposed. One can easily understand how a political party which has been largely founded on the sacrifices of trade unionists must approach this question carefully, lest what appears to be a concession and recognition may be subject to abuse. I believe that what has won the day, so to speak, in this particular case, as has already been indicated by my colleague, the honorable member for the Australian Capital Territory **(Mr. J. R. Eraser),** is the obvious sincerity of the gentlemen who made representations in connexion with the matter, not only to the Government, but also to members of the Opposition. They are obviously sincere men, and they have their conscientious beliefs. They are people who would, I should imagine, satisfy any tribunal appointed to deal with conscientious objection in this particular matter. Whilst the Australian Labour party has stood for trade unionism and, in a sense, trade unionism has been the foundation of the Labour party, our great struggle has been associated with the difficulty of getting recognition of trade unionism, especially in the early days of the Labour movement. That 5" the point that the honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** forgets. Indeed, his attacks from time to time on trade unionism in this chamber have been very bigoted and very unjust. I do not want to cross swords with him unnecessarily, but when he refers to the United Nations declarations he must also read these declarations as a whole. There is one result of the Charter of Human Rights that is never understood or appreciated, and that is that the taking of a particular right to too far a conclusion tends to destroy the very right which the Charter of Human Rights was designed to protect. *So* far as trade unionism is concerned, the honorable gentleman should know, in connexion with the shearing industry, that great efforts were made by the woolgrowers' organization to destroy the trade union in that industry by the actual establishment of bogus trade unions subsidized by the employers. That is the type of thing that is felt, and 13 not forgotten, by the trade unions. I am proud of the way in which this matter has been approached by the Opposition. We looked at the position in the various States of the Commonwealth, and in a moment I shall refer to one example which supports the acceptance of this amendment. The subject-matter of the proposed amendment is clearly preference to members of trade unions. Before any exemption can be obtained, the person concerned, in order to obtain a certificate, has to satisfy the Registrar of the court that his conscientious beliefs do not allow him to become a member of a trade union. Provision is made that the person concerned shall pay to the Registrar the fees that might otherwise be payable to a trade union by one of its members. The fees are paid, not to the trade union, but to Consolidated Revenue, and there is no direct pecuniary gain to anybody who obtains a certificate under this provision. I shall give the best illustration that I can give of the way a similar provision works. I shall read from the Queensland *Industrial Gazette* of the 30th June, 1948. The Industrial Court of Queensland, presided over by **Mr. Justice** Matthews, and of which **Mr. W.** J. Riordan and **Mr. T.** E. Dwyer were members, had to deal with an application by certain persons for exemption from the obligation to join certain industrial unions of employees under the various awards of the court. We should remember that in Queensland it is not merely a question of preference; it amounts, in many cases, practically to an obligation to join a union. The motion was on behalf of certain persons and the grounds were that the applicants objected on conscientious grounds to being members of an industrial union or any society or body either political, sporting or public. The conscientious objector in that case did not want to have his freedom restricted, not only so far as trade unions were concerned, but also in relation to any society that might attempt to control him in any respect whatsoever. In its judgment the court said - >Provision for such people has been made elsewhere in the Commonwealth and in New Zealand. > >We think it would be a very dangerous principle to adopt without adequate provision to ensure its application only to those who are genuine in their conscientious objections. That is to say, there must be safeguards. The judgment continued - >We think that if these safeguards can be provided relief should be given. > >We therefore make a general order that if any person has objection on conscientious ground to being a member of an industrial union, he shall on satisfying the Industrial Registrar or an Industrial Magistrate that his conscientious objections are genuine and on payment to the Industrial Registrar or the Clerk of Petty Sessions in any district of an amount equal to the subscription fixed by the industrial union covering the calling in which such person is from time to time employed, plus an amount of 10% of such subscription, be issued by the Industrial Registrar or the Industrial Magistrate with a certificate. To make a safeguarding clause, what was required was a contribution not merely of the union subscription but an additional percentage of it. That is not required here, but apparently it was included in the first place to stop any abuse of the law and to protect bona fide trade unionism. The judgment went on to say- >Such certificate shall permit such person to work in any industry under award wages and conditions, and the production of such certificate on demand by the employer, union official or industrial inspector, shall be sufficient to exempt him from the preference clause of the relevant award. > >All moneys collected under this order shall be paid into Consolidated Revenue. The form of certificate is shown on page 1012 of the Queensland *Industrial Gazette* 1948. The amendment is, in principle, along the lines of that part of the Queensland legislation, and it certainly bears strong resemblance to provisions since incorporated in New South Wales and in New Zealand. Taking that point of view, we feel that those who made representations to the Government - many of whom have put their case before Opposition members - have made a deep impression, believing that they are completely sincere about this matter. But we feel equally that they would be the first to recognize that such a provision is capable of abuse in certain circumstances. I do not say that there is any proof of that at all, but that is the reason why trade unions must look at such a provision with care. I believe that a solution for the immediate problem has been found in this amendment, and it is on that footing that I have made this statement on behalf of the Labour party. {: #debate-13-s8 .speaker-L19} ##### Mr LESLIE:
Moore .- The debate on this proposed amendment and on the principle that is at issue indicates again the trouble that we make for ourselves when we introduce a wrong and then attempt to remove some of the consequent action that results. The mere fact that somebody who is a conscientious objector to compulsory unionism has to make an application to an authority for exemption implies, in the first place, that that person accepts the principle of compulsion, but merely objects to the mechanics of it. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- This provision does not relate to a situation of compulsion at all; it is the preference provision. {: .speaker-L19} ##### Mr LESLIE: -- It comes into the question. Where preference will be given to a trade unionist, there is a degree of compulsion. Preference will be given to a person who is a member of an organization and I see very little difference between actual compulsion and that compulsion which makes it necessary for somebody to be a member of an organization. The mere fact that a person desires to receive exemption indicates that he has accepted in principle the compulsion that applies to him. In other words, it means that this Parliament of the people of the Commonwealth is applying compulsion through preference as a basic principle and everybody must accept it as a responsibility. Forcing people into any organization against their will is where we break down. I am a strong believer in trade unionism. Even friends of mine on the opposite side of this chamber who have been with me at various functions, particularly naturalization ceremonies, will recall that I have told the people whom I have addressed that I consider it a responsibility for every man to be a member of the organization that applies to his calling or occupation, whether in the employer or employee class. I have said that he should be a member of that organization. I sav that because I believe it is natural ; I say it to people who desire, . on religious grounds, to have this amendment. It is natural for people who have a common objective and a common ideal to band themselves together in a voluntary effort to -obtain the things that they believe are desirable. Trade unionism built on that principle is successful trade unionism. It means that everybody who has joined that union voluntarily is an ardent worker for the improvement of the conditions, not only of himself, but also of all those with whom he is associated. It can be a Christian work. But when compulsion is applied - and compulsion is applied through preference - so many join a union who merely contribute to its funds, or join an organization which may not be a trade union, such as an employers' organization, and they have not the faintest interest in its affairs. But because they are members and are compelled to subscribe to union funds, they are building up in the hands of someone else a powerful machine which could be used against them if at any time preference were abandoned. I agree with the honorable member for Herbert **(Mr. Edmonds),** who asked where the matter would end if the principle of conceding exemptions were established. It comes back to my point that we are trying, by. half measures, to remove -the consequences of the adoption of a basically wrong principle. "Where will it end? All my life, I have be3n a member of a union and, along wilh thousands of others, I have contributed to the union funds. I am speaking now of Western Australia, where the unions are affiliated with the Austraiian Labour party. Because affiliation fees are paid to that party on the basis of membership, every member of a union there is automatically a member of the Australian Labour 'party. The honorable member for Herbert quite rightly said that there are probably in the unions people who are compelled to contribute to Labour party funds and, thereby, to become members of the party,, although they object to its principles or are members of either the Liberal party or the Australian Country party. There may be Labour, supporters who contribute to other organizations that help the Liberal party and the Australian Country party; I do not deny it. But this merely indicates what I am trying to point out': Once this principle of compulsion is applied, a tragic wrong is perpetuated. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr Anderson: -- It is an evil. {: .speaker-L19} ##### Mr LESLIE: -- As the honorable member says, it is an evil. All we are attempting to do now is to repair the damage we have done by applying a wrong principle. I am opposed to compulsory unionism or to any principle which applies compulsion indirectly. If preference is given, automatically people are compelled to become members of unions. We might as well write into the arbitration law provision making it compulsory for a person to join a union or some other organization in order to obtain benefits. At the present time, a person must be a member of a union in order to obtain employment. Once such compulsion is introduced, we immediately make a rod for every one's back. The need for this amendment is an indication of the evil and the wrong that are done. 1 cannot conceive that any of the honorable members who have supported the amendment would object to a conscientious objector voluntarily joining a union, an employers' organization, or any association formed for the purpose of providing benefits for some one. I support the amendment, because, unfortunately, we in Australia have got ourselves into a shocking situation. We believe that we are giving the people more freedom, whereas we are steadily taking freedom from them. By the moving of the amendment, we are being encouraged to believe that there is still a little freedom left. That is the unfortunate position in which we find ourselves. There is only one proper remedy, and that is the removal of any possible semblance of compulsion. {: #debate-13-s9 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
Minister for Labour and National Service and Minister for Immigration · HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I wish to mention only two points at this stage. Although we are having a very interesting and useful discussion, I feel there is so much agreement in the committee on the general principle that we shall be able to move fairly soon to1 the next proposed section. First, I do not *hare the view of my friend, the honorable member for Moore **(Mr. Leslie),** in relation to the award of preference. That is not necessarily a bad thing, nor is it based on an unsound principle. In the operation of the industrial system, there could be disclosed many instances in which, for the protection of good employers and good employees, the proposed -Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, or, in the past, the existing Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, or perhaps a conciliation commissioner, may well have made an -award of preference in relation to a par.ticular industry. {: .speaker-KWP} ##### Mr Turnbull: -- Yes. but Labour wants to abolish preference to ex-servicemen and maintain preference to unionists. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I do not know now that matter comes into this discussion. I am familiar with instances, in other legislation of this Parliament, in which preference to unionists has applied, in conjunction with preference to exservicemen. But let us not be mistaken about the award of preference. I believe it is a useful and valuable instrument in the hands of an arbitral authority when dealing with a particular association. The clothing trades are frequently mentioned as a case in point. They are in an industry in which it is by no means easy for the employer or, for that matter, the employee, to ensure that award provisions are observed, and it has been found useful to provide that preference shall be given to those employees who are members of the union and who will be bound by an award. The second comment I wish to make arises partly from something I said at the outset about the situation of the employer, and partly from the question raised by the honorable member for the Australian Capital Territory **(Mr. J. R. Fraser),** who, if I may say so, made a very thoughtful and useful contribution to the discussion. I understand that, although we are not making legislative provision specifically for the employer, he will not bc without remedy in this situation. He will not be bound to give preference unless he is bound by an award. Therefore, he would be able to approach' the commission seeking exemption from the operation of the preference provision if he were able to persuade the commission that there were reasons why he should not be bound by it. This would afford the commission the opportunity to question the applicant for exemption and to ascertain his views in relation to other aspects of the award. It might well happen that, if the commission were convinced of the sincerity of the beliefs held by the applicant, and were satisfied that other provisions of the award would be observed, it would exempt him from the preference provision. At any rate, I am so advised, and I put the matter to the committee on the basis that protection is available to the employer. T entirely endorse what the Leader of the Opposition **(Dr, Evatt)** has said about the evident sincerity of those who have put their views on this matter to the Government. I consider that they can take considerable satisfaction from their very real accomplishment of persuading all sections of the National Parliament to give statutory recognition to the rights of conscience in this matter. {: #debate-13-s10 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS:
Yarra -- I shall delay the committee for only a very short time to comment upon this provision. It seems to me that there is agreement between the Government and the Opposition on the need to allow conscientious objectors to avoid the compulsion of having to join an industrial organization. I think it is very good to exempt them. Any community should, and must, be able to provide, in circumstances such as this, facility for people who object conscientiously to joining an organization to avoid joining it. But on this matter I take issue with the honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** and the honorable member for Moore **(Mr. Leslie).** When these two honorable members are required to give assent to a Government measure, they are very often in the position of the boy dragged squealing from the tart shop. In this instance, they have endeavoured to. raise this matter to the level' of a question of principle. The honorable member for Moore said, I think, that it was wrong for members of affiliated unions to be required to contribute to the funds of the Australian Labour party, as they do when they pay their ordinary union membership, fees. That may be wrong in the minds of the honorable member for Hume and the honorable member for Moore, but I would remind them that a great many people in this community are compelled to pay income tax, and so to contribute towards activities with which they do not agree. There are many people who are pacifists, and who, in time of war, are conscientious objectors, who are compelled to pay income tax, a substantial part of which is spent on war or defence. What is the view of the honorable member for Moore and the honorable member for Hume? Do they say that it is wrong for members of trade unions to be compelled to contribute to Australian Labour party funds if they conscientiously object to doing so? If so, do they agree that the many people - and there may be a great many in the community - who conscientiously object to the spending of millions of pounds on war or defence measures, should have the right to refuse to pay income tax? Are these honorable members prepared to be consistent when they raise this matter to a fine level of principle? I should like to say something else to the members of the Australian Country party *who have spoken upon this measure. They have talked of freedom as though the only matter involved is the restriction of freedom. That is one way - and an important way - of considering freedom. It is important to ensure that reasonable conduct in society is not unreasonably restricted, but I remind honorable members that there is a good deal more to freedom than the absence of restriction upon actions. There is a positive factor in freedom, which is an ability to be able to do things, and that is a kind of freedom that is enjoyed by members of trade unions, and members of the working class generally, as a result of the work of unions. There is the freedom to live at a decent standard, and the freedom to work under decent conditions. Freedom to engage in these positive actions is enjoyed by the people who are members of or who support trade unions. Lt is a completely one-sided and facetious use of the argument of principle to criticize this measure by a suggestion that freedom is merely the absence of restriction. That is a very limited concept of freedom. One must take into account also the very positive way in which freedom is enlarged by the creation of opportunities for people to live at a decent standard and to enjoy the freedom of action which is so essentially a part of freedom in its wider sense. I remind the members of the Australian Country party that they are not on completely sound grounds, philosophically or even politically, when they use the arguments that they have used in this debate. {: #debate-13-s11 .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr ANDERSON:
Hume .- The Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt)** has given the impression that I oppose trade unionism. That is not true. In not one single speech that I have delivered in. this chamber have I opposed trade unionism. I have often drawn attention to bad practices in trade unions, such as intimidation, and I suggest that where there is compulsion there will also be intimidation. I ask honorable members to consider the position in the United Kingdom, which- is the home of trade unionism. They would no more bring in compulsory unionism there than they would fly to the moon. Yet honorable members opposite talk of trade unions in Australia as being the only instruments in the country that have improved the lot of the worker. I have never heard such addlepated reasoning as that which was shown by the honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** a few minutes ago. He talked ti bout compulsory unionism, and then he talked about political coercion by means of making a member of the Liberal party or the Australian Country party supply funds for activities of the Labour party with which they did not agree. Where is there any freedom in that? The honorable member does not understand the first principles of freedom. If one adopted his reasoning, one might be able to argue that Hitler and Stalin were first-class freedom-loving persons. I support this amendment. I support trade unionism very strongly, but I support free trade unionism. I suggest that if we continue to introduce compulsion into trade unionism we shall destroy it, in the way that the Australian Workers Union is now being destroyed. Amendment agreed to. Proposed section 16ag, as further amended, agreed to. Further consideration of clause 7, as amended, postponed. Clauses 8 and 9 agreed to. Clause 10- Part TV. of the Principal Act is repealed and the following Part inserted in its stead: - Part IV. - The Commonwealthindustrial Court. " 29. During the absence on leave of the ChiefJudge, or during a vacancy in the office of ChiefJudge, the next senior Judge not absent on leave shall act as Chief Judge and shall have and may exercise all the powers and functions of the Chief Judge. " 37. - (1.) The Court is empowered - {: type="a" start="c"} 0. to make such orders as the Court thinks just as to the costs and expenses (including the expenses of witnesses) of proceedings before the Court. " 44. The Court may award costs in all matters before it, including matters dismissed for want of jurisdiction." {: #debate-13-s12 .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY:
Bendigo .- The Opposition has circulated a list of amendments in relation to this clause. The first of them sought to repeal Part IV. of the principal act. The second related to proposed section 37 (1.), from which it was desired to omit paragraphs *(a), (b)* and (e). The final circulated amendment Avas designed to omit proposed section 44 and to insert a proposed new section in place thereof. We do not now desire to proceed with these amendments. We feel, after further consideration of the matter, that the interests of the Opposition would best be served by opposing clause 10 as a whole. The clause is unsatisfactory to us, and we feel that instead of proceeding separately with the amendments that we had foreshadowed, it will be better for us to oppose the whole clause and have a vote taken on it. That should facilitate the work of the committee considerably, and it will certainly enable the debate to be carried on in a manner that will enable all members of the committee to express themselves properly. Clause 10 makes provision for the establishment of the Commonwealth Industrial Court. This is the authority that will exercise the judicial power previously vested dn the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration, and which was taken from that court by a decision of the High Court. Our principal objection to this clause is the provision of power to impose penalties. I know that it has been stated, and probably will be stated again, that when the Conciliation and Arbitration Act was amended in 1947, making the Arbitration Court a court of superior record, that court was automatically given the power to deal with persons for contempt of court, and also to make orders and grant injunctions. Certainly, when it was made a court of superior record the particular functions that might be exercised by the court were not stressed in the legislation of the time. To all intents and purposes, it apparently was realized by the existing government that the power given in 1947, in itself, was not sufficient because in 1951 the present Government introduced the paragraphs which are contained in proposed section 37 (1.). Those provisions empowered the court to take certain action and the powers that are contained in proposed section 37 (1.) to which the Opposition objects are these - The Court is empowered - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. to order compliance with an award proved to the satisfaction of the Court to have been broken or not observed ; 1. ) to enjoin an organization or person from committing or continuing a contravention of this Act or a breach or non-observance of an award; 2. to make such orders as the Court thinks just as to the costs and expenses (including the expenses of witnesses) of proceedings before the Court. Paragraphs (a) and *(b),* under which tne existing Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration has made orders and granted injunctions, followed by proceedings for contempt of court, were not put in the act by the legislation of 1947. Those paragraphs were specifically put in the act by the legislation of 1951, introduced by the present Government which, at that time, apparently believed that unless these provisions were inserted, the particular powers of a court of superior record would not be put into operation. Eor that reason, the Opposition strongly objects to all the penalties that are provided by this legislation. I want to make clear the position of the Opposition in respect of this matter. *We* object to the double-barrelled nature of the penalties which could be imposed upon the trade union movement under this legislation. There are two sections concerned in this matter. The first is section 59 of the existing Conciliation and Arbitration Act, which deals with the enforcement of orders and awards and applies both to employers and employees. Under that section, just as an employer can be prosecuted for a breach of an award, so can the trade unions. Indeed, prior to the legislation of 1951, on more than one occasion trade unions which had indulged in stop-work meetings, strikes, and other forms of industrial unrest had been prosecuted under this section and fined. That section still remains in the act. "We have not sought the elimination of that section. It is in the act, and applies equally to employers and trade unions. Our objection comes from the fact that, in addition to thepenalties provided by that section, this proposed new section has now been included in the bill. It is of a double-barrelled nature, providing for the imposition upon trade unions and trade union officers of penalties that are not likely to be and which so far have not been used against, the employers. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- That is not correct. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY: -- I disagree with the Minister. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- The metal trades employers were prosecuted and fined £250. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY: -- They probably deserved it, anyhow. In any case, assuming that the provision is applied to employers, the point that Iwant to make isthis: It is wrong to impose two classes of penalties in themeasure for the same offence - one class under section 59 of the act and another under this bill. Any penalties that" may be imposed for branches of awardsshould be the same for employer and employee. Employers should not be dealt with under one provision and trade unions under another provision. My time is very limited, and all I want, to say at this stage is this : The Government may believe that it will reduce industrial unrest or make relations in industry better by means of legislation of this sort, but it will find that its legislation will be null and void. Looking back over a long period of time, one has never seen any industrial dispute, any stoppage of work, any hold-up of industry in the Commonwealth ever prevented or settled as a consequence of fines of this description. I can go back in my memory to the strikes which took place in the coalmining industry in 1909 and 1910, when the officials of the union were placed in gaol and the union was fined. {: #debate-13-s13 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order ! The honorable member's time has expired. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY: -- As no other honorable member has risen, I shall take my second period now. When the officials of the union were gaoled the strike still went on. At a later stage, on the occasion of the seamen's strike of 1918, the president of the Seamen's Union, the late Tom Walsh, was imprisoned for three months. The strike still went on, and frequent consultations took place with him in the Pentridge Gaol in order to try to achieve terms of settlement. I can remember the timberworkers' strike in 1929, when the timberworkers were fined - I think it was the sum of £100 - and the gentleman who eventually became the Right Honorable E. J. Holloway, Minister for Labour and National Service, was fined £50 for his participation in that strike. But the strike still went on. If time permitted, one could give many more illustrations of the fact that the exercise of this type of legislation, providing for the imprisonment or heavy fining of union officials and the fining of trade unions, has not prevented or settled a dispute. If anything, it has made the relationships between the employer and the employee much more bitter," and the feeling much more antagonistic and hostile, with the result that it has been much more difficult tosettle the dispute in question. I suppose that the timberworkers' strike was a good illustration of that fact. The strike continued for six months and the penalties imposed had absolutely no effect on that dispute. Eventually, the employers' organization and the employees' organization had to get together ' and, as a consequence, they found a settlement. All -that I- am pointing out is the futility of this type of legislation in trying to bring about the settlement . of disputes or 'better industrial relationships. I suppose that we are all of a similar build and that the more we are threatened the more we are inclined to dig our toes in and tell the other fellow to do his worst. When men are stubborn as individuals they will be found to be even more stubborn when they operate in the mass. So I suggest to the Minister that the inclusion of this provision' in the bill will not help better relationships in industry. In introducing this bill, the; Government is wielding a big stick, but its action will achieve nothing satisfactory in industrial relationships, or in the interests of conciliation and arbitration, or in the promotion of better feeling between employer and employee, and between management and men. The Government would be wise to drop this portion of the legislation altogether. {: #debate-13-s14 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS:
Yarra .- I support the remarks of the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** in relation to the amendment which if accepted, I take it, would remove Part IV. of the principal act, but would not substitute in its place the provisions of the present bill under which there will be a Commonwealth Industrial Court with power to impose penalties - particularly contempt of court penalties. It seems to me that the Government has chosen to rely increasingly upon authority imposed through the arbitration system. It seems also that it is willing to retain what admittedly is a continuation of one of the essential features of arbitration in Australia - compulsory arbitration. As the committee has been reminded on many occasions during the debate, Australia is perhaps the only country in the world in which such stress has been laid upon compulsion in the development of mm arbitration system. 1 arn not suggest- ing that .this Government- alone1 is responsible. As the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt)** has pointed out from time to time, there has been a trend in this direction; but the Government has accentuated that trend in recent legislation. I suggest that this is the time when we should clearly and firmly ask ourselves, " Are we satisfied that by continuing to accentuate the existing degree of compulsion, authority, or penal power in our arbitration system, we are doing the right thing? " The honorable member for Bendigo quite rightly, has pointed out that there is an alternative, and that alternative is the course for which the Australian Labour party and the Australian Labour movement stands. During the last few weeks, I have taken the trouble to speak to, not only officials of the trade unions, but also rank and file members, and 1 can assure the Minister ' that there is 'ari almost universal, strong feeling against any increase of compulsion in the arbitration system. I have discovered that rank and file members, if not some- of the leaders, of the trade union movement are ready to play a far more responsible and positive part in the conduct of industrial affairs. I suggest that such action is necessary iri order to achieve an efficient and effective industrial system. I suggest, too, that the centralization of authority in the hands of the Commonwealth Industrial Court and in other industrial tribunals, as a result of which rules of-, thumb are imposed upon the labour force, is a retrograde step. Many of the powers invested in the various tribunals are not much more, than rules of thumb. It would be wrong to call them principles or to invoke public interest in their defence. I believe that, if we took the initiative in making a different approach, and attempted to increase the significance of agreements and conciliation, we would, get a vastly better result. If that is not to be the approach of the Government, if dan justify its action by saying, first, 'that it is only doing what has been done for 50 years!" ' That is generally a sufficient 'defence" for a conservative to ry- government. '-Although, unfortunately, -the Minister seemed -' to resort to that defence frequently last night, I should have imagined that he would be one of the last to avail himself of it. If that is not the reason why the Government is introducing such legislation, one can easily see other reasons why it is doing so. In times of full employment when labour is short and when a trade boom has reached its highest point, as it did in 1928 and 1929 and at other stages of Australia's history, authority is more firmly exercised by governments against the trade union movement. At such times, because of a scarcity of labour, Labour does not discipline the workers in a manner that is satisfactory to employers and to governments, which are charged with the responsibility of maintaining law and order. En the absence of this discipline, invariably governments and authorities have turned to greater penal powers and repressive measures in the industrial field. Provision was made in 1928 and 1929 for dealing with such a situation, and it resulted in men being fined heavily - men who, within a short space of time, were able to remove from office, at an open election, the then Prime Minister of Australia. Their action on that occasion exemplified the fact that the people generally were not in favour of this kind of compulsion. The Prime Minister of the day, who now sits in the House of Lords, was removed from the political arena for all time. {: type="A" start="I"} 0. suggest that the Government is putting itself on the side of those who believe in compulsion, just as did other governments, in times of economic crisis, with the intention, whether they recognize it or not, of imposing authority upon the Labour movement in order to advance the interests of employers and businessmen. If the Government has not introduced this legislation for the reasons that I have stated earlier, I ask the Minister whether it has done so because of an economic crisis upon which we may now be entering. Is that the reason for the introduction of legislation which seeks to give a special court the power to do nothing but implement the penal provisions of this legislation ? **Mr.** HAROLD HOLT (Higgins- Minister for Labour and National Service and good deal of specious reasoning has been advanced by the Opposition during the course of this debate, but I think its peak has been reached in the arguments that have been advanced in relation to this clause. The Opposition advocates, in effect, the wiping out of the Commonwealth Industrial Court as a whole or, in other words, the wiping out of all judicial powers under the arbitration system, including the enforcement powers. I take it that what the Opposition really has in mind in submitting its amendment, is merely the elimination of the enforcement powers, but the effect of the amendment would be to wipe out the Industrial Court altogether. I hope I shall not need to go into very much detail in dealing with the suggested elimination of the exercise of judicial power from the industrial conciliation and arbitration system. Quite obviously, the system would be disadvantaged if no judicial power could be exorcised. I have already explained how we have proceeded in this measure. We are constituting one tribunal to exercise judicial power and another tribunal to exercise arbitral power. I shall move on to what I consider to be the real burden of attack by honorable gentlemen, opposite in the manner in which they present the story to the committee. They accept the need for some enforcement provisions in the system, but enforcement provisions of such an inadequate order, that they, in their hearts, know that the provisions would have no effect of any consequence at all. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- Nothing is ever adequate. {: #debate-13-s15 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I do not agree with that. I think that certain powers are adequate to meet the situation which may arise from time to time, and those are what we have set out to provide. T do not limit the word "we" to supporters of the Government or members of this Parliament; I include parliaments comprised of all parties in every State. I do not know of one State in the Commonwealth which maintains a system of industrial arbitration - -as they all do - and which does not provide some powers of enforcement of the awards of industrial tribunals. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- Neither Tasmania nor Victoria provides any penalties for strikes or lockouts. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I do not agree with the honorable gentleman. If he desires chapter and verse, I can give it co him. I did not propose to go into all this detail, but the Victorian Labour and Industry Act provides that - livery person who contravenes or fails tu limply with any of the provisions of this Act or of any regulation by-law order notice direction prohibition or determination there under shall be guilty of a contravention of fin offence against this Act. A penalty of not more than £20 is provided for a first offence in respect of which, no penalty is expressly provided, and for every subsequent offence a penalty of not less than £5 nor more than £100. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- But it is not an offence to strike or to refuse to work. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I shall not try to comb through my recollections of the provision under which I can remember {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- I can assure the Minister that what I say is correct. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- The provision must have been repealed in very recent times. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- It has never applied. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- Yes, it has. There was the emergency legislation which was the cause of the breakup of the Hollway-McDonald Government. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- The Public Safety Act. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- The Public Safety Act has very stringent provisions about industrial lawlessness. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- That has no relation to this matter. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I am sure that the honorable gentleman wishes to be fair with the committee. The fact of the matter is that in Victoria, the most stringent provisions apply in relation to strikes which are believed to create an emergency situation, unless my recollection is completely astray, and I do not think it is. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- Yes, hut those provisions are not contained in the normal industrial code. That was emergency legislation. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I do not know what comfort the honorable gentleman derives from that. Each parliament of the Commonwealth has taken action to guard the community against irresponsible, damaging, and wanton acts of industrial lawlessness. The provisions may be found in one act in one State and in another act in another State, but the result is that each parliament has set out to protect the community, and here the public interest comes into the picture very prominently indeed. As members of the Parliament we all have supported the principle of compulsory arbitration, and if we accept that principle I suggest that it follows necessarily that the orders of a system of compulsory arbitration must be capable of enforcement. The manner of enforcement and the adequacy of the powers may be open to argument, but surely the principle cannot be open to argument. If honorable gentlemen opposite wish to argue that in certain instances the heavy howitzer has been used where the 18-pounder might have done the job, that is a matter on which one might hear them and perhaps agree in an instance or two. The members of the judiciary who have administered these provisions are only human beings, and particularly where they themselves have been caught up in the arbitration process there is a danger, I concede, that the emotional atmosphere which develops might affect the judgment applied to the matter of penalty. I thought that we had taken out a great deal of the objection in relation to that possibility, or at least a great deal of the risk which might develop in that regard under the revised system, whereby the sanctions are administered by the court and the arbitral decisions and considerations are retained in another part of the system. Whatever objections honorable gentlemen opposite may have to a system of enforcement, I am quite certain that if they were prepared to declare their minds and hearts openly they would agree that there is less cause for objection now than existed previously. {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr Clarey: -- The point is that the provisions were never enforced. A dispute has never been prevented or settled by those means. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I do not agree at all with that statement. Taking a quite realistic view, I believe that the existence of enforcement powers has in many instances either brought about a settlement or reduced the severity and ambit of a particular industrial dispute. I think that that is a not undesirable result. I accept the proposition that a heavy responsibility of judgment is thrust upon the judges of the industrial court when such weighty weapons as the power of injunction and the contempt power are in their custody. As I said a few years ago, when discussing one of the amending bills then before the Parliament, I view these powers as reserve powers, not to be exercised lightly by the tribunal, but powers which we can expect members of the tribunal, with their judgment and good sense, to apply only when the occasion requires it of them. The honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** has claimed that these powers seem to be exercised freely only during periods when the bargaining power of the employee has been greatly strengthened by a situation of prosperity or of shortage of labour. That may well be the case, but it does not necessarily follow that the state of mind of the person applying the penalty has been equipped or conditioned to meet that situation. I think that one is rather the consequence of the other, that the employee and the union which is representative of the employees, finding themselves in a position of strong bargaining power, believe that they can, with impunity, reject the awards of tribunals and embark on a course of direct action. At the outset they have accepted the process of arbitration, but when a decision is perhaps not all that they would have wished or demanded they reject the process of arbitration and embark on direct action in order to enforce demands which an impartial hearing and determination have not conceded to them. That is not an unfair statement of what has happened time and time again in such circumstances. Are we to be told by honorable gentlemen opposite that in a situation where unions have sought awards of tribunals, have had a fair hearing and impartial-, decision, and are then determined for their own purposes to reject ' that decision, there should be no reasonable safeguard and protection in the hands of those who represent the public interest in these matters? That may be the view of honorable gentlemen opposite, but I doubt if it is a view which they hold very firmly. It is a view which they may be presenting here. Whether or not it is their view, I am convinced that it is not the view of fair-minded persons outside the Parliament who believe that not only is the public interest to be safeguarded but also that public order is to be maintained. Public order will become impossible if powerful unions are able to indulge, unchecked, in industrial lawlessness, without regard for the public interest, the convenience of their fellowcitizens or the protection of the economy. No one could argue seriously that the powers proposed to meet that kind of situation are excessive. I shall not labour the point further. We have no! embarked upon a novel discussion. This matter has already been thrashed out on several occasions, but, in view of what had been said by honorable gentlemen opposite, I thought it desirable to make our position known. While I am on my feet, I want to refethe committee to three amendments to this clause that I shall move later. I do not think that any of them is controversial. Proposed section 29 begins as follows : - During the absence on leave of the Chief Judge, or during a vacancy in the office of Chief Judge, the next senior Judge not absent on leave shall act as Chief Judge . . . We propose that the words "not absent on leave " be omitted, and that the words " who is not absent on leave and is willing to act " be inserted in place thereof. That amendment is designed to meet the kind of situation which has occurred in the past. The next senior judge, perhaps because he is already engaged in a case, may not be willing to act, as the Chief Judge, in another case in which he is invited to act. I do not think that proposal will present any problems to honorable members opposite. Proposed section 37 defines the powers of the court. We propose that paragraph : {: type="a" start="e"} 0. be omitted. That paragraph states that the court is empowered - to make such orders as the Court thinks just as to the costs and expenses (including the expenses of witnesses) of proceedings before the Court. We shall pick that up in the next amendment. Proposed section 44 states - >The Court may award costs in all matters before it, including matters dismissed for want of jurisdiction. We suggest that that provision be omitted and that the following be inserted in its place : - >The Court may make such orders as it thinks just as to the costs and expenses (including the expenses of witnesses) of proceedings before the Court, including proceedings dismissed for want of jurisdiction. I have mentioned those amendments at this stage so that, when we come to them, it will not be necessary for me to make further comments on them. Amendments (by **Mr. Harold** Holt) agreed to - >That, in proposed section 29, the words " not absent on leave " be omitted with a view to inserting the following words in place thereof: - "who is not absent on leave and is willing to act ". > >That, in proposed section 37, paragraph *(e)* toe omitted, Amendment (by **Mr. Harold** Holt) proposed - >That proposed section 44 be omitted with a view to inserting the following section in place thereof: - " ' 44. The Court may make such orders as it thinks just as to the costs and expenses (including the expenses of witnesses) of proceedings before the Court, including proceedings dismissed for want of jurisdiction.". {: #debate-13-s16 .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY:
Bendigo .- The Opposition opposes this amendment. We agree that proposed section 44 should be deleted, because we feel that in any matter involving conciliation and arbitration, even if the proceedings take place before a tribunal described as an industrial court, it is not desirable to award costs. The proposed section 44 that the Minister desires to be inserted in the bill in place of the existing provision states - >The Court may make such orders as it thinks just, as to the costs and expenses (includingthe expenses of witnesses ) of . proceedings before the Court, including proceedings dismissed for want of jurisdiction. Whatever may he said about the award of costs in' cases which do come within the jurisdiction of the court, in my view, having regard to the uncertainty caused by the recent decision of the High Court, it would be unfair and unjust to award costs in proceedings dismissed for want of jurisdiction. I do not propose to discuss this matter at length. We are opposed to orders for costs in cases involving conciliation and arbitration. We shall vote against the amendment, because we think it undesirable that the provision proposed by the Minister should be inserted in the bill. Question put - >That the amendment **(Mr.** Harold Holt's) be agreed to. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. P. E. Lucock.) AYES: 57 NOES: 35 Majority . . . . 22 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. {: #debate-13-s17 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .- If the legislation which this Government is forcing through the Parliament is to be taken as a guide, the present administration could well be declared the most anti-union government ever to occupy the treasury bench. This Government, which speaks so glibly about the spirit of conciliation, is not prepared to put away the bludgeon that it needs in order to force the trade unions to obey its dictates and accept without question the terms and conditions of employment set down by the various tribunals. The Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt)** implies that because the Labour party supports the principle of arbitration, the workers must necessarily accept as satisfactory the decision of every arbitration tribunal. Such an acceptance would mean that the award wage would be not merely a minimum wage but a miximum wage, and we have never accepted that. I agree with the Minister that there must be some provision for dealing with breaches of an award, but there is a great difference between an individual failing to carry out the conditions of his employment under the terms of an award, and a workers' organization refusing to accept an award that it regards as unjust. This provision is intended to deal with such a situation. It is very interesting to hear the Minister speak about what has been done in the States of the Commonwealth, but our approach must be to decide whether this is a fair and reasonable decision for this Parliament to make. In mv opinion, it is class legislation. However it is examined, it is seen as legislation designed to operate against one section of industry only. That has been Labour's experience of the application of such savage penalties. It is perfectly true that the Minister may be able to point to an isolated instance in which a penalty has been inflicted upon an employer, but there can be no doubt that these penal provisions have been inserted for the purpose of forcing the trade unions to accept conditions of employment that they regard as unjust. They are designed to take away from the worker the right to strike. The honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** was, not so long ago, concerned about the liberty of the individual to determine whether he ought to belong to a. union. I suggest that the person with only his labour to sell should be equally at liberty to decide whether he will sell it under the conditions laid down by the employer, or the arbitration tribunal. Surely that, too, involves the liberty of the subject. It is not enough to say that because some arbitration tribunal has rejected a particular claim by a trade union that is necessarily a just decision and that the workers ought to accept it without protest. In my opinion, the workers of this country would be foolish if they ever gave away the right to strike. I know that there are in this community many foolish people who believe that every strike is lost. No intelligent member of the Labour party would deny that the strike weapon should be used only as a last resort. The workers realize that if they go on strike they will inflict great suffering upon their dependants, but they also realize that periodically the workers must make a stand if they are to preserve their living and industrial standards. Many people who examine the value of strikes miss that point. If those who preside over arbitration tribunals wereperfectly satisfied that the workers would accept any decision without protest a much lower standard of living would obtain in this country. So long as they know that there is a limit beyond which the worker cannot be driven without resisting or striking, they will hesitate before going past that limit. I believe that that consideration has an important effect upon the decisions of the arbitration tribunals. We must examine how power such as this has been used in the past, and then consider how it will be used in the future. The Minister referred in his secondreading speech to the fact that only in recent years had such powers been used with any frequency against a section of the Australian workers. On the other hand, he admitted that in recent years there had been a period of comparative industrial peace. What does that imply? If the Government intends to inflict these savage penalties in a period of comparative industrial peace, what are we to expect during a period marked by what the Government would describe as "lawlessness " among the industrial sections of the community. It is proposed to use this machinery. Why otherwise would the Government establish this tribunal to deal specifically with the infliction of these savage penalties? Let us look at how the court has, in the past, used the powers placed in its hands, because that is important. Do honorable members regard it as just that men should be ordered to work under conditions which they regard as unjust, and, if they refuse to do so, that action should be taken along the lines mentioned by the honorable member for Hume ? The court can decide, and this Government would support its attitude, that mon must be forced to work. Why should the workers of Australia be the only people against whom these penal powers are to be used ? Take the decision of the court in reference to a strike at Mort's Dock in New South Wales when one section of the workers decided to pass round the hat in order to collect a voluntary levy - voluntary, I repeat, and not compulsorily imposed by the trade union concerned - to help support the. dependants of the men who were out on strike - women and children ! The trad'.union concerned had nothing whatever to do with the collection of the levy, although I personally would not have been opposed to the union's imposing a. levy, because I think that it is a reasonable proposition that when any section of trade unionists is fighting for some trade union principle, every trade union ought to respond, connto its support, and help it to succeed in its struggle. On the occasion to which I have been referring the union took no action to impose a levy, but the court decided that the union was not doing sufficient to prevent its individual members from contributing voluntarily to the. support of the women and children dependants of the striking workers. In my opinion workers will never be prevented from adopting the age-old practice of passing the hat round on the job and collecting a few shillings from each man's wages at the end of the week to support the women and children of other trade unionists who are on strike. . That can never be prevented because that is one of the principles of trade unionism which are recognized by the community. The provision in this legislation for the imposition of savage penalties will not prevent strikes designed to improve the conditions of workers. Let me repeat something that I said in reference to another proposed sub-section of the legislation. 1 referred to the remarks of **Mr. Justice** Kirby when a savage penalty was imposed on the Boilermakers Society because some of its members had collected a voluntary levy- {: #debate-13-s18 .speaker-KIH} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Lucock:
LYNE, NEW SOUTH WALES -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #debate-13-s19 .speaker-K7J} ##### Mr CRAMER:
Minister for the Army · Bennelong · LP -- I have a few words to say about this matter, because I think that in the attitude of the Labour party to this proposed amendment we have an indication of the true intentions of the party, which differ from the intentions of the Labour party in days gonn by. I remind the committee that the amendment is vital to the whole bill. The design of the Opposition is to reverse the Government's intention to establish an industrial court. The effects of success by the Opposition would be farreaching. Its success would completely destroy the whole idea of arbitration as expressed in the bill. The purpose of the Opposition amendment is to obliterate completely the provision for the establishment of the Commonwealth Industrial Court. That clearly indicates, as has been indicated by many of the speeches made at the second-reading stage, that the Opposition is placing most emphasis on the penalty provisions contained in this proposed sub-section. That shows that the Labour party has completely deserted its old support for arbitration. It is no longer relying on arbitration, as I shall prove in a few moments. The Labour party is not now concerned with what it once called wage justice. It is now concerned only with complete control of industry by the :use of the big stick or, in other words, the strike- weapon mentioned by the honorable m'ember for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** a moment ago. In effect, honorable members opposite propose to deliver the whole of the workers ' of Australia into the: hands of trade union bosses. That is what their proposed amendment means. We realize, of course, that the greatest pressure which conditions the attitude of the Labour party in relation to this matter comes from left-wing unions and we ' know, therefore, just what we would be in for in the future if the Labour party had its way. ' Warnings have been given by honorable members opposite in relation to the implementation of this measure. I, too, want to give a warning to the workers of Australia to be careful of where the Labour party is leading them, dominated as it is by the left-wing trade unions of this country. I warn the workers that they have to be careful of that, because all the benefits that have accrued to the workers of Australia have come' to them as a result of the effective working of arbitration. I say emphatically that arbitration is the bulwark that shelters the workers from the tyranny of trade union bosses. Nobody can justly deny the truth of that statement. The standard of living of the. whole of the people depends on the increase of production. Everybody agrees with that. Our standard of living can be measured only in terms of increased production, and increased production depends, of course, in turn on the efficiency and capacity of both management and men. We know that conflicts arise between management and men from time to time. It. is not often said, but it is a fact nevertheless, that really very little trouble arises between employers and employees in Australia. In the majority of cases the employers treat . their employees quite well, and the men have no .complaints. Tt is only in respect of a few powerful and militant trade unions that any great trouble arises in industrial affairs. We have been going through a time 6f great prosperity in recent years, and thi.!; fact- has- led to -a certain change of approach- to our arbitration system ob the part of certain trade unions. In times of economic recession or depression in a country, trade unions regard it as a great thing to be able to' rely' on the justice meted- out -by industrial courts;: but when things are good for the employees, when there is a surplus of jobs,, trade unions are inclined to say, " We do not want arbitration". I refuse te believe that the' average decent worker,, the average decent citizen of Australia,, is prepared to take the benefits of arbitration when it suits him and to deny the need to abide by the decisions of' arbitration when it does not suit him to do' 30. simply because he is in a position to drive a harder bargain owing to the employment' position. ' That is not the spirit of the people of Australia, although it is the spirit of the Labour party at present, because it' is dominated by left-wing trade unions. In those circumstances, how can we get peace in industry, which is, of course-; a most" important requisite for the development of Australia? I say quite frankly that the terms of this bill are reasonable in every respect, and mean justice for the workers as well as the employers. I do not think that anybody can reasonably ask for more than that. It has been said - and the Opposition's proposed amendment proves it - and it will be said again because there is another amendment to come before ' us later which also deals with this most important matter, that the unions do not want the enforcement provisions in this bill. The honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** and the honorable memer for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison)** are reasonable men, and will admit that arbitration cannot be effected without enforcement provisions. Without such provisions the arbitration system, as such, would be completely destroyed. I cannot understand how the supporters of trade unionism can', iri one set df circumstances, claim entitlement to the protection of the arbitration law, and- in another - set" of circumstances' resist the implementation pf ' the' powers of the law. The "law' must operate as a whole. If trade unionists'- w],sh ' to ; derive benefits from the arbitration system they must abide -by the rules laid ''down 'for- that system. lft we delete from the bill the provisions for the imposition of penalties in .order to enforce the arbitration law, we shall simply destroy the structure of arbitration. I "want to take time to 'refer to some of the inflammatory statements that were made by one of the leaders of the Opposition when I sat at this table the other night. That occasion is what has influenced me to speak now. The honorable member for. Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** made an attack upon the judges and upon the courts. He made an inflammatory speech which indicated that if the occasion arose he would lead revolution in this country from the point of view of industrial chaos. That is quite true; there is no doubt about it. To prove my words, I shall quote some of his statements quite extensively because I want to put them on record and remind all honorable members of just what was said. In his criticism of judges, he «aid - . i In the glorious isolation of the magnificent courtroom, and in the glorious serenity of the atmosphere of the court, he proceeds to pontificate on what is good or bad for the people who have only their labour to sell. Did you ever hear of such a statement in your life ! The same statement was made by the honorable member for East Sydney a, moment ago. When he was referring to this matter and the system, the honorable member for Hindmarsh said - >It is a system under which the court has imposed savage penalties . . . He referred to them as savage penalties, and then continued - on unions under contempt of court provisions in the present Arbitration Act. Again, the honorable member for Hindmarsh said - >When the court has the sole power to determine these things- Who else would determine them if they Are referred to a court? He continued - no one else has the right to upset its decisions because the judges are appointed for life. That, of course, was an attack upon the judges. He went on to say - >They need not care two hoots about public opinion. We believe that that is entirely wrong. But .what , about this for intimidation ! He said - >I invite the Minister to pay careful attention now to what I am saying because I have been authorized by the secretary of the Australian Workers Union this afternoon to state to the House that immediately this bill is passed, the Australian Workers Union will take out a writ in the High Court of Australia challenging the validity of the section. He said further - . . the right to strike is the one thing that differentiates the free man from the slave. *Opposition members interjecting,* {: .speaker-K7J} ##### Mr CRAMER: -- Opposition members endorse that statement. Surely arbitration has preserved the. freedom of the workers of Australia, just as all other forms of law have. But the honorable member for Hindmarsh made this statement - >Arbitration is dead in Australia Yet Labour stands for arbitration. The honorable member also used these words - . . the right to ask the court to force a union to allow some sca.b to join its membership. He made further inflammatory statements of that kind and incited the workers to revolution. He said - >If this Government wants to bring about industrial chaos and industrial revolution, J suggest that it should continue to act as it *if* acting now. {: #debate-13-s20 .speaker-JXI} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Freeth:
FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA -- Order! The Minister'? time has expired. {: #debate-13-s21 .speaker-JPE} ##### Mr BIRD:
Batman .- It is many months since this chamber has had the unedifying experience of hearing such a series of misstatements as poured from the lips of the Minister for the Army **(Mr. Cramer)** a moment or two ago. The whole of his speech was calculated not to be of service to the arbitration system but to render it a grave disservice. If the views that he has just enunciated were given prominence throughout the trade union movement in this country, they would cause in the minds of the workers a complete revulsion from the principles and practices of the court. Let us examine for a few moments some of the statements which he attempted to convince honorable members should be looked at intelligently. He stated that what the Labour party wanted was the control of industry by the big stick. This Government proposes, with its penal clauses, to shake a big stick at the trade union movement. {: .speaker-K7J} ##### Mr CRAMER:
BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP -- This is law and order. {: .speaker-JPE} ##### Mr BIRD: -- The Minister says it is law a.nd order. I shall convince him, by using his own words, that it is otherwise. I want him to listen to this. He has said that when things are bad, it is good for the workers to depend upon the protection of the court. I should like to remind the Minister that in 1929 things were not too good in the mining industry and the mining companies locked out the miners. So much for the protection of the court! After a lot of agitation by Labour members at the time, they persuaded the then Prime Minister, **Mr. Bruce,** to institute proceedings against **Mr. John** Brown for locking out the miners - an infringement of the arbitration law at that time. "Naturally we thought the court would protect the workers when things were bad, and they were bad then. But then **Mr. Bruce** made the amazing declaration that, in the interests of industrial peace, he had decided to withdraw the prosecution against **Mr. John** Brown. So much for the protection of the court and for the prototypes of the Minister for the Army, who were in control of the destiny of the country at that time. It is balderdash for the Minister to say that when times are bad the workers can rely on the protection of the court. The Minister said also that the Labour party was dominated by the left wing unions, and that that was why we were opposed to this legislation. But at the last four or five conferences of the trade union movement, motions were carried protesting against these measures. The most moderate of unions protested most vigorously and vehemently against the provision which the Minister for the Army lauds so vociferously this afternoon. The Minister said in one breath that we must have an increase in production as a means of solving our economic problems, and in the next breath he proceeded to advocate savage repression for those whose co-operation is necessary to get increased production if they do not like some particular arbitration law or phase of it. The Minister can not have it both ways. Increased production can be obtained only by getting; the goodwill of the trade union movement. This legislation will have the reverse effect. Instead of getting the goodwill of the trade union movement, it will produce the unedifying revulsion of the whole trade union movement, be the unions left wing or right wing, against this legislation. Honorable members opposite certainly speak with their tongues in their cheeksThey have dilated at length throughout the discussion on this bill upon its conciliation features. But they also talk about the punitive provisions in the bill. To talk about conciliation measures on the one hand and punitive measures on the other in the same bill is to make an utter mockery of the system of arbitration as we should know it in this chamber. The Minister tried to convince honorable members - and he certainly was not very successful - that arbitration court awards must contain enforcement penalties. The honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** has repeatedly pointed out during the debate on this measure that what we object to is the dual penalties contained in this bill. I always think that dual penalties cut across the very essence of British justice. Yet this Government, which is supposed to uphold British justice, says that there will be two sets of penalties for anybody who is not prepared to abide by arbitration awards. History has shown that when penalties are imposed, they are imposed on one section only, and that is the working class. Surely this Government is conscious of the lessons of history. The lessons of history in the economic and industrial spheres have proved conclusively that when repression is exercised on the working class, the employers do not achieve victory. The reverse happens. There is a perpetuation of bitterness between sections of the community. The workers become determined that they will never relent or give up in any circumstances in an industrial dispute. Repression, far from settling a dispute, produces the opposite result. A dispute is accentuated and prolonged. Mention has already been made this afternoon that it has never been proved that the imposition of a penalty on a trade union leader has meant the. termination of a dispute. Section 2 of the principal act sets out its objects, one of which is to promote goodwill in industry. It almost makes *me* laugh to read that. Surely no Government supporter, not even the honorable member for Mallee **(Mr. Turnbull),** who, at all times, is ready to make the most extraordinary pronouncements, would suggest that this clause will promote goodwill in industry. There is not the slightest suggestion of goodwill in the imposition of the penalties for which it provides. I am sure the honorable member for Mallee will agree with me on this occasion. During the last few years, the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration has sunk lower and lower in the estimation of the trade union movement, and, if this bill becomes law, as it will apparently do, because the Government has the necessary numbers to vote it through, the proposed Commonwealth Industrial Court also will certainly sink low in the estimation of the trade union movement. The proposed court will be, instead of an institution to give justice to the workers, merely a watchdog to discipline recalcitrant workers. It has ostensibly a number of purposes, but its primary purpose will be to penalize, by fine or imprisonment, workers who kick over the traces because they are expected to work under unjust conditions. If the Government wants to do the decent thing by the trade union movement, it should consider the fundamentals of this issue. It pays lip service to the object of doing the right thing by the trade union movement, but it always seems to be sadly lacking in action designed to achieve that object. The clause will merely scratch the surface, and will ignore the fundamental cause of the present trouble. For the last five or six years, the workers have been disputing decisions of the present court. Why? The Government's maladministration has resulted in economic conditions that have allowed prices to get out of control. The workers wish only to keep up with prices. The continual industrial trouble that we are having to-day is the result of the Government's economic maladministration. If it wishes to promote an era of industrial peace, the first thing for it to do is to- {: .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant: -- Resign! {: .speaker-JPE} ##### Mr BIRD: -- That is good advice, but the Government will not follow it. It is hanging grimly to what will inevitably be its *last term* of office. It is living on borrowed time. If it wishes to do the right thing, it should not use the proposed court as an instrument to bring pressure to bear against the workers. That is the whole purpose of this measure, which was introduced recently because the High Court of Australia had upset the decision of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in the *Boilermakers* case. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order ! The honorable member's time has expired. **Sir** ERIC HARRISON (Wentworth- Vice-President of the Executive Council and Minister for Defence Production) [5.18]. - Of course, trh is a contentious provision, which is likely to arouse the ire of Opposition members. We wonder why, and we look for what is behind their protestations. They are going back over the whole of the ground that Labour has so carefully cultivated down the years. It has accepted the principle that a law must be capable of enforcement if it is to be effective. Labour knows that, because it has applied sanctions in the past. On this occasion. Labour members seek to sidestep sanctions. It seems to me that, since the adoption of the unity ticket, they have decided to go back over the ground they have cultivated for years, and to oppose sanctions. T propose to prove the truth of that statement. From what I could gather from the speeches that were made bv Opposition members at the second-reading stage, Labour desires to go back to the Evatt act of 1947. How natural it is for the Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt)** now to try to go back to the 1947 act for which he was responsible, and which he said was designed to eliminate delays and streamline arbitration ! However, it had the very opposite effect. I well remember that, before that act became operative, from January to September. 1947, 1,041,617 working days were lost. but. from October, 1947, when the act was proclaimed, to. June, 1948, 1,45.8,288 working days were lost, an increase of approximately 40 per cent. That was the effect of an act ostensibly designed to streamline arbitration and to overcome delays! The Labour Government took punitive action under the measure that the Leader of the Opposition would uo.w like to have brought back into operation. Heaven forbid that that should happen, because the trade unions would have nothing to do with it, whatever the political wing of the Australian Labour party may say. That is proved very conclusively by the figures relative to working days lost that I have just cited. I shall now deal with sanctions. The New South Wales Labour Government does not turn its back on sanctions in the State arbitration system. 'The New South Wales Industrial Commission fined the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Association of Australasia £700 in March last for taking part in illegal strikes. That penalty was imposed not, by a Libera] government but by an instrument of a Labour government. There* fore, one wonders what all this clamouring of Opposition members is about if it is not for a purpose other than that which it purports to have. Of the fifteen trade unions that have been fined by the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration between July, 1951, and the present time, thirteen were either Communist-dominated or Communistinfluenced. Possibly this is the reason that underlies the clamouring of Opposition members. This fact is rather significant. Opposition members make a plea against sanctions not on behalf of the moderate and decent trade unions, but in support of the Communistcontrolled unions. Let us consider the position in more detail. The Blacksmiths Society of Australia was fined £150 on one occasion. The Amalgamated Engineering Union (Australian section) was fined on seven occasion sums of £150, £450, £250, £500 three times and £250, respectively. The sheet metal workers' union was fined on two occasions. £150 and £200, respectively. The Boilermakers Society of Australia was twice fined £500. 'The Waterside Workers Federation of Australia, on one occasion, was fined £500. We have only to examine those figures to understand what is behind the behaviour of Opposition members on this occasion. They are not concerned about the decent trade unionists. With **Mr. Healy'** sitting in the chamber, they are concerned with sponsoring a Communistcontrolled policy. In other words, they are making the pay-off for the adoption pf a unity ticket at the Hobart conference of the Australian Labour party. They should reconsider their position, because they will certainly *ha ve something to answer for when the decent trade unionists outside this Parliament, know what has happened. Let us see whether some of the present Labour members supported sanctionswhen the Labour government was in. office. I suppose the 1949 coal strike waft the most costly strike in recent years.' lt was caused by the Labour government's; appeasement of. Communist-dominated unions, and that government was required to take, strong action to break it. Legislation was introduced to enable the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation, and Arbitration to freeze union fundsDid that amount to the imposition of sanctions? The Labour government imposed sanctions of the highest order, but Labour members, under the direction of communist-controlled leaders, now oppose sanctions, and they will have to answer for it. In order to break the 1949 .coal strike, the Labour government, despite Labour's platform, put troops into ohe open-cut mines. On the 7th August, 1949, **Senator Ashley,** who was Minister for Shipping and Fuel in the Labour government, and the present honorable member for Adelaide **(Mr. Chambers),** who wasMinister for the Army, indicated that the Army might work its own mines. That was a step further. They said that, in doing this, the Army would be " performing a great national service . . helping to build a reserve of coal that will save us from being threatened as we are to-day by miners refusing te work". This bill provides for nothing so drastic as that. I have mentioned occasions on which a Labour government took the most stringent action, such as freezing union funds, sending troops to work in ihe open cuts, and proclaiming the possibility that soldiers would work mines that would he owned by the Army. The miners' federation at that time, of course, was Communist-controlled. On the very day that these measures were announced, the federal president of the Australian Workers Union, **Mr. Nicol,** said that he would support any move for members of that union to work open-cuts. The position is rather different to-day when, because of the adoption of the unity ticket, Communist-controlled unions can direct the policy of the present Labour Opposition in this Parliament. What happened in 1949? The Labour Government at that time did not want to use the antiCommunist unions to break a Communistinspired strike. It took action itself, and it imposed sanctions of a most extreme kind. Let us not have any more of this nonsense about the imposition of sanctions by means of this legislation, because the members of the Labour party have in the past imposed much more severe sanctions. At present, they are trying to deny that that is so. They are seeking to maintain a foot in both camps. They are seeking to maintain their position by enlisting the assistance of Communists, and by means of the unity ticket. Under the direction of Communists, with whom they have combined in the unity ticket, they are prepared to ditch their trade union supporters. What will be the result? More and more control will be exercised over trade unions. More and more Jackie Browns will be restored to positions where they can tie up the transport industry in Victoria. More and more of those things are likely to happen, and honorable members opposite want to give greater control to the Communists as a pay-off for the way that they helped the Labour party in past election campaigns. The liaison has already paid dividends. Jackie Brown has gone back. {: .speaker-KFG} ##### Mr Griffiths: -- Who put him back? {: #debate-13-s22 .speaker-KNX} ##### Sir ERIC HARRISON:
WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES · UAP; LP from 1944 -- The unity ticket put him back. The unity ticket is having the same result in a number of trade unions in New South Wales today. On that ticket, more and more Communists will creep back into the trade unions, and honorable members opposite are seeking to protect them by opposing sanctions. They are seeking to give the Communists' a free run, and to ensure that no action can be taken to enforce the judgments of the Arbitration Court in the industrial sphere. I hope the -Labour party knows where it is *going.* I do not think it does. I do not think that honorable members opposite knew where they were going when they were led along the road to Molotov.I do not think they knew where they were going when they contested the antiCommunist legislation in the courts. I *do not* think they knew where they were going when the splinter group broke away, and I do not think they know where they are going to-day. I ask honprable members to consider the incitement in the speech of the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** in this chamber on the 24th May last, when hp said - >No government, even with all the power of the Army and all the force of the law, can. stand against a rebellious trade union movement that can speak for 2.500,000 people and their families. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order ! The right honorable gentleman's time has expired. Motion (by **Mr. Harold** Holt) put - >That the question be now put. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. G. Freeth.) AYES: 58 NOES: 34 Majority . . . . 24 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Question put - That the clause, as amended, be agreed to. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. G. Freeth.) AYES: 58 NOES: 35 Majority . . 23 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Clauses 11 to 22 agreed to. Clause 23 ("Entitlement to membership of organizations). {: #debate-13-s23 .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY:
Bendigo .- The Opposition intended to move for the deletion of this clause, which proposes to insert after section 83a of the principal act the following sub-section: - (4a.) An application for an order under this section may be made by the organization or employee concerned, or by a person who is the employer, or desires to become the employer, of the employee concerned. We shall vote against the clause. That will have the same effect. Section 83 of the principal act provides the method by which persons may become members of trade unions if they feel that they have been denied the right to become members. The provision which is contained in the bill is an extension of the provision contained in the existing section 83 a of the act. The Opposition is opposed to the inclusion of this clause in the bill because its view is that if an employee desires to become a member of a trade union and is denied the right so to do by the organization, the responsibility should fall upon the employee himself to make application to be admitted to the organization by the process that is laid down in the act at the present moment. The intention of this clause is to enable an employer, on behalf of an employee or of a person whom he proposes to employ, to make application to the court for the admission of that person to the union. One could think of nothing more designed to destroy the reputation of an employee among his fellows than the employer making application that he should become a member of a union. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- Why? {: .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY: -- The fact that the employer makes application on behalf of an employee immediately classes that man, as far as other employees are concerned, as an employer's stooge. The result will be that the man himself will not be happy in his employment, and the employer himself will find the employment of the man somewhat difficult, and it will not be in the best interests of the activities of the particular industrial concern. Where a man can make application, he should make application himself. There should be no need for him to say to an employer, " You make application for me ". If a man who is worthy of becoming a trade unionist wishes to be admitted to union membership and become a bona fide employee, he should make the application. If the employer were to take the necessary steps, the man's employment would be damaged immediately. We think that, in the interests of the employee and of peace in industry, this clause should be omitted from the bill. {: #debate-13-s24 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
Minister for Labour and National Service and Minister for Immigration · HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- In the normal course of events, when a union is only too willing to admit a man to membership, such a problem almost certainly would not arise. The kind of situation that the bill is designed to meet is one that has occurred from time to time and in which a union has closed its books to additional membership. An employer might wish to engage a particular person, for example, in a coal mine, but he might find that, because the industry is 100 per cent, unionized and because the union has closed its books, he cannot employ that person. The honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** has suggested that in such a situation the person affected should take up the matter with the union. He would be a. very hardy person who wa3 willing to suffer the inconvenience, unpopularity, and perhaps the expense, of undertaking a David and Goliath fight with the union. If the prospective employer were willing to make the move and to accept responsibility for it, his action would have result in either an order of the court and of his employing the man, or of opening up negotiations with the union so that admission might be granted. I do not claim for one moment that that represents a perfect solution of the problem, but what is the perfect solution in a situation where a union, contrary to the provisions of the law, says that it intends to close its books and noi admit anybody else? The Government believes that this will be a useful provision. I have heard what has been said about the unpopularity of the employee concerned. He may or may not be unpopular, but the fact that a union denies a man the rights to which he is entitled under the law of the land, and proceeds to victimize him if he avails himself of the legal processes open to him. does not say very much for the state of mind of officials or members of that union. {: #debate-13-s25 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- This provision involves a very definite principle. It is all very well for the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt)** to say that it could affect a coal-mining employee. His selection of the coalmining industry is a very bad choice, because at the present time there are many members of th- coal-miners' union who would like to get a job. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- At one time, when men from the north were trying to get jobs in the southern coal mines, the union closed its books. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- That was the time to introduce this kind of legislation, if necessary. The Minister said that the union's action in refusing union membership to a particular person would mean that the employer could not employ the man he wanted. The honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** is not in the chamber at the moment, but I wonder what he thinks about this proposal that the Government is advancing. Throughout the day, the honorable member has taken advantage of every opportunity to state his opposition to compulsory unionism, but we now have before us a proposal to allow the employer to decide who shall become a member of a union. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- The employer will not decide. He must get an' order from the court. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- It is all right to say that he must get an order from the court, but the Minister knows a? well as I do that, in 99 cases out of 100, the success of the application is guaranteed before it is lodged. An earlier provision in the bill will enable the Government to say to a union, in effect, " If all your members do not carry out an instruction of the court, a fine of £500 will be hanging over your head ". Earlier in this debate, reference was made to the Federated Engine Drivers and Firemen's Association. On the occasion in question, only seven members of the association decided not to work at a certain industrial undertaking on the south coast, but the union was cited in proceedings before the court.' The union said, " We have instructed the men to work". The court then said, in effect, "We will adjourn the matter for fourteen days. You may then come back and tell us what you did in relation to those seven employees." Federal officials of the union went down and instructed the men to return to work, but when they returned to their office in Melbourne . next morning they discovered that the union *had* been served with a writ for contempt. That cost the union £500 because the men had refused finally to return to their jobs. The Government says that the employer should have the right to select an employee ; but, if during the following week, that employee decides not to work, the union will be confronted with proceedings that may lead to its being fined £500 because it has not been able to exercise control over that man. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- Does the honorable member prefer to accept the principle that an employer, having selected a certain employee shall be denied the opportunity of giving him a job because the union does not want to admit him? {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- I have never believed in the proposal advanced by the Government, and will never do so while I have the power to think and to walk. I shall never believe in the proposal that an employer should have the right to decide who shall be admitted to union membership. The unions will never give away that right. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- But it was given away in New South Wales under a State Labour government. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- If the Minister intends that to be regarded as evidence in support of the Government's proposal, we should have heard about it earlier. Neither I nor the trade unions believe that, in times of compulsory arbitration, when the Government requires of the trade union movement full recognition of all industrial laws, this provision will be used only in such cases as that in the coal-mining industry to which the Minister referred. If there is a proper employer-employee relationship, be it in the coal-mining industry or any other industry, this kind of legislation is not required. We have had experience of such legislation. On one occasion in New South Wales, an employer-sponsored union was set up with the full recognition of the court for the purpose of undermining the normal functions of the trade union movement. This is the kind of legislation that the trade union movement, through the Australian Labour party, will fight in the Parliament while it has the ability to fight. {: #debate-13-s26 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .- If the Government's proposal is accepted, the way will be left open for victimization, to which the trade union movement is opposed. If there is unemployment in industry and an employer is allowed to make his own selection of labour, he may go outside the existing membership of the trade union, select a certain person, and then proceed to force the union to admit him to membership. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- Under an order of the court. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD: -- The courts have not shown a great deal of sympathy towards trade unions in relation to such matters. In any industry, it is quite proper for a union to try to regulate admission to membership in order to ensure that all its members get sufficient work to give them a decent standard of living. That is one of the functions of trade unions. They have a duty to protect the living standards of their members. In the waterfront industry, what is one of the declared principles underlying the fixing of a' quota ? lt is that there shall be an equitable spread of work and, having regard to earnings in the industry, that the men shall receive a decent wage and maintain a decent living standard. Does that principle not apply in respect of any industry? If a union closes its books, it does not do so for any other purpose than to ensure that there shall not be an over-abundance of labour available in the industry to permit an employer to depress the living standards of the members of the union. We say that an employer has no right to approach a court or any other body to try to force it union to admit members. The Australian Labour party desires to see full employment maintained. We wish to ensure that every man shall have the right to earn a livelihood, and to maintain a decent living standard. We do not suggest that persons should be excluded from union membership when work is available. A union would be only too happy to admit additional members if it found it did not have sufficient members to perform all the work that was offering in an industry. There is not one trade union in this country which would not be other than reasonable in this matter. If any union considered there was need for additional labour it would open its books. When a union closes its books it has a good and adequate reason for doing so. The unions must resist the kind of coercion that is contemplated in this amendment. It is evident that the whole trend of this Government's thought and activity is against trade unions. We hear members on the Government side saying, one after another, that they support trade unionism, but in their actions and votes, whenever anything that the unions value is in question, they line up with the rest of the tories in this Parliament to vote against provisions which we regard as vital to the trade union movement. I join with my colleagues in entering a protest. We can do nothing more than that in this Parliament because the Government has the majority to enforce its decisions upon us, and upon the trade union movement. It does not follow that because the Government makes such a provision in the law it will become effective, because the more oppressive the Government becomes in its measures against the trade union movement, the greater will be the resistance of trade unions. Strict observance of a law can be expected only when the law is just and reasonable, and when its application is reasonable. When oppressive laws such as this one are passed, their enforcement will be resisted to the *limit* of the power of the industrial and political Labour movement. {: #debate-13-s27 .speaker-KJQ} ##### Mr JAMES:
Hunter .- I did not intend to speak on this matter, but the coal-mining industry has been mentioned. Coal-miners will naturally resent such a provision, as is embodied in this clause, and particularly the suggestion that they may be shifted from district to district. The Minister has made that suggestion, not in this debate, but to me on a previous occasion. Coal-miners have established their homes on the coal-fields near their work and they are unwilling to have to seek new homes in other districts - that is, if they can find new houses in the present housing shortage. I desire to refer particularly to the Bellbird lockout. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- That is not relevant to this measure. {: .speaker-KJQ} ##### Mr JAMES: -- No, it is not relevant, but if this provision can apply to one section of the community it can apply to others. The coal-miners work under the jurisdiction of a tribunal which is governed by this legislation. *Sitting suspended from 6 to 8 p.m.* {: .speaker-KJQ} ##### Mr JAMES: -- Before the suspension of the sitting, in dealing with this clause I asserted that in matters concerned with conciliation and arbitration the coalminers would come within the jurisdiction of the tribunals established under this legislation. The Minister, in an interjection, complained that I was not dealing with the clause when I stated that at present there are many unemployed or locked-out miners. There are 560 at Bellbird colliery alone. The proposed sub-section states - >An application for an order under this section may be made by the organization or employee concerned, or by a person who is the employer, or desires to become the employer, of the employee concerned. lor many years past, even before I waa born, conciliation and arbitration tribunals have endorsed the principle that displaced employees in an industry have the first right to jobs in that industry. The miners' federation has already closed its membership books, because 560 men have been cavilled out at Bellbird colliery and other men have been cavilled out at other collieries. The proposed provision is most unjust and it could lead lo victimization. The coal-miners have fought against victimization all their lives, and so have men in other industries. It has been said that coal-miners in one district who are unemployed can move to other districts. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- How could this lead to victimization? {: .speaker-KJQ} ##### Mr JAMES: -- Some miners have been locked out. Under present circumstances, if an employer said that he wanted to employ Rowley James at his mine, the men could say that they would not have Rowley James there, and the union could refuse to admit him to membership. When it is suggested that unemployed miners can move to other districts, wo should remember that many miners have invested their life savings in homes near the mines in which they worked. Therefore, as houses are scarce, a move to another district would inflict great hardship upon them. If the Minister were a colliery owner and he said that he wanted me at his mine, I should have to take over the home of the man whom T displaced. {: .speaker-KNX} ##### Sir ERIC HARRISON:
WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES · UAP; LP from 1944 -- Hear, hear! {: .speaker-KJQ} ##### Mr JAMES: -- That is just what we expect from the Vice-President of the Executive Council **(Sir Eric Harrison),** as a Bondi miner. I should have liked to speak during the second-reading debate, but, because the gas: was applied, I was unable to do so. The Minister has asked how victimization will occur. Let me explain. Members of the miners' federation in the northern district, for instance, should have the first right to employment in the industry in that district. The principle that the miners have always followed is that the first man to come should be the last to go. But, under this legislation, the boss would have the right to select me, for instance, for employment in his mine, rather than somebody who had previously been, employed there for years. The view of the miners is that we should uphold the principle that displaced employees shall be re-absorbed into the industry before newcomers are admitted, but that will not be necessary under this legislation. The penalty for infringement of these provisions by a union will be in the vicinity of £100. That is a great injustice. I never thought that I should live to see the day when an arbitration and conciliation bill would be introduced into this Parliament that provided for the infliction of such a penalty on the working class. {: #debate-13-s28 .speaker-KID} ##### Mr LUCHETTI:
Macquarie .- The purpose of the measure that we are considering is conciliation and arbitration. Therefore, I am astonished to find iu the bill a provision which will not promote conciliation and arbitration. In view of the advice that has been furnished to the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt),** I am at a loss to understand why he :s seeking to inflict upon an organization people whom the organization may believe are not necessary for the trade or calling with which it is concerned. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- Labour has done that under its compulsory unionism legislation in New South Wales. {: .speaker-KID} ##### Mr LUCHETTI: -- We are not concerned with what has occurred in the past. I submit that we should apply ourselves now to the task of trying to perfect industrial relationships. If we discover that the effect of a past action has been to produce ill-will between employers and employees, it is our duty, a* responsible members of the Parliament, to correct that defect and try to establish conditions that will be acceptable to all people in industry. The Minister referred to the coalmining industry. I should be "astonished if any employer in the coal-mining industry had sought to acquire the powers that will be vested in him by this legislation. We should inquire whether there are happy relations between employers and employees, whether productivity is being maintained or is increasing, and whether the public good is being considered. If the public good is being given full consideration and if harmony exists between managements and men, surely it is the duty of the Government to dc everything to ensure that those conditions will be maintained. As the honorable member for Hunter **(Mr. James)** pointed out in his very pertinent remarks, from the dark and difficult days of the beginning of the coalmining industry in this country, the miners' federation has asserted its right to protect its members and do everything possible to ensure that men engaged in the industry will be able to earn a reasonable living. The federation has taken the view that it will admit to membership persons whom the managments wish to employ, if those persons conform to certain standards. The employers have accepted that view. Some employers even have left it to unions to seek employees of a type suitable to the unions, and have been happy to accept those persons. "When there are happy relations between managements and men, it is not uncommon for managements to suggest certain men as suitable for admission to a union and for the union, without demur, to accept those men as members. I cannot conceive of a situation in which the principle that we are discussing now would be extended to the British Medical Association. I cannot believe for a moment that the Government would take the view that if a town council, for instance, insisted that a certain medical practitioner be enrolled as a member of the British Medical Association, that practitioner should, of necessity, be so enrolled. The delicate relationship between employer and employee, between management and men, should not be disturbed merely because the Minister, seeing a certain situation that he thinks calls for correction, wants to crack a nut with a sledge-hammer. There is no necessity for the proposals of the Government and the amendment of the honorable member for Bendigo should be accepted. This will permit a greater measure of understanding and conciliation between those who produce the wealth of this country. Question put - >That the clause be agreed to. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. J. McLeay.) AYES: 51 NOES: 37 Majority . . . . 14 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Clause 24 agreed to. Clause 25 - >The Principal Act is amended by omitting the heading preceding section ninety-six a and inserting in its stead the following heading: - " Part VIb. - Disputed Electionsin Organizations.". {: #debate-13-s29 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
BLAXLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- The Opposition intends to vote against this clause as an indication that Part VIb. should be redrawn in conformity with the relevant provisions of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, No. 28 of 1949. This afternoon the VicePresident of the Executive Council **(Sir Eric Harrison),** in discussing another clause, said that in his view certain things happening in the trade union movement would elevate to office certain people whom he described as Communists. In relation to Victoria, he made special reference to J. J. Brown. There are two reasons why J. J. Brown was re-elected to office in that State. The first was this Government's 1951 legislation and the second was the continued attacks made by the Government upon the arbitration laws of Australia. In the 1949 legislation we provided that if it were claimed by even one member of a union that irregularities had occurred in a union ballot, machinery could be set in motion whereby, if the claim were proved to be justified, the ballot would be upset. I hope that the honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** is present because he will be interested in the history of this matter. The first thing that this Government did when it came to office was to interfere with the election of union officers. It was not satisfied with having interfered with ballots generally. On the very first page of its 1951 legislation it amended the definition of " office " as it related to trade unions. Following the judgment of the court in the *Miscellaneous Workers* case, that had the effect of depriving every union in Australia of the opportunity to determine whether its officers should be permanent, or merely appointed for a certain period. That decision of the court in the *Miscellaneous Workers* case, and the 1951 legislation, imported into the trade union movement controls that had never been believed possible. As I listened to the wild outburst of the Vice-President of the Executive Council this afternoon, I could imagine that Jim Healy was not crying in the corner, since nobody knows better than Jim Healy that the type of legislation introduced by this Government makes his position secure - because every time the workers are attacked, as they are being attacked by this legislation and as they were attacked by the 1951 legislation, which took from them the control of their own affairs, the extreme left in the trade union movement is encouraged. It is because of that fact that we say that the time has arrived to return to the unions some of the freedom that they had under the 1949 legislation r although I consider - and I say it frankly - that even that legislation went too far in imposing controls on trade unions. I make that statement because I believe that officers elected to permanent positions in trade unions should have security of tenure in those positions, and should not be at the mercy of any group which for its own purposes may organize the preparation of a petition to the court pleading for a new election. I could recite the names of dozens of trade unions which take the attitude that once their permanent officers have been elected tooffice, and have proved themselves to be efficient in their capacity of leadership,, those officers are, like everybody else in permanent employment, entitled to security of tenure. I can cite many cases of trade union officials in New South Wales and other States who, because of that very security of tenure which existed in the past, gave the members they represented a quality of service and leadership that is not possible under the provisions of this Government's 1951 legislation. **Mr. Justice** Wright did not hesitate to say in the *Miscellaneous Workers* casethat it was unfair for new members of a trade union organization to find that there were already in office in the organization officers whom they had had no part in electing. As a result of that judgment great difficulty has been experienced by trade unions in getting some degree of stability in respect of their leadership. The Labour Government provided in its legislation of 1949 that the councillors and those directly associated with the rank and file of trade unions should be regarded as officers who would be subject to re-election; but this Government, in its 1951 legislation, in the very first page of the bill destroyed the liberty of the trade union movement that had been enjoyed for many years. I put it to the Government that, so long as this legislation remains as it is, so long as the judgment of **Mr. Justice** Wright stands - and there will be no shifting it now - so long will the employment of trade union leaders be mere casual employment. That may be said to be a good thing, because thereby the rank and file of the union are given an opportunity to say who shall lead them ; but the Government in its legislation carried this principle further, so as to divide the trade union movement by giving any particular group, which might have all sorts of reasons of its own, the opportunity to go to the court and ask for a ballot at the expiration of the term of any official, as under **Mr. Justice** Wright's decision. Then what happens? In the conduct of trade union ballots the court need have no regard to the union's rules. Because of that, men of the capacity of Jack" Brown and others can be removed from office without good cause. This kind of legislation which takes away the rights of trade unionists to decide how their organizations shall function plays into the hands of small groups, left or right, that wish to impose their own wills on trade unions. The Vice-President of the Executive Council who has so bitterly attacked the trade union movement will soon be going overseas to a nice cushy position as Australian High Commissioner in London. What unions did he select for attack in his speech to-day? With one exception they were metal trades unions, the very unions against which are poised the mighty forces of Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited and other steel interests. As I said in this chamber only the other day, once an attempt is made to tie down organizations, such as the metal trade unions, there is bred in these organizations a lack of self-control and self-reliance, the two elements which are all-important in a trade union. When the Vice-President of the Executive Council reaches England, ho will discover that trade unions whose members are engaged in the steel industry and the shipbuilding industry in that city have not had arbitration since 1922, because they are not bound by the kind of legislation with which this Govern ment is binding the trade unions of this country. They have freedom in respect of the control of their own organizations and, as a result, they have due regard for the responsibilities that they carry. Even the Labour Government's 1949 legislation did not give the same freedom to trade unions in Australia as is enjoyed by trade unions in Great Britain and many other countries. It is of no use for the Minister for Labour and National Service to say that 60 per cent, of workers in Australia are trade unionists whilst only 40 per cent, of workers in Great Britain are trade unionists. The Minister knows full well that the parent body of one of the great metal trades unions of Australia - the Amalgamated Engineers Union - is in England, and he knows very well that that body in its leadership and in its purpose is just as powerful in England as the Amalgamated Engineers Union is in Australia; but, because it is not saddled with the type of restriction that applies in this country, its leaders in Great Britain are fully seised of their responsibility. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.(Mr. McLeay) Order! The honorable gentleman's time has expired. {: #debate-13-s30 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .- I join with the honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison)** in protesting against the decision of the Government to continue the present practice. There is no member of the Labour party who opposes secret trade union ballots properly conducted in order to determine who shall be the officials of trade unions. Neither do we object to any provision for a supervised ballot where, as under the Labour Government's legislation, it can be proved that' malpractice has occurred. But we do protest most vigorously against the procedure espoused by the Government which encourages disruptionists in the trade union movement to put their own organizations to considerable expense and inconvenience in the conduct of additional ballots when no malpractice has been proved. The trade unions of this country are quite capable of conducting their own domestic affairs, and conducting them just as well and as capably as can the officials of other organizations conduct their affairs. There.fore, I say that the present slipshod methods being adopted by those who are deemed to be more competent to conduct trade union ballots than are trade union officials themselves, will bear no examination. If we are to have a ballot in a trade union on any occasion, why should it not be conducted in accordance with the trade union's own rules? But what happens? When a petition is served by some members of a union asking for a supervised ballot to be conducted the people charged by this Government to conduct it do not even take the trouble to find out whether the members of the union who have signed the petition are financial members. All they do is to ascertain whether the names on the petition are listed as members on the books of the union. No check is made as to the financial status of the signatories. No check is even made as to whether the signatures on the petition are genuine. Anybody could sign such a petition and, as far as the only people who are now deemed to be competent to conduct the ballot are concerned, such persons need not be financial members, and the signature on the petitions need not even be genuine signatures. Having listened to the speeches in this Parliament any one would imagine that what the Government had decided to do was to supervise trade union ballots with electoral officials acting on behalf of the Government, and that the trade unions officers elected as scrutineers, and the trade union returning officer were going to play their parts in the conduct of the ballot. But that does not happen. What happens is that the trade union returning officer is allowed to call for nominations. After he receives them he makes a report to the electoral official conducting the ballot, and that is the last part that he plays in the conduct of the ballot until he is notified of the result of it. There are no trade union scrutineers. Why, even in ballots conducted for the election of members of this Parliament - con.ducted by the very same people - we are permitted to have scrutineers because we must be satisfied that the ballot is conducted in a proper manner. So it is not an unreasonable proposition to ask that the scrutineers of the trade unions should have the opportunity to watch the conduct of the ballot and the count. Bui the trade union scrutineers are not permitted to take any part in the conduct of the ballot at all. There is an abundance of evidence that electoral officials on occasions have favoured particular minority groups in some of the unions to give them some advantage in the conduct of the ballot. The trade unions have to be satisfied that the ballots are conducted properly. Let me remind honorable members of what happened on one notable occasion when a ballot had been completed, the count made and the result declared. Some time afterwards, a bag was discovered at the Haymarket Post Office containing a number of ballot-papers which had been returned but which had never been included in the count. Could anybody regard that as a satisfactory way of conducting a ballot? It was only by accident that the bag was discovered in cbe post office and found to contain ballotpapers. As everybody will recall, there has been so much criticism of what was happening in regard to ballots in the trade union movement that the postal officials to-day refuse to allow the post offices to be the repository for the storage of ballot-papers. They say that they are not a storing agency, that they merely receive and deliver. What happens today? When ballot-papers are returned to a post office, they are received and then promptly collected. I am given to understand that the people who call to accept delivery of the ballot-papers are members of the Commonwealth Security Service and that when they collect the ballot-papers there are no union scrutineers present to ascertain that the seals on the bag are in order and that there has been no tampering with the ballot-papers themselves. Under those conditions, how can the trade union movement be expected to consider that that is a competent and efficient way of conducting trade union elections. I put it to all members of this chamber : If they belong to any organization do they consider that there should be any interference in the conduct of their business in the absence of any evidence that they are not competent to conduct their own business and their own elections? And trade unions are in that category. Why are not they given the opportunity to conduct their own ballots in accordance with trade union rules? But they are not! As I have said, there is no member of the trade union movement who believes that there ought to be ballots, the conduct of which could be regarded as questionable. If malpractidis proved, we say, " Yes, let us have another ballot; let us have some form of supervision ". But we certainly reject the idea that no trade union in this country is competent to conduct its own business and its own union ballot. Let me deal with one other aspect of this matter, and that is the cost of courtcontrolled ballots to the trade unions. It is perfectly true that the Government involves itself in some expense in the conduct of ballots, but the major proportion of the cost must be borne by the trade union. This provision in the existing act does not mean that the only ballots that cun be court controlled are those for the annual or triennial election of trade union officers. It means any ballot conducted by a trade union itself. A minority could use its power under this provision to embarrass financially its own organization. It is wrong in principle. Let us get back to what the Labour government proposed, and did, and that was that the way was open for anybody or any group within a union that could prove malpractice to get a new court-controlled ballot. That is all that this Parliament ought to be expected to do in respect of trade union affairs. The Opposition is adopting the right attitude in asking for the rejection of the proposal of the Government. Let us return to what the Labour government of the day established on these matters a few years ago. **Mr. WENTWORTH** (Mackellar) [8.351. - There were some aspects of the speech of the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** that I found a little hard to follow. In 1949, the Labour Government introduced some provisions in regard to the conduct of ballots in trade unions where there had been malpractice. Those provisions were difficult to apply and they were probably drawn in such a way that they would prove impossible to apply. It is perfectly obvious from the tone of the remarks of honorable members of the Opposition that they resent any attempt to have impartial and fair ballots in trade unions. If those provisions were difficult to apply - and they were difficult to apply because the onus of proof was almost impossible to sustain - then this Government has been wise and has acted correctly in making it easier for people in trade unions to have fair and impartial ballots. Let me remind honorable members that there is jio need to prove that ballots in trade unions are very often crooked because the Labour party itself asserts that they are. The Labour party is at present split on the question of whether a ballot in one of its branches was crooked or not. We know by the Labour party's own admission that its ballots are very often crooked and that trade union ballots are very often crooked. If that is so - and the Labour party admits and asserts it - then surely everybody should be on side with this Government in making it easier to get free and impartial ballots properly conducted so that the members of the trade union concerned can properly elect the officers that they desire. We know that when a corrupt faction, particularly a Communist faction - because the Communists have organized corruption inside trade unions - gets hold of the electoral machinery and is able to appoint the returning officer, there is no chance of a fair ballot. The Communists will fake - in fact, their text-books demand that they should fake - trade union ballots whenever it is in the interests of the Communist party to do so. Do not let us be surprised at that. That is something which should be elementary. If such an electoral officercorrupt because he is a Communist or corrupt for any other reason - is in charge of a trade union ballot, then the members of that trade union do not have the right that they should have, and that this Government wants them to have, of freely and fairly electing the officers whom they desire. The committee will surely support the Government in its efforts to give to the rank-and-file trade unionists - we can give it to them; we cannot, of course, give it. to the rank and file of the Labour party - the right to elect the officers that they desire without corruption or coercion. That is the impact of the Government's legislation. The honorable member for East Sydney made one point with which I feel myself in some measure of agreement. Since we are concerned with free and impartial ballots, there is no reason in my view why the candidates at those ballots should not in the normal course be able to appoint their scrutineers, who will be able to see what goes on. I see nothing wrong in that. 1 think the Government ' might, perhaps not in this chamber, but in another place, consider an amendment which would enable that to be be done. The Government has introduced this measure with only one object in view; that is to ensure that the rank-and-file trade unionists shall be able to elect the officers they desire free from the electoral corruption which always characterizes the actions of the Australian Communist party, and which often characterizes the activities of the Australian Labour party. {: #debate-13-s31 .speaker-KVT} ##### Mr THOMPSON:
Port Adelaide -- I am a little tired of the continual allegations made by Government supporters about scandals and irregularities in ballots in the trade union movement and in the Australian Labour party. I should like to tell the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** that I have had long experience in the taking of ballots in both the trade unions and the Labour party. Very few men have had more opportunity to gain experience as a returning officer in such ballots than I have had. The honorable member for Mackellar seemed to regret, if one can judge by his words, that this Parliament cannot lay down conditions for, and conduct, ballots for the election of officers of the Labour party. I suppose he criticizes no one more than he criticizes the waterside workers. My experience of them and the ballots in which they have elected **Mr. Healy** year after year as their secretary is that those ballots are the most meticulously conducted that I have known. The honorable member talked also about Communist-dominated unions. This sort of talk makes me feel a little sick at times; I hear so much of it. I do not like communism. I do not want it to thrive in this country, and the Communists know it, but I cannot accept the suggestion that, because the waterside workers elect a Communist to the office of secretary of their union, it is Communistdominated, and that the Communists control the ballots. In my own district, time and time again, a mere 10 per cent, of the members elected to the executive of the local branch of the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia are Communists, and the other 90 per cent, are genuine members of the Australian Labour party who have been well known and highly respected for many years. Government supporters have suggested that this bill is needed so that the union members may elect the officers they want. 1 was president for some years of a branch of the Transport Workers Union of Australia, and I can assure the honorable member for Mackellar that any member of the union who wanted to participate in a ballot could do so freely. We never had any difficulty over it. The biggest trouble I found .was that many of the rank-and-file members, whom Government supporters say should be able freely to elect the officers of their choice, would not bother to vote. Throughout the trade union movement, union members are free to elect the officers they want. The allegations of the honorable member for Mackellar are a slur on honest unionists and Labour men. Time and again, Government supporters have hurled al the Opposition the claim that the AntiCommunist Labour party is trying to do the proper thing and endeavouring to ensure clean ballots, and that it will do the job. I defy the honorable member for Mackellar or any one else to conduct cleaner ballots than I have seen conducted, and have conducted myself, in the Labour movement and in the trade unions. Government supporters do not play the game when they cast this slur upon practically the whole Labour movement merely because some members of .i union have claimed that they were intimidated or that something wrong was done. The Government has the numbers it requires in the Parliament now, but it will not always have them. I have left it Lo the members appointed by the Opposition for the purpose to discuss this measure thoroughly, with the occasional support of other Opposition members. The honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** and the honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison)** are not acting merely as individuals in the consideration of this bill. Their proposals express the opinion not only of the trade unions, but also of the parliamentary Labour party, the Australian Council of Trades Unions, and those who control the Labour movement. If the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt)** thinks that, because the Government has the numbers, it can force this kind of legislation through and get peace in the trade union movement, he is on the wrong track. We who belong to the Labour movement can be led, but I tell the Minister candidly that the Government will not drive us. The waterside workers in my electorate are generally regarded as men who give a fair return for their wage. The Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt),** last evening, read an extract from the fourth report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board in which it was stated that, in various ports, as many as 99.9 per cent, and 100 per cent, of the employers' comments on the efficiency of the waterside workers were favorable to the men. Despite that, Government supporters tell us that the men are not doing the job efficiently and that legislation of this kind is needed to hound them and make them do what is wanted. I have seen the days when waterside workers in my electorate had to be at the wharfs at 5.30 a.m., hang about all morning after rushing home for breakfast, rush home again for lunch, and return again in the afternoon daily for many weeks, without getting a. job and without receiving a. penny in wages. There are many men employed in the industry who know what happened years ago, and measures of this kind arouse in their minds a fear that the Government is trying to return to =nr"c of the practices that existed in the past. If the Government attempts to enforce measures that arouse such a fear, it will cause more troubles than ever. I have had first-hand experience of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act throughout the years, and of the arbitration system. I know the State system of arbitration developed in South Australia, and 1 know the federal system. I believe in arbitration. I am not one of those who say that arbitration has not given us benefits. It is the finest thing that the workers have ever had, but the Government will kill it or destroy its goodness if it goes to extremes and tries to impose onerous conditions and restrictions that will make the workers few that it is no longer a system designed to settle disputes in an honest manner by allowing the parties to go to arbitration and receive a fair deal. It will merely make the men feel that the suggestion.1", they have heard for a long time that the act is working in one way only are correct, and their fears will be intensified. The Government will not get peace in industry which will enable it to clear the wharf'3 and turn the ships round more quickly, or to clear the wool from the *stores,* by bludgeoning the men with legislation of this kind which will make them feel they are not getting what they are entitled to. I know it is said that the unions will limit their objections to this bill to the carrying of resolutions framed by Communists, or something of the sort. T should like to say here and now that, although I do not believe in communism, and although I think it is wrong, I know some Communists whom I look upon as honest men. They have the conviction that what they are doing is right, although I think they are wrong. {: .speaker-JYO} ##### Mr Cleaver: -- Is the honorable member concerned about Communist leadership? {: .speaker-KVT} ##### Mr THOMPSON: -- I am, but I am much more concerned about the preservation of democracy. If we believe in democracy and in allowing the people tn decide what they want, and if we wish to say with justice that we are democrats, we must accept the decision of union members if, by the exercise of an intelligent vote, they elect a Communist as an officer. The alternative is to become extremists and to try. like Hitler, to tell the people of the world what they must do. I have presided over great strike meetings in trade unions, and often T have been able to give the men good advice, which has been followed. Even if they have refused to take my advice, I have always respected their right to say what they want. {: #debate-13-s32 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order ! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #debate-13-s33 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- The attitude adopted by the Opposition in this matter has for its purpose the destruction of provisions inserted in the arbitration legislation by this Government a few years ago, providing wider opportunities for the use of secret ballots in trade unions, under the supervision of the Registrar bf the Commonwealth Arbitration Court. I listened with considerable interest, with not a little concern, and even with dismay to what has been said by honorable gentlemen opposite in the course of the discussion this evening. I could not help thinking, as 1 listened to them, that it would be very interesting indeed to conduct a secret ballot of honorable members opposite on the question of whether or not these provisions should be retained. I gravely suspect that if we could conduct a secret ballot we would not find the same unanimity on this matter as appears from the tenor of their remarks this evening, to prevail amongst honorable members opposite. In point of fact, those of us whose memories go back a few years will remember that the real weight of pressure for the introduction of this secret ballot legislation came not from our side of politics but from rank and file unionists and from members of this Parliament on the Labour side, some of whom wore destined at a later period to sit on the corner benches and represent a division of view in the Labour party at that time. As I look across this chamber to-night, and see the honorable member for Lang **(Mr. Stewart),** the honorable member for Macquarie **(Mr. Luchetti),** and the honorable member for West Sydney **(Mr. Minogue),** and I think of the absent but not forgotten member for Grayndler **(Mr. Daly).** I wonder what they are thinking about the attitude declared by their party in relation to the secret ballot provisions. Meeting after meeting conducted in earlier times by trade unionists, who requested the Labour government of those days to introduce the secret ballot provisions that were subsequently brought down by this Government. I heard the honorable member for Port Adelaide **(Mr. Thompson),** a . man for whom we can entertain a good deal of respect, talking this evening about democracy and its operation. By introducing the secret ballot provisions this Government restored the operation of democracy inside the trade unions of thi, country. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Wonderful! {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I think it was wonderful, and it had some very remarkable results, and I wonder what some of the most senior and active members of the trade union movement are thinking at present of the attitude adopted by honorable members opposite. I wonder what views are held on that question by **Mr. Short** and his colleagues of the Federated Ironworkers Association, who would not be in office to-day, after having rooted out the Communist leaders of that union in its various sections, had they not had available to them the provisions inserted in the legislation by this Government. Honorable members can consider the situation in any of the trade unions of this country. In those instances in which the union leadership remained under Communist control there is at least the knowledge on the part of the members of the union that if the Communist leaders get too far out of line with rank-and-file opinion, the secret ballot may be used to remove them. I do not deny that there are in Australia to-day Communist union officials' elected to their positions by the members of the particular unions. I accept, for this purpose, the honest vote-- {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Listen to this ! {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- I am groping for a word to indicate an honestly conducted ballot. I am not suggesting that there are not Communist officials who have been elected by the free vote in an honestly conducted ballot of their members. But I do say that if those officials used their positions in the unions only forthe purpose of furthering Com munist aims, rather than of protecting the interests of their members, and if they did that in a way which displeased their members, at least we would not have the situation that existed so frequently in the past, in which ballots could be, and were, rigged. It is of no use for the honorable member for Port Adelaide to say that these things do not happen or did not happen. They did happen, and it was because they were known to have happened that the honorable member's own former leader put certain provisions on the statute-book in order to provide some relief. However, as the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Went worth)** has rightly pointed out, those provisions were inadequate. They threw a. tremendous and hazardous burden of responsibility on individual trade unionists who were sufficiently hardy to undertake to challenge their union leadership by the processes that were then provided. This Government took the element of risk out of those procedures, and, if I had the statistics available to me, I could demonstrate to the committee the greatly increased frequency with which these provisions have been used by unionists all over Australia. Honorable members opposite may believe that they speak with the voice of the trade unionist in this Parliament, but when they speak as they have this evening, I can assure them that they will bring dismay to hundreds of thousands of trade unionists, who normally look to them for some leadership in these matters. This is no new matter. No new principle is involved here. This is an argument directed to legislation that was introduced in this place five years ago, and which has operated with general satisfaction to the rank and file trade unionists, at any rate, during that period. But this committee stage is perhaps an appropriate time in the debate to make this final remark - and I am encouraged to make it by what wassaid about the operation of democracy by the honorable member for Port Adelaide. Ihave listened throughout thedebate on this bill, during the second-reading stage and the committee stage to what has been said by honorable gentlemen opposite. This is certainly a most important and, from their point of view, significant measure. I heard them speaking on the Stevedoring Industry Bill, and the same tone has been employed by many of them in their speeches on both measures. It has not been the tone of democracy. It has been the tone and the language of men inflaming individual people in this country to resist the processes of democracy, and to resist the democratically determined decision of this Parliament. I say to honorable gentlemen opposite, in all seriousness, that the time may not be far distant when they will have to make up their minds whether they believe in parliamentary democracy or in industrial anarchy in this country.I make that comment because of the feeling that is developing in Australia, and is being encouraged to develop by the incitement of honorable gentlemen opposite in their speeches in this chamber. What this Government has set out to do, by means of this and the associated measure now before the Parliament, is to carry out policies on which it was elected, policies for which we believe we have a mandate, and with which we have been returned to office on the last four occasions that we have gone before the people. We are trying to carry out honestly and fairiy what we believe the people intend us to do. If honorable members opposite object to our policies, they have a remedy, and should not resort to inciting the people of Australia to resist the law of the land. Their remedy is to appeal to the people to return them to office so that they can alter the legislation. But if the legislation of a democratically elected Parliament is passed, honorable members opposite have a responsibility to see that it is obeyed. That is the issue that is raised quite starkly in this and the other measure that the Parliament has to consider. Here again, we have an example of a law intended to preserve the democratic rights of trade unionists in Australia being attacked by those who claim to be the spokesmen for the very interests that the Government is protecting by this measure. {: #debate-13-s34 .speaker-JUP} ##### Mr CLAREY:
Bendigo .-It is rather interesting to hear the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr.** Harold Holt) make the extraordinary statement that we are approaching a state of industrial anarchy. This statement has come from a member of the Government which, on more than one occasion in this chamber, has claimed that during its period of office a greater measure of industrial peace has been achieved in Australia than ever before. Now, he has told us that we are rapidly approaching a state of industrial anarchy. Honorable members opposite have deplored the making of inflammatory speeches in this debate, but I cannot recall a more inflammatory speech than that which was made by the VicePresident of the Executive Council **(Sir Eric Harrison)** earlier to-day. I think that neither the Minister nor the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** has done justice to himself or to his part in the extravagant and extraordinary statements which each has made. The assertion that ballots are rigged and faked in the trade union movement indicates a complete lack of knowledge of the trade union movement and itf. machinery of government. It is claimed that irregularities take place, but I have never known a federal general election, a State election, a municipal election or any other election to pass without charges of irregularities concerning the conduct of it. We in the trade union movement are anxious to keep ballots clean and pure and I can say, after a lifetime of experience in the trade union movement, that the greatest measure of security is taken by the organization concerned to ensure that a ballot is conducted correctly and in accordance with its rules. If, now and again, somebody does stray from what the rules provide, we should also tell ourselves that the same thing has happened in connexion with public elections on more than one occasion. The late Prime Minister, the Right Honorable Ben Chifley, and my present leader, the right honorable member for Barton **(Dr. Evatt),** were approached by the trade union movement in respect of the insertion of some provision in the Conciliation and Arbitration Act so that, where irregularities were proved, action could be taken to see that anything that was wrongly done could be set right. One does not accept as correct every charge that irregularities have occurred in connexion with this -or that ballot. One needs, first of all, to see that the irregularities are proven. When it is proven that irregularities have occurred, it is time for action to be taken. As a consequence of the representations that were made by **Mr. Monk,** the then secretary of the Australian Council of Trades Unions, myself as president, the late **Mr. Croft** and others, the legislation of 1949 was eventually brought down. That legislation was so framed as to protect the interests of those who had suffered as a result of the irregularities, once they were proven. The legislation went as far as to provide that persons who, through lack of means, could not check the material in relation to the charges that they made, should be provided with means to do so. The honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** and the Minister for Labour and National Service were totally incorrect in stating that that legislation could not be put into operation. It was that legislation that resulted in the cleaning up of the Federated Ironworkers Association of Australia. **Mr. Short,** the secretary of that union, owes his position to the fact that the 1949 act was invoked. The same applies to the Federated Clerks Union of Australia. Again, it was that act, not the 1951 act or the 1952 act, that brought about the change in that organization. Yet responsible members of Parliament, including a responsible Minister, have risen in their places and suggested that this effective legislation was innocuous and of no use whatever. What has been done by the Minister in later legislation has certainly brought about the resentment of the trade union movement. We claim to have in this country a free and independent trade union movement which exists for the purpose of protecting the interests of its members. We act in accordance with the principles of free trade unionism which have been shown by the unions in New Zealand, the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. We are intolerant of government control. As free organizations, they have the right to function without constantly being subjected to proscriptions, rules, or legislation that interferes with their internal affairs. We shall always fight for that right to be a free and independent trade union movement, entitled to conduet our own affairs in accordance with our own rules. It is because of that fact that we objected to the legislation in 1951 which deliberately aimed at taking out of the hands of those who are held responsible under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act for the carrying on of unions - the federal executive and the federal conference and the committee of management - the right to administer their own rules. That legislation put in the hands of a small number of members of any union the right to override the governing and controlling authority of the organization. The result of taking the administration of the unions out of their hands and placing it in the hands of somebody else has been that, instead of unions being able to carry on their own affairs and protect their members, factions within the unions have utilized the legislation introduced by the Minister for Labour and National Service for the express purpose of obstructing the affairs of the organizations and endeavouring to secure control of the unions in order to use them for their own purposes. That was the action, that was the tactics, that was the strategy of the people who sat on the corner benches in this chamber last year and whose opinions were so little respected by the people that at the last general -election they all were dislodged from their seats in the Parliament. Now,we have been told that they are the people who represent the trade union movement and who speak as the voice of Labour in this country. The extent to which the Government fails to appreciate the opinions, views, traditions, objectives and aims of the great trade union movement of Australia is ridiculous. As a trade union movement, we have retained our right to carry on our organization as we think it should be carried on. I believe that the total number of trade unionists in Australia is about 1,750,000. "Between 300 and 400 organizations are registered under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. Each of these organizations has branches and sub-branches which would number many hundreds. Tf the Minister had the statistics in front of him he would find that hundreds, if not thousands, of branches were registered. Yet a mere handful of men belonging to these organizations is trying to destroy the trade union movement and the Australian Labour party by utilizing the provisions of the act which the Minister so generously praised to-night. The type of legislation which the Government has introduced and which it believes will bring about some form of sanity in industrial relations in Australia, will destroy any chance of better relation?, and will indicate to the trade unionists who desire their organizations to function in their interests that the Government is determined by its legislation to weaken and smash the trade union movement of Australia in the hope of being able to reduce the conditions of labour and the standard of living for the Australian people. {: #debate-13-s35 .speaker-KZW} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Lawrence:
WIMMERA, VICTORIA -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. Mr.FREETH (Forrest) [9.10].- The honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** argued very forcefully in favour of the right, of trade unions to conduct their own affairs. He put forward a strong argument against the ability of factions within trade unions to approach the Arbitration Court in an effort to obstruct the affairs of the union and to gain office. His argument sounded most impressive, but when one boils it down, one finds that all that those factions do is to seek a court-controlled ballot. If the honorable member had shown exactly in what way, other than by the perfectly democratic means of using the processes of the court, the factions seek to gain control, his argument would have been much more impressive. As it is, he has only left in the minds of honorable members the impression that those people who fear the implementation of this legislation are the persons who fear the use of a cleanly conducted courtcontrolled ballot. He referred to one or two instances when the 1949 legislation was invoked, hut he made no reference to the great number of cases - I forget the exact number, but I think it is greater than 60 - in which, a few years ago, the legislation introduced by this Government was invoked. No very great degree of dissatisfaction has been expressed on behalf of the trade union movement in relation to those occasions when the court assisted certain groups of union members. I wish to make one further observation. The honorable member referred at some length to the legislation that was introduced by the Australian Labour party in 1949 ; but he omitted to state that that legislation was forced on the Labour party because the present Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies),** as Leader of the Opposition, had introduced a private member's bill. The force of public opinion was such that the Labour party could not avoid doing something about the matter, and it went a little way towards introducing a measure of control over irregularities in trade union affairs. The plain truth is that it did not go far enough, and when this Government assumed office it introduced the 1951 legislation. Since then, there has been nothing but approval of the Government's legislation, except from the Labour party inside this chamber and the Communist party outside. **Mr. LUCHETTI** (Macquarie) F9.14].- One must deplore the line of debate that has been followed to-night by the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt),** who, instead of addressing himself to the matter before the com- mittee, sought to single out individual members of Her Majesty's Opposition and to ascribe to them points of view that were untruthful and unfair. That action was completely unworthy of the right honorable gentleman. In regard to the subject-matter before the committee. Opposition members are as one. It has been considered by the party, and a decision upon it has been reached. Members of the Australian Labour party who take their place in this chamber stand loyally by the principles of the party to which they owe allegiance. The point of view adopted by the Labour party in this place has the endorsement of the majority of the trade unions of Australia. We have always believed that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, and on every possible occasion we have encouraged trade unionists to take a keener and greater interest in the affairs of their unions so that they may equip themselves for the leadership of their organizations and play their part in the development of this country. We believe in an educated democracy, and we also believe that it cannot be achieved unless the working people, in their trade unions, play their part as free and unfettered as the laws of this country permit. As one who in past years was the returning officers for the Western Miners Federation of New South Wales, I say that the ballots with which I was associated were conducted in a scrupulously fair manner. There was no question of any malpractice, and the greatest good for the greatest number was the paramount consideration. The miners faced their problems, recorded their votes, and determined their issues as they believed they should be determined. I do noi hide my light under a bushel. Indeed. [ have been a consistent standard bearer and a champion of the principles governing our democratic way of life, and T think it would be a tragedy if we were to water down those principles. That *1* have opposed communism is perfectly true, and that I oppose it now and will continue to oppose it in the future ialso true; but the fact that I oppose communism does not in any way tie me or any-of my colleagues to the bandwagon of the Government in relation to this oi any other measure that might be introduced. I suggest to the Minister that in tinfuture, when consideration is being given to such matters, he should exclude from his remarks references to persons who sit on this side of the chamber. He ought to concern hims>elf with the great army of members who sit behind him and who. for many days, have been remarkably silent about a number of measures that have been introduced. Whether they b' disgruntled back-benchers or anybody el:e. they should engage the attention of the right honorable gentleman. The views expressed by the chosen spokesmen of the Australian Labour party on measures such as this are the vic"-a of all honorable members who <=it behind the. Leader of the Opposition *(T)r.* Evatt). I am certain that, in saying that, T am expressing the opinion of my colleagues who are absent a"d of those who are present here to-night. {: #debate-13-s36 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT:
Wills .- The protestations about democracy by honorable members opposite form part of their smokescreen and of their assault upon the trade union movement, and it is of no use for them to try to hide that fact from their colleagues or from us. The honorable member for Swan **(Mr. Cleaver)** and the honorable member for Forrest **(Mr. Freeth)** may think that, when they support assaults on the trade union movement, they are standing for democracy; but the fact is that they are in the hands of people who do not know what democracy means and who are resorting to every possible means to overthrow it. When people attack the trade union movement, they attack part of the core and tradition of the Australian way of life. The trade union movement has been built up on a voluntary basis. Members of the trade unions have a tradition of mateship, of working together, and of sticking together on the principle of one out all out. Honorable members opposite will not understand and cannot understand that because it is in conflict with the very things for which they stand. When the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt)** issues a challenge in relation to secret ballots, he ought to look at his own house. Many days have passed since the Ministry of which he is a member faced a secret ballot in the party room. He has no right to point a finger at Opposition members. Fancy the Liberal party speaking about democracy and ballots! The members of the Liberal party have come a long way in 100 years. It is only 100 years since their interest in trade unions was associated more with public hangings than with secret ballots. Apparently, if a trade union leader takes a ballot-box away and burns the ballotpapers, that is bad, but if a Liberal politician gets to work a.nd draws the boundary lines of electorates in such a way that his opponents cannot possibly win. nothing is said against him. If he establishes a legislative council in such a way that an elected government cannot possibly govern properly, Liberal supporters do not think too badly of him. Probably they make him Premier of South Australia. Those are the principles at stake. I am not at all interested in the details down to the last full stop. I am interested in the principle that applies. Government supporters, one after another, have spoken of secret ballots. They have been doing this for six years. They have confused all those members of the Australian public who dc not happen to belong to the trade union movement. Why is there all this talk of secret ballots? What unions have no: had secret ballots since their very beginning ? Such ballots have been a principle in the conduct of the democratic procedures of the Labour party and the Labour movement. Government supporters are dishonest. What they are attempting is the taking away of control of trade unions from their own elected officers. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr Evatt: -- And splitting the trade unions. {: .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT: -- And splitting the trade unions, because when they split the trade union movement they split the rock upon which this party stands. When they split this party as they succeeded in doing by fostering and nurturing the persons who formerly sat in the corner - and I am here because those persons were supported by the Liberal party - they are splitting the protectors and the sponsors of democracy in this country, and there is no denying that fact. When the honorable member for Forrest **(Mr. Freeth)** associates us with the Communists - we do not expect anything different from the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** - I throw the lie back in his teeth. I am prepared to debate that proposition outside with any one. It is absolutely astonishing that a majority of the electors of Australia have been able to be fooled by this line of talk. The Minister mentioned the ironworkers' ballot. That ballot and the election of office-bearers which flowed from it was the result of the 1949 legislation. Such facts as these are obscured by smoke-screens of propaganda, and it is time that Government supporters acknowledged that fact. It is time that they rose and spoke for the things they stand for. They have continually fooled the Australian people but that cannot go on for much longer. We have been warning them, for days. The men at the table who speak for the Opposition were freely elected, loved and trusted leaders of the trade union movement. Nobody could shift them. As long as' they stood for office, they held office. When the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey)** speaks, he speaks with a lifetime of leadership in the union movement behind him. He does not speak in a spirit of hyprocrisy and the Government ignores his advice at its peril and at the peril of the people of Australia, because if the Government tackles the trade union movement and the things for which the movement stands, it tackles something which really stands for comradeship and sticking together. So far, in most tussles with the trade union movement it has been possible for governments and the assembled might of industry to break the unions, but only at the expense of great distress and loss to every person in the country. {: .speaker-DTN} ##### Dr Evatt: -- And temporarily. {: .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT: -- Yes. But we shall go on and meet the threats and assaults as long as they are made. We oppose this legislation because we are the Opposition. Honorable members opposite say that they form the duly elected and accredited government of this country. The Minister used a term that rather appealed to me, about taking the risk out of union elections. Honorable members opposite who spoke about Queensland should examine the last federal electoral redistribution made by this Government. It wanted to take the risk out of federal elections. Government supporters are attempting to confuse the issue by speaking about secret ballots. What they are doing is interfering with, and attempting to stifle the trade union movement. The time has come to speak up against their efforts, and we shall go on speaking, even until six o'clock in the morning. {: #debate-13-s37 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- **Mr. Temporary Chairman** - - {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Is the Minister having a second innings? {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- The honorable member's colleague is looking for a second innings, but I happen to be in charge of the bill. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Will the Minister give me a chance of having a second innings'? {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- No. Motion (by **Mr. Ward)** agreed to - >That the right honorable member benot further heard. {: #debate-13-s38 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .Mr. Temporary Chairman- Motion (by **Mr. Harold** Holt) proposed - >That the question be now put. Question put. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. W. R. Lawrence.) AYES: 54 NOES: 36 Majority 18 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Question put - That the clause be agreed to. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. W. R. Lawrence.) AYES: 54 NOES: 37 Majority . . . . 17 AYES NOES Question so resolved *m* the affirmative. Clauses 26 to 48 - *by leave* - considered together and agreed to. Clause 49 postponed. Clauses 50 to 55 - *by leave* - considered together and agreed to. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 2877 {:#debate-14} ### STEVEDORING INDUSTRY BILL 1956 {:#subdebate-14-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from the 5th June *(vide* page 2797), on motion by **Mr Harold** Holt - >That the bill be now read a second time. {: #subdebate-14-0-s0 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY:
Fremantle .- The Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt),** in proposing the motion for the second reading of the bill, made a very long speech on the history of the stevedoring industry. I think it would be true to say that throughout the whole of the Minister's speech there was evident a kind of despair about this industry which, perhaps, could best be summed up in his own words. He made this statement- >But nobody would suggest for one moment that we have achieved this- He was speaking about peace on the waterfront - >It is a matter of unhappy notoriety that our waterfront performance is chronically bad. Performance is poor. Industrial relations are bad and have been bad for generations. The stevedoring industry has been rightly described more than once as a turbulent industry. Those are very strong words, and if that is the condition of the waterfront nothing in the mechanics of this bill will change the human relations that exist in that industry. I think, however, that the Minister fails to notice the change that has taken place over the years. I represent in this Parliament the port of Fremantle, where I spent my childhood. One of my earliest memories is the spectacle of truckloads of police going down to the waterfront - and ambulances returning from it, with injured police and waterside workers - during the violent clashes that then took place on the waterfront. Earlier thanI canrecall, armed forces and bayonets were actually used {: .speaker-JS7} ##### Mr Brand: -- In what year was that? {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- In 1919. My earliest recollection is of the clashes in 1928. Surely the Minister recognizes that because of the stability brought to the industry by Labour legislation during the war there has been a complete transformation of the atmosphere on the waterfront. The Minister may still not think it satisfactory, but at least there is not the coercion by a combination of starvation and industrial thuggery that characterized the industry between the wars. l t was the dearest aim of my predecessor, us member for Fremantle, the late **Mr. John** Curtin, that there should be stability and sanity on the waterfront. I think that, to a very large extent, that was achieved by the legislation of the Labour Government during the war. Therefore, there is no need to speak of the stevedoring industry in the terms of despair used by the Minister. I recall my childhood attendance at Beaconsfield State School, where I suppose more than half the children came from families in which the father was a working man on the water- side. Whenever a school assembly was held, after the headmaster had spoken for about a quarter of an hour, children would begin to fall. This was because of malnutrition resulting from chronic unemployment on the waterfront, where great numbers of men sought a living - usually more than the trade use - or from the prolonged industrial disputes which would cut off the family income altogether. As the federal member for the district, I can go back to Beaconsfield State School to-day and see children who are entirely different. They are well fed and are better physical specimens. I realize that there has been full employment in this country for many years, but I am speaking specifically of a school in which the children largely come from homes in which the breadwinner is employed in one particular industry. There has been in that industry a transformation of the kind that was in the mind of the late right honorable member for Fremantle in 1937. What he said to the waterside workers of Fremantle at that time is recorded. I think that the present leadership of thr Waterside Workers Federation, especially that which is concentrated in Sydney, takes to itself credit that does not belong to it, and boasts of achievements which we set in train by the late John Curtin. It is an habitual technique of Communist propagandists to suggest that every good piece of legislation ever brought into this House came as a result of pressure from them, whereas the legislation that has transformed the waterfront sprang particularly from the moral convictions of the late right honorable member for Fremantle. There is in this House a tendency to speak about members of the Waterside Workers Federation as a kind of industrial species inferior to the general run of Australian men. As member for Fremantle, I happen to have been down to the pick-ups on about 40 occasions. I am not pretending that that gives me any more authority to speak about the stevedoring industry than is possessed by other honorable members, but very few honorable members could say that they had attended pick-ups on 40 occasions and had had the men come to them to speak of the things that were on their minds. The extent to which the university, technical and apprenticeship training of their children occupies the minds of the men is quite remarkable. They speak of problems in connexion with acquiring and furnishing their own homes. Threequarters of them, in Fremantle at any rate, are ex-servicemen, and many have very distinguished war records. That is why it is wrong to write them off as " wharfies ", which is a dehumanized term like " worker ", that antheap word which the Communists are so fond of using. No one is a working man any more. He is a kind of ant - a worker ant - presumably marching where the Third International wants him to march. The waterside workers of Fremantle are thoroughly reputable Australian citizens. I shall not say that I agree with everything that their leaders have done, but it is important to remember that in the ultimate it is not the union officials, but the men themselves, who count. The Minister has not really dealt with one of the main problems which bedevil industrial relations on the waterfront. lie touched on it, without really analysing it, when he said during his secondreading speech, alluding to a critical remarks that he had made - >I do not confine Unit remark to the more obvious disagreements between the representative nf the """in nml those of management I include the differing interests in the ranks of the employers themselves. The overseas shipowners had certain interests that they thought should be protected, anil they did not always run hand in hand with the interstate shipowners. The Minister did not explain the crucial problem faced by employers on the waterfront. If he had done so he would have gone to the hean of a good deal of the intransigeance in this situation. For the Australian shipowner, wlm is engaged in coastal shipping, the cessation of work at all the wharfs in thi- country means the total cessation of his business. For him, it is a total disaster, but for the overseas shipowner it may mean the loss of only 5 per cent, or 10 per cent, of his trade. Perhaps 10 per cent, is a very high percentage because a* an international trader, he has so many other irons in the fire that an industrial crisis on the Australian waterfront will not deal him the crippling blow that will fall upon the Australian shipowners. That is why, so often, we find among the international shipowners a determination to fight what they regard as a recalcitrant group in Australia. The Australian suipoweis Mie mure in need in engage in negotiation and come to a settlement. That is the essence of this problem, which the Minister hinted at in his remark about the two kinds of employers on the waterfront. Unfortunately, he did not mention exactly what the problem was. T am interested in these statements that the Government is always making about the Australian waterfront being notorious around the wo Hd. We are always hearing such remarks about the Australian working man. The night before last T hea'd a radio broadcast about the rise in the productivity of industry around t'-e world. It ra;d that, in the last Bl - lit years only one country had 1-ad a greater increase in productivity than 1nad Austraia. That country was West Germany, where the productivity rose by 40 per cent., according to this broadcast, while productivity in Australia was second in the world, the increase being 25 per cent, increase per worker. The Minister made a reference to New Zealand. That interests me, because I am afraid it is just a case of " 0, the brave music of the distant drum ". The Minister said - >Many trade unionists view waterfront developments as elements in a continuing struggle between the shipowner and the wharfie, but any talk of a psychology on the part of the waterside worker which impels him to strike, or on the part of the shipowner which makes him utterly unco-operative, seeing to be answered by the experience of New Zealand where. over the last two years, there has been virtually no loss of working time from industrial disputes on the waterfront. I have recently paid two visits to New Zealand, and I agree with the Minister that there has been no overt flare-up ; but I would say that I have never seen a situation more sullen and ugly than that in New Zealand. The truth is that a foolishly-led strike - and I think personally the man who led it put his men into a critical union conflict without their real moral consent, and without any thought for the general position or opinion in New Zealand - produced a crisis in which the Government of New Zealand brought out an 18-in. gun to shoot a canary. It brought down a very strong measure of coercion, and completely smashed and split the union. Incidentally, it used the whole situation to win 20 seats from the Labour Opposition in the New Zealand Parliament because of the relationship that existed between the Labour party in New Zealand and that trade union. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- The New Zealand Government was supported by the trade union movement in New Zealand. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- I quite agree that the New Zealand Government was supported by the trade union movement, but T am talking about the psychology in the Minister's statement. The New Zealand waterside workers, placed in that situation, obviously split themselves. La rare numbers of them followed a trade union on the waterfront which repudiated the former leadership of the waterside workers' union in that country, and some others became disgruntled. The situation there now is of complete bitter resentment, and I am pretty sure that in that well-known situation we will find that the smashing of that union by the full coercive powers of the New Zealand Government two years ago, at the time of that crisis, will have embittering consequences on the New Zealand waterfront for many years to come. I remind the Minister that he has talked in his speech about the bitterness of traditions dating from the foundation of the waterfront industry in this country. Anybody who went to a pick-up centre before the war would have seen the most degrading conditions. I know that a lot of shipowners would disagree with that statement; but I say that it was a pathetic spectacle. When there was a pick-up one could see men jumping over one another's backs in order to be picked up by the man who was making the selection. It was like a selection of animals. That was the kind of thing that was happening on the waterfront. There is nothing particularly violent about that. It is not what one would call an embittering element in trade union relations. But there did develop, with lots of other clashes, this sort of less than human way of conducting affairs on the waterfront. Government supporters ask whether the turn-round of ships is as quick and the handling of cargoes as good as in 1949. They never examine the statistics of waste that were involved in the past in the constant unemployment on the waterfront, the non-utilization of surplus labour, and the physical condition of the children of waterside workers in those days which I, as a school child, saw in the school I attended. I am not impressed by complete comparisons of efficiency in an industry which are arrived at by statistics of the turn-round of ships. There are also some things that have to be said about the conduct of shipping operations which the Minister might well have mentioned. I am speaking, for instance, of ships arriving at Fremantle from overseas which sometimes had +he cargo destined for Sydney loaded on top of the cargo destined for Fremantle. The result was that the cargo destined for Sydney had to be unloaded before the cargo destined for Fremantle could be removed from the holds, and then *the* cargo for Sydney had to be reloaded before the ships could leave. There are a good many things like that which did not make for efficiency on the waterfront. The Minister said that the loss of time in this industry is 30 times as great as in the general run of Australian industry. Nobody would pretend that this sector of the Australian economy is satisfactory; but unless the Minister is satisfied exclusively that the explanation for this bad industrial record, in comparison with that of other trade unions in Australia, is entirely due to Communist leadership, or that the waterside workers are an inferior species - which I cannot believe, knowing many of them - he must surely recognize that the bad tradition that has developed in this industry will not be met by machinery bills like this one, but will be met only by a constant effort on £he part of the Government, and of all governments in Australia, to show, as I. think the Labour government showed, that they regard this as an essential industry, an industry in which a man can get a living with dignity, and that they will take steps to decasualize the industry to see that employment on the waterfront is stable and continuous. If those things are done, over a period of time, we could hope to see developing in that industry a better industrial tradition than has existed in it in the past. That has already been done to some extent. The tradition of violence and instability which was so characteristic between the two wars has gone, I think, and we may look, if the Minister will continue his legislation in the tradition started by John Curtin, for a continuation of the development of that atmosphere in the industry. {: .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr HAROLD HOLT:
HIGGINS, VICTORIA · LP -- Before the honorable gentleman sits down I should like to ask him a question. Would the honorable gentleman say, from his knowledge of these men and from his acquaintance with them in Fremantle, that the rankandfile waterside workers in that port would welcome a system of permanent engagement ? {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- 1 cannot answer the question. I do not know. {: #subdebate-14-0-s1 .speaker-KIH} ##### Mr LUCOCK:
Lyne .-. I want ito say three things. The first is that I support the bill, and I think the Minister as to be congratulated in bringing it <down. One thing that has rather surprised me over a period of time is that in some of the speeches from the Opposition, not only on this bill, but also on another bill which we have debated, tributes have been paid to the sincerity and honesty of the Minister for hi3 efforts to stabilize the industrial situation in Australia. Whilst members of the Opposition have paid these tributes to the Minister's policy they have gone on to say what terrible things were being done in this bill brought down by the Minister. That appears to me to be a complete contradiction, because, after the Minister has spent a great deal of time and effort in stabilizing the industrial situation in Australia, surely it would be foolish of *kim to* bring in a bill, knowingly, that would disturb the industrial position. I have said that I support this hill, but I should also like to say at the outset that I concede that the faults that have caused industrial unrest on the waterfront are not all on one side. That view is supported by the fourth report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board. In that report, the following statement Appears : - >The High Court's interpretation of Section 23 rendered the Board's disciplinary power against employers virtually ineffective; this gave rein to a deterioration in the standards of stevedoring supervision, and led to a series of incidents of a nature that, under the system of stevedoring inspections, had become, if not rare, of a diminished frequency. These developments occurred at a time when stevedoring and rates of work in the principal ports were showing noticeable improvement. Notwithstanding the evidence of degeneration in wharf discipline, it may be possible to stabilize the *status quo* if the means of discipline can he salvaged. If there proves to be no way of reestablishing effective disciplinary power, however, the inspectorial function may begin to take the appearance of a formality. I shall make further mention of that statement later in my speech. I want to speak about the effect that the bill will have on the economy of our nation and, later, on the general situation, which disturbs me. It may be asked: Why is a member of the Australian Country party from a country electorate speaking on a bill that concerns waterside workers and the stevedoring industry in general? The answer is that this vitally concerns us in the country because from the wharfs go the exports of the primary products of our land. A strike, and delays on the waterfront, in turn have a detrimental effect on the primary producers of this country. It is for that reason, as one of the representatives of those primary producers, that I speak to this bill. The disturbances and disputes thar have been occurring on the waterfront have been detrimental to the economy of this country. 1 said at the beginning of my speech that the faults were not all on one side. That is, perhaps, a great tragedy, because it gives those who are in charge of the Waterside Workers Federation the opportunity to play on the faults of the opposite side and pass over their own mistakes, their own faults and their own failings. Unfortunately, this causes public sympathy to be on their side when in many instances it should not be so. I mention one case, that of a man who ran a country newspaper. He ordered from the United Kingdom a machine which was necessary for the printing of his paper. Unfortunately, when the machine was due to leave the United Kingdom, there was a strike on the waterfront there. The ship left without the machine, came to Australia and went back to the United Kingdom. It picked up the machine that time, and came back to Australia, but when it arrived in the Australian port there was a strike. The ship then went back to the United Kingdom, carrying this machine with it and, of course, a further trip was required before the man with the country newspaper was able to get his machine. A newspaper plays a vital part in the life of country areas. It is one of the focal points of local activity and people receive through it the news from their own area. That may be only a minor thing, but it is an illustration of the effect of troubles on the waterfront. A good deal has been said about the turn-round of ships, and it has been said that there was some improvement. Although it is acknowledged that there has been an improvement, that improvement does not take us back to the position that existed iu 1938. The improvement, if 1 may put it this way, has been an improvement on a position that had deteriorated. So a great deal of commendation will not be warranted - though there may be a little - until the tururound in shipping gets back more closely to what it was in 1938. We must concede that there have been improvements in the conditions and in the machinery for the handling of cargo, which should allow us to improve the time taken in the turnround in shipping. The secretary of the Waterside Workers Federation and members of the Opposition tell us of the dire consequences that will follow the passing nf this legislation. To-day, meetings were called to discuss a 24-hour strike, and the reports that are coming in show that the support for those statements is not as strong as the secretary of the Waterside Workers Federation would have us believe. The members of the union in Fremantle voted to return to work at six o'clock this evening Western Australian time. In four ports in South Australia they voted to strike for only four hours. In Melbourne, about half, or less than half of the members of the union attended the meeting of protest that had been called. That is an indication that the exaggerated statements of members of the Opposition certainly cannot be supported. We should also not forget that at these meetings, the worst possible point of view would be put forward by the leaders of the union who were addressing the men. It has been alleged that short-term and supplementary labour will undermine the union and the working conditions of members of the union. Yet any one who studies the bill will see that it goes to great pains to ensure that both short-term and supplementary labour will be used only in particular instances and in cases of emergency. Short-term labour has been arranged for situations such as occur in Hobart and in north Queensland. The second thing that has been exaggerated is the claim that this bill will set up another union. Again, anybody who reads this bill will see that that is not so. It stresses the fact that it is to preserve the existing union, but it is also to allow for the possibility that at some stage - for example, on the north coast of Western Australia - the Austraiian Workers Union may be the union concerned in the waterside work. Clause 9 has been inserted in the bill to cover that possibility in the future. Another thing that has been said is that harsh disciplinary control has been kept for the waterside workers and that no penalty has been provided for the shipowners. If this bill is studied, it will be seen such a claim is not correct. There is the provision for fines of up to £1,000 with a minimum of £100 on shipowners. Yet, those people who desire to destroy this bill, and harmonious relations in the industrial field, say that penalties are directed only against the workers and not against any one else. No greater balderdash has ever been spoken. Surely the benefit, of the policies that have been put forward by this Government must be realized, even if one does not always agree with those policies. Surely it must be admitted that, in the main, they have been for the advantage, the progress and the development of this country. I said I wanted to mention the economy of the situation. As I have pointed out, conditions on the waterfront vitally affect Australia's economy. We should consider that fact carefully when we think and talk of the difficulties that confront us in relation to our overseas balances at the present time. I recall that, not very long ago, the honorable member for Parkes **(Mr. Haylen)** said the honorable member for Lyne was a lion when he spoke, and a mouse when he voted, because I had criticized the economic policy adopted by the Government at that time. I say, without wishing to appear in any way conceited, that I believe my colleagues and I achieved something on that occasion. We showed that many of us felt the Government was not makins the right attack on the problem, and T believe that, as a result, the Government altered some of the proposals that were to be included in the economic statement that the Prime Miniser **(Mr. Menzies")** made shortly afterwards. If the honorable member for Parkes thinks a government supporter should cross the floor of this House and vote against the Government, I, should like to ask him what is the alternative to the present Government. I Relieve that, unfortunately, the Australian Labour party must take its share of the responsibility for any shortcomings in the Government. As I have said in this House on a number of occasions, in a democracy, a strong Opposition is needed to keep the government on its toes. I say quite candidly that this Government has not always been on its toes in drafting its legislative proposals during the last six years. This has been <Jue, in many instances, to an Opposition much weaker than any previous Labour Opposition has been throughout the history of the Commonwealth of Australia. Any man who thinks of the welfare of his country could not cross the floor of the House and vote with an Opposition that would become a worse government than any other we have known. This brings me to the point I wish to make about the general situation and the effects of this bill: The Leader of the Opposition **(Dr. Evatt)** said last evening - >Undoubtedly, as will be proved by instance after instance that will be given, if not by myself, then by my colleagues, the bill . . . For once, the right honorable gentleman was honest when he used the words " if not by myself ". Throughout his speech, he certainly did not make the point that he endeavoured to He almost foreshadowed - we give him credit for it - that he would not make the point anyhow. The right honorable gentleman said also - >Tn coming to this great topic of the waterfront and the problem nf stevedoring, the Minister pointed out in his speech that the record of the industry was one of turbulence, and that is true. But he must be careful before using phrases like that because that is not a phrase which has been applied only recently to the industry. It is a phrase that was applied by **Mr. Justice** Higgins, who, more than 40 years ago, made the first award in this industry. Would the Leader of the Opposition say that this industry is not turbulent at the present time? The inference to be taken from the statement I have just read is that he would say it is not turbulent. Further than that, the right honorable gentleman went back to somewhere about 1890. Unfortunately, the pattern of the right honorable gentleman's conduct that has unfolded itself from time to time in recent years, is unfolding itself again in his opposition to this bill and to another which was introduced a little earlier. We know that one of the main objectives of the Australian Communist party, at any stage, is to use any person or group that it can use to disseminate its propaganda. If it can discredit any honest-thinking person it will do so. We know .that, in the recent waterfronstrike, the Communists endeavoured to discredit **Mr. Monk,** the president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. 1 believe the pattern is unfolding itself again in this- instance. We concede that the honorable member for Bendigo **(Mr. Clarey),** av.d the honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison)** are honest and sincere in their endeavour to work for peace in industry. These men. who we know are moderates within the Labour movement, are handicapped by an attack made from outside by the Communists, who use lying and distorted propaganda, such as the statements 1 read which were made to meetings of the waterside workers about their protest strike. If the Communists can discredit honest trade union leaders, they achieve their purpose. As I have said, thi.= pattern is unfolding itself again. The attack made by the Leader of the Opposition on the Anti-Communist Labour party was directed at a group of men who have shown the courage and initiative to attack the Australian Communist party. Whether or not we agree with some of their actions at least they have fought the Communists at every opportunity. But, when they attacked the Communists, they in turn were attacked by the leader of the Australian Labour party, although he had worked with them when he felt they could be of value to him. As soon as they became, in his opinion, no longer of use to him, and perhaps even a danger to him, they became in his eyes sworn enemies. Opposition members advance the same old catch-cry: "The workers are starving and lining up in queues for this, that, and something else ". Can any one honestly say that, in this twentieth century, with our advanced public conscience, such things would be allowed to happen again? I ask Opposition members whether such conditions really exist in Australia to-day. Members of the Opposition once more seem to contradict themselves. On the one hand, they say that the measures adopted by this Government will prevent the workers from buying refrigerators, wireless and television sets, motor cars, and other new articles as they become available, and, on the other hand, they say that we are now back almost to depression conditions again. Surely any one with a thought for the welfare and future of Australia must realize that no one section of the community can advance to the detriment of any other section. If we think one section can advance alone without detriment to the others, we shall hamper Australia's progress. We often talk about rights and privileges. Those things are important, but I should like to hear a little more talk about responsibility and purpose. Just as the workers have certain rights and privileges, so have certain other sections of the community. In common with other Government supporters, who have mentioned this matter previously, 1 also have been :i member of a union. Members of unions have not only rights and privileges but mIso responsibilities and duties. This constant preaching of class hatred ind the constant emphasis placed upon it by Opposition members time and again, either intentionally or unintentionally, in an endeavour to stir up feelings of hatred and distrust, will not work in the interests of any one section of the community. It will work only against the interests of the community as a whole. It matters not. whether I am a member of this House, great as the privilege may be. The most important thing for Australia is its progress and future development. The arguments that have been used by honorable members opposite in their attacks on this measure, and the other measures we have recently been considering, are designed merely to stress emotional aspects and to stir up hatred and bitterness. In adopting that attitude the Opposition is doing a disservice to the unions and to Australia. As I said at the outset, I support the bill. I congratulate the Minister on thework that he has done in the last six yearsin an endeavour to achieve peace in industry, and I hope that he will continuethat work in the years ahead. {: #subdebate-14-0-s2 .speaker-K58} ##### Mr O'CONNOR:
Dalley .- The measure that is before the House isone of the most extraordinary bills that we have seen in many years. I say that it is extraordinary, first, because of its background, and, secondly, because of the manner in which it was introduced into this House. In November, 1954, a committee was appointed for the purpose of inquiring into certain aspects of the stevedoring industry. As time went by,, the members of the Government and the Cabinet became a little impatient, and finally the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. Harold Holt)** sent a letter to the committee, asking that it submit an interim report, so that a bill could be brought before the Parliament. This measure is extraordinary, because although that committee of inquiry wasestablished, it has not yet finished its task,, and still has a great deal of work to do. Notwithstanding that fact, the Government has brought down a bill which isbased, allegedly, on a recommendation of that committee. Another interesting feature of the interim report is that the committee has not made any mention of some of the matters that it was asked to inquire into, such as the matter of charges and freight rates. It may be merely a coincidence that the interim report deals only with the aspects of the stevedoring industry that particularly affect the trade unions. I should also point out that during the committee's sittings the shipowners were asked to present to the committee certain documents dealing with profits and charges. I think it is true to 3ay that the shipowners have not complied with the requests that have been made from time to time, and their non-compliance has delayed the work of the committee. The delay that has occurred can be attributed, at least in part, to the attitude of the shipowners in this regard. Apparently they are quite content to have the most minute examination of the trade union movement, but they adopt an entirely different attitude in regard to any examination of their affairs. I should also mention that the committee has stated that the representatives of the Waterside Workers' Federation have complied with every request to furnish evidence to the committee. I understand also that the shipowners have asked that any information that they give regarding profits should he treated as confidential. [ do not quarrel with that attitude, but it seems that the committee itself proposes "to keep the information completely confidential, because we have no hope of finding out what aspects the committee has considered, or how it proposes to proceed in the future. 1 direct attention to the attitude adopted by the Minister and the Government on every occasion that a bill of this kind, relating to the stevedoring industry, comes before the House. The Minister has tried to give the impression that he is something of a reluctant dragon in this matter, but the fact is that every time a bill dealing with the stevedoring industry is brought down by this Government, it contains an attack on the Waterside Workers' Federation. While the Minister is prepared to introduce legislation that will have a punitive effect on the union, he sits back and acknowledges the fact that he is unwilling to do anything about dealing with the shipowners. I am reminded of the stevedoring industry charge legislation of 1954, which reduced the stevedoring charge from lid. to 6d. a man-hour. I asked the Minister at that time what action he proposed to take to ensure that the benefit of that reduction would be passed on to the public, and he blandly asked me what Action I could suggest he might take. The Minister thus admitted his incompetence and displays his unwillingness to interfere in any way with one section of the industry, although he proposes to deal with the other section in the manner suggested in the bill we are now discussing. The Opposition opposes this bill because it is a straight-out attack on the trade union movement, and because of the punitive and penal clauses that it contains. The Government must realize that the worker has only his labour to sell, and everything affecting his employment is very important to him. This side of the House is more concerned with matters that will prejudice the livelihood of workers than with questions of whether the shipping combines will make a profit of 20 per cent, or 25 per cent, per annum on their capital. The trade union movement will never submit to attacks such as the Government proposes to make upon it. This Government has attempted for the past two or three years to convert ordinary industrial offences into criminal offences, and it is idle for members of the Government to say that such a policy is not an attack on the trade union movement. The Waterside Workers' Federation has been blamed for most of the disturbances that have occurred in the industry. I admit that there are occasions when legitimate criticism can be levelled at the federation, but on every conceivable occasion when a disturbance occurs iu the industry the Government tries to capitalize on the situation by making exaggerated charges against the federation. One need only have listened to the speech of the honorable member for Lyne **(Mr. Lucock),** who preceded me in this debate, to realize the truth of my remarks in this connexion. His speech consisted purely of propaganda. Every time this House is called upon to debate an issue such as this, the phantom of communism is trotted out. There is not the slightest doubt that this Government is attempting to make political capital out of the issue of communism. The motives of the Government in bringing down this bill are suspect. The bill is resisted by the trade union movement because it is basically an attack upon the unions themselves. The members of the Government who have participated in this debate have followed the usual pattern of blaming the federation for every disturbance that has occurred in the industry. I just want to make some reference to some of the inquiries that have been held before in regard to this industry. The Minister for Labour and National Service was at particular pains to quote, in part, the interim report upon which this bill was based. I point out that there have been other inquiries into this particular industry in the past, and that many of the conclusions that have been reached by competent men differ radically from some of the conclusions that appear in the interim .report. Not so long ago, the Government incurred the expense of bringing out ficm England an acknowledged expert in this matter, **Mr. Basten,** who studied the industry and submitted to this House a comprehensive report which now lies in the archives of the Parliament. I think it is interesting to remind the House of some of the conclusions that **Mr. Basten** leached as a result of his inquiries into this industry. It will be found that his conclusions differed very radically from some of the opinions and assertions that have come so glibly from the other side of the chamber. In the concluding paragraph of the foreword to his report, dealing with the delay relating to the turnround of ships, **Mr. Basten** said - >The principal causes of delays to ships lie in the inadequacy of many berths in the ports, in the halting pace at which goods are removed from or brought to wharves and in the industrial practices of the stevedoring industry. For the sake of clarity these matters are discussed separately, but it should not be overlooked that it is common for all three to be exercising their adverse influences simultaneously; equally common for two of them to be at work and less common for one to be the sole cause of slow turn-round. We have been criticized in this country for a slow turn-round of ships, and I -say quite definitely that the Government's approach to this matter will bring about no improvement. Rather than attempt to solve the problem in a practical way and demonstrate its bona fides t,o those who are interested, and rather than demonstrate its determination to deal with this subject impartially, the Government has dealt with it by means of this legislation. How can the members of the federation or the trade union movement be impressed by the Government's protestations when they hear speeches of the kind to which we are subjected when measures of this kind are brought into the House? As I have said before, Government supporters make every attempt to lay at the feet of the federation every shortcoming in the industry. I was interested in that part of theinterim report which dealt with some of the causes of the loss of time in the industry. The Minister made only a passing reference to the subject. 1 was astounded, on reading the interim report,, to find that the committee set out that 5.5 per cent, of the working time, that is, paid labour time, is lost because of the occurrence of rain. The last report of the Australian Stevedoring lu.dusi.ry Board shows that 6.6 per cent, of the working time was lost through disputes,. &c. I think it can be said that if ali the periods when rain occurred were taken into consideration, the figure of 5.5 per cent, would rise considerably. At this point, the question arises,. " What are the shipowners, in particular,, doing to remove this anomaly that obtains in the industry?" 1 know that the federation has tried, down the years,, to get the shipowners to act with it in an. attempt to overcome this difficulty. It is interesting to contrast the attitude of Australian shipowners with the attitude of shipowners in other parts of the world when they are faced with a problem of this sort. Unfortunately, in Australia., the shipowners apparently are not prepared to spend one halfpenny unless they get some return for it. That is their attitude to almost every problem that arises in this industry. When the subject of wharf space comes up for discussion, the shipowners dismiss it on the ground that it is a matter for a State instrumentality. On the subject of amenities, it can be truthfully said that no class of employers has had a more disgraceful record than the shipowners in. this country. The conditions that prevailed in someAustralian ports before the advent of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Board were positively shameful. It is true that there has been an improvement in some of the amenities in Australian ports, but the shipowners cannot take any credit for them. Those improvements have occurred as a result of the policy of theboard. I join with my colleague from Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** in pointing out that the waterside worker is an ordinary human being. He is a person who has- responsibilities and who is trying to do the best for his family. He is an ordinary Australian, trying to measure up to his responsibilities and do the best he can in very difficult circumstances. However, when we listen to some of the propaganda that is spoken from time to time, we could be excused for thinking that the wharfies, as some people call them, are something out of this world. It is true that the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation are Communists, but it is also true that the Australian Council of Trade Unions has allied itself with the federation in opposition to the measure before the House. The honorable member for Lyne **(Mr. Lucock)** tried to argue that, because the bill provides penalties for the employers as well as the employees, the bill, of necessity, must be impartial and just. But when we examine the processes that have to be followed in order to impose a penalty on an employer, and then ascertain the processes that need be followed to impose penalties on the worker, we realize that the position is just too silly for words. It seems to me that many honorable members who support the Government, and some Ministers in particular, have succumbed to the clamour of certain back benchers in this matter. They have determined that this should become a political matter and that they should extract from it the maximum advantage that they can for themselves and so, in their speeches, we have heard the hackneyed term " Communist ". Anyone who attempts to oppose the impositions of this bill is immediately lined up by Government supporters. I submit to them that Their attitude is doing their cause no good. The mere fact that the leaders of the federation are Communists does not in any way justify the infliction on the members of the federation of the treatment that this bill proposes to hand out to them. It represents a departure from all accepted ideas of conciliation and arbitration. The Government, in effect, proposes to stand over the men who work in this industry and who, if the measure becomes law, will have no alternative but to accept the penalities that will be imposed. A government that introduces such a measure, the chief characteristic of which is its penal provisions,can hardly appeal for conciliation. Its claim that it is concerned merely with the state of the national economy falls to the ground. Not only have employee organizations a responsibility to prove good intent, but also, I submit, the Government has a responsibility to prove that it believes in better conditions than those that are prescribed in the bill. This measure will be resisted, not only by members of the federation, but also by the whole trade union movement. This Government has taken a retrograde step in attempting to impose such penalties upon members of the federation. The interim report of the Tait committee is open to criticism, first, because of the length of time that it has taken the committee to present it; secondly, because of its contents ; and, thirdly, because of the failure of the committee to report upon some of the matters upon which it was asked to report. If the committee had made reference even to the question of increased freights, the report would not have been open to the criticism I am directing against it. But the committee has made absolutely no reference to increased freight rates or costs associated with stevedoring operations. Why has it presented a report which deals mainly with the activities of the federation ? I point out that the provisions of the bill, too, are directed largely against the federation. To my mind, the report is suspect. I say without hesitation that the Government is attempting to capitalize on the shortcomings of the industry, and that it has demonstrated that it is more concerned about trying to gain political advantage than about remedying some of the shortcomings which everyone concedes exist in the industry. If this Government or any other government wishes to accomplish anything in such an industry as the stevedoring industry, it cannot afford to be so partial or vindictive, or so completely lacking in stability, in its approach to the matter. The viewpoint of the Government as expressed in the Minister's second-reading speech, in the course of which he attempted to lay at. the door of federation responsibility for all the shortcomings of the industry and *to* close his eyes to the failure of the shipowners to do something about it, will not tend to convince the public of its impartiality. Finally, I say that the bill should be rejected, because basically, besides seeking to impose penal measures, it strikes at the right of members of the federation and every other trade unionist to strike. When one mentions the right of the worker to strike, many supporters of the Government become horror-stricken. That persons should have the right to strike or should talk about striking seems to them to be rather an antiquated approach to industrial problems. That is one of the rights that the workers still have, and which they will retain. I deplore the tendency of this Government over the last three or four years to regard industrial shortcomings on the part of ordinary individuals as being criminal offences, and for that reason, too, I submit that the bill should be rejected. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Killen)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 2888 {:#debate-15} ### BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE The following bills were returned from tho Senate: - Without amendment - >Commonweal th Aid Roads Bill 1956. Without requests - Broadcasting and Television Stations Licence Fees Bill 1956. House adjourned at 10.47 p.m. {: .page-start } page 2888 {:#debate-16} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS *The following answers to questions1 were circulated: -* {:#subdebate-16-0} #### War Service Homes at New Lambton {: #subdebate-16-0-s0 .speaker-KFG} ##### Mr Griffiths: s asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. How many homes built by or erected' under the authority of the War Service Homes. Division are located in King's-road, New Lambton, New South Wales? 1. In what year was each home built, what was the total cost of each house and what is the street number in each case? 2. Have any of the houses been sold; if so, to whom was each house sold, what wasthe purchase price, what were the terms of purchase, in what year was the sale made an* was the purchaser an ex-serviceman? 3. What is the present weekly rental of each rented house? 4. What is the total rent collected on each, dwelling and what is the cost of any repairs carried out to each house? 5. What is (a) the present value of and (6) the annual cost of local government andi Water Board rates for each house? 6. Which of the houses are now being offered, for sale and what are the terms of purchase? {: #subdebate-16-0-s1 .speaker-KZE} ##### Mr Roberton:
CP -- The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answers to the honorable member's questions: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Fifty-eight homes were built under the War Service Homes Act in King's-road, New. Lambton, New South Wales. 1. In view of the fact that the majority of these homes have been sold it *is* not considered reasonable to divulge information which is private to the applicants. However,, it can be stated that the homes were built during 1020 and 1921 and the cost rangedfrom £729 for weatherboard construction and: £780 to £820 for brick construction. 2. Fifty-one of the homes have been sold. In reply to the second, portion of this question it is again considered it would not be reasonable to disclose information which is private to the purchasers. 3. 5 and 6. The answers to these questions, are set out in the following table: - 4. AH the houses, except No. 78, are being offered for sale on the open market. The deposit required in such sales is at least 10 per cent, and the rate of interest charged is 4f per cent., over the period of the loan. The maximum term of a loan to a civilian is 37 years, but the actual period would be determined by the condition of the property and its probable future life. Homes on Lots 50 and 70 have actually been sold but the settlement is not yet finalized. It does not appear reasonable to disclose the sale price of these two houses. The value of the remaining vacant properties ranges between £1,450 and £1,700. The property on Lot 78 is not being offered for sale because of the special circumstances of the tenant. *Naval* Life-saving Equipment. {: #subdebate-16-0-s2 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: y asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Navy, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Has the Department of the Navy studied the British Admiralty report on life-saving equipment at sea, produced by a committee under Admiral Talbot in 1946, which revealed that in World War II. two-thirds of the total naval casualties were due to drowning and exposure and that only 10 per cent. of Carley floats ever became waterborne? 1. What action has been taken to implement in the Royal Australian Navy the committee's finding that inflatable dinghys and rafts, which include " tent " protection from wind, sun and sea, should replace Carley floats as standard equipment? 2. In view of the finding that Carley floats in World War II. were waterborne in only 10 per cent, of instances why do photographs of Australian warships reveal that these are still standard equipment ten years after the finding of an expert committee? {: #subdebate-16-0-s3 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
Minister for Primary Industry · LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP -- The Minister for the Navy has supplied the following answers to the honorable member's questions : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. The twenty-man inflatable liferaft - which is equipped with tent protection - has been adopted as the principal life-saving equipment in the Royal Australian Navy and is supplied to newly constructed ships and those which have been converted. In due course all ships will be so equipped. 2. Some of the older ships in service are still fitted with other types of life-saving equipment pending the opportunity to carry out the necessary modifications to accommodate more modern equipment. {:#subdebate-16-1} #### Commonwealth Cabs {: #subdebate-16-1-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: s asked the Minister for Supply, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Does the Commonwealth Government own a Ford Customline motor car bearing number plate C74746? 1. Was it waiting recently in a street in Richmond, Victoria, for two hours? 2. If so, who was using this car on thi* occasion? 3. Has any Australian Labour party member of the Commonwealth Parliament used this cai in Richmond, Victoria, since the 10th Decern ber, 1955? 4. Has the honorable member for Yarra in the Commonwealth Parliament ever had this or any other car allocated for his use in Richmond, Victoria? 5. Under what circumstances is a private member of the Commonwealth Parliament entitled to the use of a Commonwealth car ? {: #subdebate-16-1-s1 .speaker-JOI} ##### Mr Beale:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. Yes, but not for two hours. 2. **Mrs. Calwell.** 3. Yos, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition,, the Honorable A. A. Calwell, M.P., in the course of his official duties. 4. No. 5. In capital cities between the hours of 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. from their homes to airport* and railway stations when travelling to and from Parliament. Garden Island Naval Establishment. {: #subdebate-16-1-s2 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Navy, *uponnotice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Is it a fact that some two months ago a barbecue was held at the Garden Islandnaval establishment? 1. Was the purpose of this function to raise funds to meet the cost of repairing a yacht which had. been presented to the Admiral'sYacht Club? 2. Was any expenditure incurred by the Commonwealth with respect to the arranging or conducting of the barbecue; if so, what wa* the amount? {: #subdebate-16-1-s3 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The Minister for the Navy has supplied the following answers to the honorable member's questions : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. A barbecue was held at Garden Island on Saturday, 17th March. 1. No. There is no such institution as the Admiral's Yacht Club. The purpose was to raise funds for the Australian branch of theRoyal Navy Sailing Association to meet maintenance costs for" the yacht *Samuel Pepys,* which has been loaned by the parent body to the Australian Division of the Royal Navy Sailing Association. The Royal Australian Navy sponsors the Australian division of theRoyal Navy Sailing Association as sailing experience for officers and men is most valuable training for the naval service. 2. Yes. Garden Island employees were employed in erecting and dismantling a marquee, some duckboards and lights. Separate time and work sheets were not kept for this work, so it is impossible to say what these comparative trifles cost. All other expenses were net by the association. Farm Lands in Northern Territory. {: #subdebate-16-1-s4 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr Bryant: t asked the Minister for Territories, *upon notice -* 1.What land is available and suitable for small-scale single-unit farming in the Northern Territory! {: type="1" start="2"} 0. What steps does an interested applicant take to obtain land in the Territory? 1. What qualifications arc required of applicants for such land ? {: #subdebate-16-1-s5 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
Minister for Territories · CURTIN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Apart from existing holdings which may become available from time to time by way of private sale or transfer, there are three blocks of land in the Adelaide River agricultural area available for application Wider perpetual agricultural lease at the present time,The areas are599, 767, and822 acres respectively and were advertised in the *Commonwealth Gazette* on the 20th January, 1955, but were not applied for. Further leases of agricultural and pastoral land will be advertised us and when land has been inspectel and decisions takenon subdivision and conditions of leases. 1. A person interested in applying for one of the three blocks mentioned should obtain an application form from the Lands Branch of the Administration at Darwin or the Department of Territories, Canberra, and submit an application to the Administrator of the Northern Territory, Darwin. The availability of any further leases will be notified in the Commonwealth and Northern Territory *Gazettes* and in the case of leases of pastoral land, in the metropolitan daily and country press ofall States. Applications received are considered by the Land Board of the Territory at publicearings at which applicants havean opportunity to support their applications. , 2. Apart from a minimum age limit of eighteen years, no specific qualifications are required of applicants but thel and Board recommends the most suitable applicant in each case, having regard to experience, suitability to hold the lease, and capacity to meet the necessary capital outlay. {:#subdebate-16-2} #### Victoria Park Drill Hall {: #subdebate-16-2-s0 .speaker-JYO} ##### Mr Cleaver: r asked the Minister for the Army, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Have complaints been received by Head-quarters, Western Command, regarding the use of the Army establishment in Statestreet, Victoria Park, Western Australia, by a mounted infantry unit equipped with noisy vehicles? 2.Is this drill hall closely surrounded by private residences and narrow streets? 1. If so, is its location now unsuitable, and are any plans in hand to transfer the unit concerned to a more appropriate site and buildings ? 2. What is the present position with regard to army establishments in Western Australia, and when will training requirements be satis- fied by the provision of new buildings? {: #subdebate-16-2-s1 .speaker-K7J} ##### Mr Cramer:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. The C.M.F. training depot at the corner of State-street and Washington-street. Victoria Park, is in a residential area surrounded by norma] suburban streets of about sixty feet width, built up as is normal for a suburban area. 2. The location is not considered to be unsuitable and no plans are in hand to transfer the unit concerned. 3. Two C.M.F. training depots require extensions and there is a need for three further depots. Having regard to the many high priority army works projects awaiting execution, it is not practicable to forecast when these further requirements will be met. {:#subdebate-16-3} #### War Service Homes {: #subdebate-16-3-s0 .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin:
KINGSFORD-SMITH, NEW SOUTH WALES n asked the Minister representing the minister for National Development, *upon notice -* {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Will he give consideration before the next Budget to increasing the loan for war service homes to £3,500? 1. Is it a fact that, since the loan was fixed at £2,750 two years ago, the cost of building a home has increased by at least 20 per cent.? {: #subdebate-16-3-s1 .speaker-KZE} ##### Mr Roberton:
CP -- The Minister for National Development has supplied the following answer to the honorable member's questions : - >The questions asked by the honorable member relate to Government policy and the financial appropriations which are required to implement Government policy. As the honorable member is aware, it is not usual parliamentary practice to express Government policy upon questions and answers.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 6 June 1956, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.