House of Representatives
11 May 1961

23rd Parliament · 3rd Session

Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay) took the chair at 10.30 a.m., and read prayers.

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Mr. J. R. FRASER presented a petition from certain citizens of the Australian Capital Territory praying that the Government will take immediate action to defer the rental increases on government-owned dwellings in Canberra and immediately promote an inquiry into rentals in relation to costs of living in Canberra and the need for the establishment of a Canberra basic wage.

Petition received.

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– I desire to ask the Minister for Health a question without notice. In view of the fact that the Government has decided to proceed with a bill dealing with the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, about the contents of which measure the Opposition as yet knows nothing, will the Minister agree to refer the measure, after he has made his secondreading speech, to a select committee of the Parliament so that a proper investigation of the contents of the bill may be made between now and the next sittings in August? I have in mind - and I put the point of view briefly - that a select committee might sit and act for short periods and take evidence in private. It would then be in a position to inform the whole Parliament of the merits of the bill. As it is, we find ourselves unable to make investigations over the coming weekend, and because we think that this bill is of such importance that we should not be asked to pass it without an opportunity to examine it as fully as we should like to do, I put forward my proposals for the appointment of a select committee.

Dr Donald Cameron:

– This is a matter which has been very carefully considered and fully discussed by the Government. The bill is not an involved measure. It is quite a simple bill. It does not involve the appointment to the proposed commission of interests which might be thought to be concerned with other aspects of the provision of pharmaceutical products. However, as the request comes from the Leader of the Opposition, I will consult with the Prime Minister on whether there is any necessity for taking the action which the honorable gentleman suggests.

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– Has the Minister for the Interior recently received a request from Western Australia for the provision of improved meteorological services, particularly for the installation of cyclone warning services? If he has, will he consider urgently meeting this request in view of the disastrous effects of recent cyclones in the area - effects which could be lessened by adequate warning of coming cyclones?

Minister for the Interior · FORREST, WESTERN AUSTRALIA · LP

– I have received a request from the Pilbara Road Board for more cyclone warnings. I would point out, however, that a cyclone warning system is operating in the north-west of Western Australia and I believe it operates reasonably satisfactorily. I will examine the existing system to see whether some improvement can be made. The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology intends to put an automatic station on Ashmore reef, and this might effect some improvement. I point out, however, that no matter how much warning of cyclones is given, some damage almost inevitably results.

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– I should like to ask a question of the Minister for Trade. Has the Government given its final word on the timber industry? If so, does this mean that this great industry is to languish into insensibility before the Government acts? Is the Minister aware that the position has worsened even since the Department of Trade rejected an appeal by the industry for emergency import restrictions a few weeks ago? Is he further aware that 103 timber mills have closed down in the four eastern States, with 3,000 dismissals-


– Order! I think the honorable member is now proceeding to give information. I suggest he ask hi* question.


– If. is: necessary to give this: so.ct of information! to, the Minister.

Me. SPEAKER.-Order!

Minister for Trade · MURRAY, VICTORIA · CP

– The. critical facts, are that the, Australian timber industry had geared, itself- to. the production, o£ timber for. a, rate of housing, commencements’ in excess of 100,000 a year - a figure never before approached. In; addition, it was known that, after a certain, date- there would be freedom to. import, timber. That announcement was. made many, months, before the. abolition, qf. import licensing.

The- circumstances of the present- time are- that the timber industry, attributing all op- part of its- trouble- to importations, took the- proper course of making an approach to> the- Department- of Trade, which really means- to me to have its case for a curtailment of imports- by some means- probably higher tariffs - referred! to; the; deputy chairman of. the. Tariff Board. That was done with, timber and1 separately, with: plywood. The. deputy; chairman of the Tariff Board heard- all the evidence- that the: timber industry and plywood industry submitted) to him.. The evidence brought out quite clearly the fact* that importations of timber and plywood, are. diminishing: at ai very fast rate. The deputy chairman reported: to the Government through- me.- that, there: was not in his judgment a; case.- for; a. temporary duty on, timber,, and that, ai temporary duty would not solve the problems of the’ timber industry.

It is recognized” that the problems of the timber industry- arise from two particular circumstances;- first; that there has been a fall-off in- demand- of which every one is aware; and secondly; that there really was an- over-gearing- of this Australian industry to- the reasonable expectation of a market. The Government is known to be actively concerning-, itself - not merely thinking but acting- to re-stimulate home-building. It never was within the Government’s economic policies to reduce, the level’ of homebuilding, and now it. is taking quite specific steps to re-stimulate home-building. I believe that the- Australians timber industry will be proved to have been- re-established on a’ much sounder basis in the comparatively near future as a result of these policies-.

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– Has the Minister for Territories received any representations from people’ in the- Territory of- Papua- and’ New Guinea- to announce a target) date for handing over progressively powers for selfgovernment? Has such a request been received- from- any- group- or organization? If so, can the Minister: explain to them the problems of forcing self-government on people, too quickly?


– The short answer to the. first of the questions, asked by the honorable. member is ,,”‘No. “. We have, not received any representations or requests from any of the spokesmen, of the indigenous people of our Territory, of Papua and New Guinea for early self-government. Rather, the whole of their discussions with us - and those discussions have been constant and frequent - have been along the lines that- they wish* Australia to stay in the Territory and- to continue to> give them the help, and: assistance they; feell they need. The attitude. we> have- expressed Sit that: so long as they, feel the need: for our help, we will give them; that! help. At the same time’, I should make it quite1 clear;, lest there be- some misunderstanding or misinterpreta-tion, that the Australian Government has clearly committed iitself’ to» the principle of self-determination, and has already, set in course a chain- of constitutional reforms which can’ leat tto self-government1. But I want to make this1 point - because I’ think it is– worth making- - that self-determination, which means- the right to choose freely; does not- mean- that you can choose only one particular - course. That’ right surely leaves to the indigenous people a choice between several possibilities, and so far as they have expressed it, up- to the present, their choice is to continue to receive our help and guidance in their advancement.

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– L direct a question to the Minister for Primary IIndustry.. The honorable gentleman will recall that last October, in answer to a question, he told me that’ the. Government was- not considerng selling wheat to India oon: deferred terms; As it has now been- decided! to sell’ wheat to China on deferred terms) what, are the different circumstances- which caused the

Government to refuse to guarantee a sale by the. Australian Wheat Board toa member country of the Commonwealthof Nations on deferred terms, yet to guarantee it in the case of China?

Minister for Primary Industry · FISHER, QUEENSLAND · CP

Mr. Speaker, I just cannot recall the exact wording of my reply to the honorable member, but I said the Government would not guarantee any sales on credit to any country; and that is the policy of this Government: We are not guaranteeing any deferred-term sales to any country. We have set up the Australian Wheat Board as the marketing authority, and we leave it. to the board’ to makes- its commercial sales accordingly.. So far as the sale to India last year is concerned, the honorable member might know, or he might not know, that a condition was laid down by the United States of America that India was to buy a specified quantity on commercial terms, and the commercial terms are necessarily stipulated by the United’ States before. P.L.480 sales are allowed. That applies in. almost every case in which deliveries, of wheat are made by America. As to the present sale of wheat in China, I understand that the Australian Wheat Board has effected a sale to China on deferred terms. That matter was decided entirely by the Wheat Board and. not by this Government.

Mr Whitlam:

– Did the Government approve arrangements with the Reserve Bank or the Export Payments: Insurance Corporation?


– It is for the Wheat Board to determine whether it uses the insurance of the Export Payments Insurance Corporation or any other method of finance. The honorable member may know that we have amended corporation conditions so that anybody can use them if he so desires, but in this case it is entirely a matter concerning commercial selling by the Australian Wheat Board.

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– Yesterday, in a ques tion to the Minister for Repatriation, I directed, attention to what I regard as an anomaly. As. there appeared to be some misunderstanding, I now wish to explain that a service pensioner is entitled to special benefits including treatment for non-war caused disabilities in repatriation general hospitals, but ex-service men and women in receipt of a social service age pensions are not entitled to those benefits. I now ask the Minister: What actions should be taken by the ex-service age pensioner to qualify for those benefits?

Minister for Repatriation · EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP

– I may have misunderstood the purport of the honorable member’s question yesterday. I can set his mind at rest at once on this matter. Any ex-serviceman or ex-servicewoman who is receiving an age pension, and who served in a theatre of war, is entitled to transfer to the service pension, and would be well advised to do so in order to qualify for medical treatment in repatriation hospitals for conditions which may not be due to war service. It is quite a simple matter to transfer from the age pension to the service pension. The applicant has only to complete the appropriate form, which can be obtained from my department. The department will make all other necessary arrangements with the Department of Social Services for the transfer.

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– My question is directed to the Minister for Health. Has the Government considered increasing the. Commonwealth payment in respect of a consultation with a medical practitioner, which has stood at 6s. since themedical benefits scheme was instituted? Did not the Governments action last year in increasing the amount of the Commonwealth payment in respect of surgical operations show that the Government realized that the costs of medical services generally had substantially increased? If this consideration has not been taken into account in connexion with the 6s. contribution towards meeting the cost of consultations, will the Government give serious attention to it when the Budget is being prepared, with a view to increasing the amount of the contribution?

Dr Donald Cameron:

– Increases were made last year in Commonwealth benefits and fund benefits for what are, in the main, costly services, such as surgical procedures and operations. This was done because it was felt that the payments had dropped to a lower proportion of the total cost than was desirable. At the same time

I think most of the funds, certainly the larger ones, raised the amount of the fund benefit for ordinary consultations, although there was no movement in the Commonwealth contribution. The question whether that contribution should be reviewed is, of course, one that can be considered only in connexion with medical benefits as a whole, and with a view to Budget considerations generally.

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– I wish to ask a question of the Minister for Trade. I understood the right honorable gentleman to say in this House yesterday that he expected to receive the report of the deputy chairman of the Tariff Board on canned chicken today, and that the report would be considered without delay. Is the Minister in a position at this stage to disclose the contents of that report?


– I gave a reply to the honorable member for Bendigo yesterday in respect of this matter, in which the honorable member for Mitchell has interested himself over all the years that he has been in this Parliament. The report of -he deputy chairman of the Tariff Board was due to-day. In fact, it arrived at the Department of Trade at 11 o’clock last night. It may be of interest to honorable members to know that the Department of Trade officials normally work until about that hour at night. I had an opportunity this morning to take a quick look at the report. I will have it tabled in the House to-day. The deputy chairman took evidence from those who claimed they were interested in the matter and had been adversely affected. He found that the imports of canned chicken were a relatively small proportion of the Australian consumption and that import trends were downwards. He reported that any adverse effect from imports was, in his opinion, transient, and that processors were unlikely to experience appreciable competition from imports before the normal Tariff Board report on this matter was made. The deputy chairman therefore concluded by advising me that, in his judgment, no urgent action was necessary. I shall add some figures which illustrate his point: The Australian demand for chicken meat is about 85,000,000 lb., dressed weight, a year. The total imports of canned chicken over the last eight months have amounted to 3,000,000 lb. and are diminishing.

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– Has the Prime Minister received the report from the Public Service Board concerning staff arrangements in the various Commonwealth departments? Will he give an assurance to the House that no action will be taken to effect any large-scale reduction of the staff employed in the Commonwealth Public Service?

Prime Minister · KOOYONG, VICTORIA · LP

– I have not received the report yet. I will inquire when it is likely to arrive.

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– Last week, the Minister for Trade annouced in the House that he expected to be able to make a statement this week in regard to the Tariff Board inquiry on the importation of vegetable oils. As this is an important matter to the farmers concerned, particulary those who are interested in sowing linseed, I ask the right honorable gentleman whether he is yet in a position to make any statement.


– For commercial reasons, I think it has never been the practice to state with precision when a Tariff Board report will be released. However, I can assure the honorable member, who is very interested in this matter, that the report will be released on a very early occasion.

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– I ask the Minister for Primary Industry whether it is a fact that the Government will be called upon this year to subsidize wheat prices to the extent of many millions of pounds in order to ensure that wheat-growers receive the cost of production. If so, what are the terms of the sale of wheat to continental China? What will it cost the Government to subsidize such wheat sales?


– Under the Wheat Stabilization Act, a payment of about ls. 6d. a bushel will be made to the growers on the 16th of this month in respect of wheat for the 1959-60 crop, the sale of which is almost completed. When the final payment is calculated it will be necessary for the Commonwealth to provide approximately £3,000,000 to comply with the act. I would imagine that no subsidy will be payable in respect of wheat sold to China because that quantity will be in excess of the quantity of 100,000,000 bushels to which the guarantee applies.

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– I direct a question to the Minister for Immigration. Whereas, for 50 years, the Fairbridge Society has helped deprived children from Britain to start life afresh in the younger countries of the Commonwealth, is it now a fact that this source of immigrants has dried up since the passing of the Children Act in England in 1948? Has this fact allowed institutions such as the Fairbridge Farm School at Molong in New South Wales to become of great assistance to Australian migration policy by housing and training children of large families coming from Britain? What financial contribution does the Commonwealth Government make for this service to the migration programme?

Minister for Immigration · ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · LP

– I do not think that the honorable gentleman is quite correct in saying, if I heard him aright, that the source of child migrants under the Fairbridge farm scheme is drying up. There is still some flow of child migration, though it is not so large as one would like. As I told the House some time ago, the principal reason is that the local government authorities in the United Kingdom now give virtually no encouragement to the emigration of young children. On the other hand, in order to stimulate the movement of children to Australia under the Fairbridge scheme, a new plan has been in operation in the last two years and, according to my own knowledge and observation, it has been working quite satisfactorily. Very briefly, the children of mothers and fathers who migrate from Britain to Australia are, in certain circumstances, placed in the Fairbridge homes, such as the one in the electorate which my honorable friend represents, and others at Pinjarra in Western Australia and elsewhere in Australia. After the parents have established themselves economically in this country, they claim the children and they resume their normal family life. This, although it is not filling the Fairbridge homes to capacity, nonetheless is allowing the scheme to operate at least at something more than half pressure, and therefore is to that degree fairly satisfactory. According to my information, this will continue.

I think I understood the honorable gentleman to ask a question about Commonwealth financial contributions. This Government is at the moment considering what ways and means can be adopted to stimulate further child migration. No decisions have been arrived at yet, but, as the honorable gentleman may be already aware, it has been the practice for some time for children coming out under the Fairbridge scheme to receive the benefit of child endowment on arrival hi Australia, and also to receive an equipment allowance of £10 each after coming to this country. That is the Commonwealth’s contribution. In addition to that, the State governments have made quite generous contributions under this scheme. They have paid sums ranging approximately from 7s. 6d. to 16s. a week, and the contributions made by the Western Australian Government have reached as high a figure as 33s. 6d. a week. That has lately been reduced, but nonetheless I think that on the score of finance it can be claimed that both the Commonwealth and the States have at least not been ungenerous in what they have done. In conclusion-

Mr Curtin:

– Cannot the Minister come around to-morrow?


– Order!


– As the honorable member for Calare has one of these Fairbridge homes in his constituency, this matter is, I know, of some concern to him, and it may be of concern also to other honorable members who are interested in child migration from the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the House may be glad to know that that distinguished man, our former Governor-General, Viscount Slim, has become chairman of the Fairbridge Society in Great Britain. I have no doubt that under his dynamic leadership, to which we here are so accustomed, this great cause will be given a further impetus.

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Mr Clyde Cameron:

– 1 wish to ask a question of the Minister for Trade. I ask him whether the recent sale of wheat to China by the Australian Wheat Board was insured by the Export Payments Insurance Corporation. Is it true that the corporation, under the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Act, is not committed to enter into a particular contract of insurance unless the contract is “ in accordance with policies approved or determined by the Minister “ under section 1 1 of the act? If these .are facts, will the Minister state whether the sale of wheat to China was insured under the provisions of the Export Payments Insurance Corporation Act? If this is so, when did he approve of the insurance policies?


– The terms under which -the Export Payments Insurance Corporation underwrites .transactions are generally in conformity with the statute passed by the Parliament, but in each case the commissioner, who has the benefit of the advice of a consultative council of approximately (twelve very distinguished Australian businessmen ;and public servants, exercises his judgment. I think there is a reservation that the Minister may give a .general approval. In no instance since the establishment of the Export Payments Insurance Corporation has my approval been sought with respect to any transaction, but I remind the honorable member that, by an amendment of the legislation which was passed only a couple of weeks ago, this House approved of the principle that, beyond the normal transactions, there could be transactions underwritten by the Government in cases in which it was deemed to be in the public interest. That amendment is not yet in operation, and neither in respect of this transaction nor any other have I been asked to decide whether it is in the public interest “that the Government, as distinct from the corporation, should assume a responsibility.

When speaking in this place, I have made it clear that the Government will not underwrite a terms transaction for the sale of -wheat to China. I understand that the Export Payments Insurance Corporation, which is required by statute to conduct its business in such -a way that, over a period, it neither makes a profit -nor suffers a loss, has underwritten some transactions tor the sale of products other than wheat to mainland ‘China. Honorable -members opposite interject, but I remind them that this was done under a law for which they voted, under a law which every member of the Australian Labour Party in this House voted for and approved.

Mr Cairns:

– Why should not they do it?


– The honorable member for Yarra asks, “ Why should not they do it? “ Mainland -China is a Communist country, so the honorable member for Yarra is instantly articulate to know why we should not underwrite a transaction with a Communist country. In my experience, never since the honorable member for Yarra ousted his predecessor, Mr. Stanley Keon, has there been an instance in which his voice has not been raised to support anything that would help the Communists in this country or in any other part of the world.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– No wonder Harold Holt is laughing at you.


– ‘Order! 1 must ask the House to come to order.

Mr Whitlam:

– You are becoming as touchy as the Treasurer.


– Order! The Deputy Leader of the Opposition should set an example and refrain from interjecting while the Speaker is .on his feet. Those interjections are completely out of order. A majority of honorable members want to hear the answers being given by Ministers, and if a minority are not prepared to behave in an orderly manner when a Minister is replying, there is only one thing to do with them.

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– By way of preface to a question addressed to the Minister for Health, I point out that many honorable members have asked about the free availability of the expensive drug cortisone to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. I ask the Minister whether cortisone is a .free pharmaceutical benefit to sufferers of various complaints, but not to rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. Is this still the position? If the answer is in the affirmative, will the Minister consider making cortisone a free drug for those unfortunate people who are afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis?

Dr Donald Cameron:

– As the honorable gentleman no doubt is aware, the indications for the use of a drug are governed by the advice of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. Cortisone is what is known as a restricted drug. That is to say, on the advice of the committee, it is restricted as a pharmaceutical benefit to the treatment of certain conditions. These do not cover the maintenance treatment of arthritis. However, the indications for the use of cortisone have been widened steadily by the committee since the drug was first placed on the list. The Government receives advice from the committee from time to time. I think that when cortisone was first put on the list it was a pharmaceutical benefit for about four conditions, whereas it is now available for about 27 conditions. As fresh knowledge is acquired and as fresh advice is received from the committee, the Government acts in accordance with that advice.

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– Does the Treasurer agree with the reply to the question that was asked yesterday of the Minister for Labour and National Service to the effect that rising unemployment is directly attributable to the falling off in demand in both the housing and motor car industries, and that this falling off in demand’ is the result of the Government’s policy? How can he reconcile a policy which reduces demand in the building industry with the statement that was made a few minutes ago by the Minister for Trade that there had been over-production in some sections of the building industry? How can he justify this contradiction? How can he justify-


– Order! The honorable Member will direct his question.


– How can he justify-


– Order! The honorable member will direct his question and will not introduce argument..


– Canthe Treasurer reconcile the statement by the Minister for Labour and National Service with the im plications of the statement that was made by the Minister for Trade?


– Unlike honorable gentleman opposite, whether in government or in. opposition, I am very happy to say that I have no difficulty in reconciling my views with the views of my Cabinet colleagues. We live in perfect harmony together.

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– Can the Minister for Primary Industry advise us of the result of the recent conference of the main woolgrowing organizations which was held in Melbourne this week in an effort to arrive at a compromise on the levy to be made for wool promotion?


– A conference of the two main wool-growing organizations was held, and they have agreed to recommend to their members that a compromise levy, if I may use the term, of 12s. a bale should be adopted’ for one year only. This levy is to take effect from the first sales of the next selling season, in other words, from the August sales onwards. Of course, that is only a recommendation by the organizations to their members, but I hope that it will be implemented. The12s. a bale includes 2s.. that is now being collected for research. In effect, 10s. will be for promotion and 2s. will be for research.

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– My question is addressed to the Postmaster-General. Will he ask the Australian Broadcasting Commission to review its decision to close down its four frequency modulation broadcasting stations? Will he bring home to the Australian Broadcasting Commission the consequences of its decision in breaking faith with listeners whose frequency modulation sets would be rendered useless, and in disappointing the great number of listeners who appreciate the clarity and fidelity of this medium?

Postmaster-General · DAWSON, QUEENSLAND · CP

– The position regarding the proposed closing of the frequency modulation stations is this: First of all, some considerable time ago an investigation was made by the Australian Broadcasting Control Board into the possible use of frequency modulation. Experimental programmes have for some time been put out by the department, and it was desired to see whether there was any point in retaining the frequencies on which these stations were operating. The investigation made by the board covered a wide field of manufacturers and licensees. As the result of that inquiry it was found that there was no feeling anywhere that there was a need for the retention of these frequencies as there was likely to be little use made of frequency modulation except in an experimental way for some considerable time. Therefore, when the committee investigating the use of frequencies generally was asked to have a look at the television position, it recommended that two frequencies be made available for television purposes in the band in which the frequency modulation stations had been operating. It is perfectly obvious that the use of these frequencies for television would serve an infinitely greater number of people than those carrying out experiments in frequency modulation. It was therefore decided to make those channels available for television purposes if and when required. It should also be understood that if at some time in the future, problematically, it becomes necessary to continue with some form of frequency modulation service, provision can be made in the ultrahigh frequency band for that to be done.

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– I ask the Minister for Defence: Will he undertake to have an investigation made into the process of food preservation known as accelerated freezedrying, for use within the services, particularly the Army, with a view to giving that service better food in the field, a wider range of operation and a lightening of the load which the soldier has to carry on his back?

Minister for Defence · DENISON, TASMANIA · LP

– The honorable member has raised a very interesting question. Being interested in everything to do with the Army, and being a serving officer of some distinction in the Citizen Military Forces, he is constantly bringing these things to my attention, and I shall be very pleased to go into the matter he has raised to-day. However, I cannot imagine that the food we give our troops will make them better fighters than they have been in the past.

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– Has the Minister for Primary Industry received a request from the tobacco-growers of Queensland for an investigation into the method of sales of tobacco leaf that is operating to-day, and about which this industry is very concerned?


– I have received no request in the terms stated by the honorable member. Actually, during the time of the Brandon sales a deputation from the north visited me and asked me to try to arrange for the percentages to be declared as early as possible. That was, in effect, the substance of the request at that ‘;me. But I have received a request that the Minister for Customs and Excise and I should meet representatives next week when they come to Canberra for a growers’ council meeting.

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– My question is addressed to the Minister for Social Services. From time to time, I have had cause to make representations to him in respect of social service benefits. Is he in a position to inform me when those representations are likely to be considered?

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

– I am well aware that the honorable member for Wimmera takes a keen personal interest in the welfare of those who are in receipt of social service benefits in his own electorate and throughout the Commonwealth. I am also aware that the honorable member for Wimmera is an active member of the Government Members’ Social Services Committee, in which he plays a very prominent part. I can assure the honorable member that all the representations that are made to me from time to time are very carefully considered, and that when the Budget is being drawn up every aspect of social services is closely examined. The proof of that is to be found in the progress which has been made during the last twelve years, since social service benefits have increased in aggregate cost to the Commonwealth Government from £80,000,000 in 1949 to no less than £330,000,000 this year.

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Tariff Board Report


– I lay on the table a report of the Tariff Board on the following subject: -


Ordered to be printed.

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Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay:

– I have received a letter from the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) proposing that a definite matter of urgent public importance be submitted to the House for discussion, namely -

The sacrifice of Australian sovereignty constituted by the undertakings given by the Government to the Internationa] Monetary Fund in negotiating the recent loan from that body. 1 call upon those members who approve of the proposed discussion to rise in their places. (More than the number of members required by the Standing Orders having risen in their places) -

East Sydney

– There could be no more important subject to engage the attention of this Parliament than the sacrifice of Australia’s sovereignty resulting from the action of the Government in its recent negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a loan. This action constitutes, in my opinion, a betrayal of Australia’s interests by this Government, because whatever differences of opinion may exist between individual members of the Australian community, I think that there will be general agreement that whenever decisions are to be made affecting the domestic policy or the affairs of this country they should be made in our own Parliament by our own responsible elected representatives and not made by an international body or group of financial interests.

In order to understand what damage has been done to Australia and its future as a result of the Government’s act it is necessary to relate briefly the circumstances associated with the Bretton Woods agreement under which the International Monetary Fund was established. It is perfectly true that a Labour government of which I was a member - and I anticipate some of the criticism which the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) will level at me for my action to-day - negotiated the Bretton Woods agreement on behalf of Australia. But the Bretton Woods agreement was a keenly debated and argued question in the ranks of the Labour Party, and it is common knowledge that there was a great difference of opinion as to whether it was a wise thing for Australia to accept membership of the International Monetary Fund under that agreement.

The Labour Party was fairly evenly divided upon the matter. Even the Prime Minister of the day, Mr. Chifley, recognized that there were grave dangers for Australia in accepting membership under the agreement but he decided, as the majority of the Labour Party did at the time, that because Australia was a great trading nation it would be rather unwise for it to remain outside the agreement. In any case, for whatever satisfaction there is in it, I am able to say that the view which I then expressed publicly in broadcasts and in the written word, urging the Labour Party to reject membership under the agreement, has been vindicated by the action of the Government. That action proves that I was right when I said originally that membership under the agreement would give an opportunity for an international financial group or body to interfere in the domestic affairs of Australia.

The Bretton Woods agreement was designed to benefit a number of creditor nations at the termination of the war. It sought to get exchange rigidity, and also sought to remove tariff and other trade barriers. Now, as I have said, the Labour Party was fairly evenly divided upon the question of membership. The act that has now been perpetrated by the Government is, in my opinion, the act of a desperate Government, because the Government evidently recognizes that there is to be a continuing drain on our overseas reserves. I read recently in a number of places that it is expected that our overseas reserves will continue to drain away until September next, and the drawing from the International Monetary Fund is to be used as a guarantee against a complete breakdown in regard to our overseas reserves during that period. Despite the fact that the Government itself feels that the position is so desperate that it had to approach the International

Monetary Fundfor some assistance,the Treasurer continuesto assure the Australian community thatthe Australian economy is in a state of solid prosperity.If we were enjoying solid prosperity there would “be no occasion for the Government to approach the International Monetary Fund, because the International MonetaryFund deals only in regardto overseas reserves with cases of emergency.

The question ariseswhetherthis Governmenthassacrificed the sovereignty of Australia in making the arrangements ithas madewith theInternational Monetary Fund. Ofcourse,the Treasurer saysthat the arrangementsmade withthe fund involve onlythe furnishing of information to the fund, and do not constitute the givingof any undertakings or guarantees. It is rather interesting to notethatthe Treasurer’s announcementof the completion of this loan arrangement was made on 27th April and that on 2nd May questions were asked by two of my colleagues in the Labour Party seeking information regarding what guaranteeshadbeen given to the International Monetary Fund. It was not until some days later that the Treasurer produced what was called the “ Memorandum of Intentions “.

In the Memorandum of Intentions - and I should imagine that the word “intentions “ refers to how the Government proposes to act in thefuture - we see the evidenceofwhat I regard as guarantees to the International Monetary Fund given by the Treasurer onbehalf of theGovernment. The Government has undertaken to the International Monetary Fund that therewill he no re-imposition of import restrictions by Australia. The Government has also indicated that itproposes to keep down internal costs in Australia by opposing any adjustments of ‘wages, because if that were not the case why did the Treasurer in this Memorandum of Intentions directthe attentionof the International Monetary Fund to the action which the Government had taken - and no doubt the policy which “itintends toproceed with - to oppose anyupward adjustment of the wage levelin this country. The Government also indicated tothe international Monetary Fund-or rathergave a guaranteeto it - that it would balance the Budget and that this would be done by the imposition of additional taxation if that were required. It guaranteed that the higher interest rates prevailing in this country will be maintained. What , probably is the most important guarantee of all that the Government has given to the International Monetary Fund was a guarantee that the credit squeeze which is crippling industry and affecting every section of the Australian community will remain in operation untilJune, 1962.

Is it not rather strange that recently, when the Treasurer announced changes in the Government’s policy as it had been declared to be in November last year, he said in this Parliament that circumstances change from day to day - meaning that the Government had to be free to alter its policy according to how circumstances changed? But with the guarantee it has now given to the International Monetary Fund, no matter what situation develops in Australia the credit squeeze will remain until at least June, . 1962.

Let us examine the terms under which these loans are made available to governments, because the International Monetary Fund Exercises ; great disciplinary powers amongst the nations that are forced to borrowfrom it. We find that, according to the original agreement and as far as I am aware it has not since been amended, when the interestrateon theloanreaches 4 per cent. - with Australia, that will be within three years - the borrowing country con sults the fund about the repayment of the loan. If they fail to reach agreementby thetime the interest rate has reached 5 per cent. the fund is then free to impose any rate ofinterestit pleases.It is true that the fund may grant an extension of time. The fund itself is empowered to interfere in thedomestic policy of the borrowing nation. If the Treasurer denies that this is so. I refer him to his owndocument, Attachment C, in which the following statement appears: -

In consideration of the policies and intentions set forthinthe Memorandum . .. . theInternational Monetary Fund agrees to a stand-by arrangement–

That is the arrangement tolend an additional £45,000,000 tothe Australian Government - forthe support ofthose policies and intentions.

This meansthat itis only on thebasis ; of the Government’s guarantees that this standby amount of £45,000,000 is to be available to it.We have only some ofthe documents associatedwith this transaction before us, not all ofthem, so whoknows what took place at the preliminary discussions, or what guarantees and undertakings were given by Sir Roland Wilson in the preliminary negotiations forthisloan.Of course, the Treasurer claimed thattheGovernment has the right to change its policy. He said -

The Government’sfreedom of action to change its policies tomeet changing circumstances isin no way limited; but . . . should any major shift in the direction or emphasis of policy become necessary . . .the Australian Government would …… be ready to consultwith the fund and, ifnecessary,reach new understandings…..

What are the new (understandings other than new guarantees given by this Government? The Treasurer went on tosay -

TheGovernment reaffirms itsintentionnot to reimpose restrictions on trade or current payments except in theevent of a veryserious balance of payments emergency necessitating a major shift in policy.

Then he said there would be consultations with the fund and if further action were needed, major reliance would be placed on fiscal and monetary measures. Import controls are evidently not a permissible remedy available to this Government, Attachment C contains this statement -

Australia and ithe ‘Fund will remain in close consultation - . .

So there will be visits by fund officials to Australia and by Australian representatives to Washington, D.C. This reminds me of the occasion a number of years ago when we had a visit from an international financier, Sir Otto Niemeyer, and there as some similarity between the present situation and the situation thatexisted then. The document also stated -

In particular, Australia will keep the Fund informed of developments in the exchange, trade, credit and fiscal situation .. . ..

Of course, itis quite evident that the fund wants this information because it wants to keep a tag on this Government to see whether it is carrying out the guarantees it has given to the International Monetary Fund. On the question of whether the fund can interfere with the domestic affairs of a country let me refer to the Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bank of International Settle- ments, whichcontained the followingstate ment: -

Tomake ‘a’ real contribution to increased exchange stability–

That is oneoftheobjectives of the International MonetaryFund– thefund must gain aninfluence over all those essential factors which determine ‘the currency developments in thedifferent countries, and these are ‘largely of a domestic character.

This refers to public finance, nominal wages, tariffs and so on. The report said that these are matters over which the fund must gain some control. Thereport of the Australian delegation to ‘the Bretton Woods conference, whichwas ledby Professor Melville, said -

Provisionsof thefund would provide anopportunity for criticism of the domesticpolicy of countries and the discipline of members.

My time is almost exhausted, but let me refer to a pamphlet that was mentioned by one of my colleagues in an earlier debate. This is a pamphlet issued by the International Finance Section of the Department of Economics of the Princeton University, and it was issued as late as -March, 1961. Referring to the International Monetary Fund, it said this -

Lastly, the events of December, 1956 .

That was the year in which the United Kingdom sought assistance from the fund-

  1. . sovereign states, and even very important ones, /have to be prepared to agree to conditions when obtaining large-scale access to the fund’s resources.

In an address to the International Chambers of Commerce,Mr. Per Jacobsson said-

Assistance obtained by the United Kingdomin December, 1956, was granted on the basis of a declaration that strict financial and creditpolicies would be pursued; that quantitative restrictions would not be reimposed; and that the value ‘of the £1 sterling would be maintained.

It must be evident that the fund possesses the powers to interfere in a borrowing nation’s domestic affairs and intends to exercise them, and that this Government has sacrificed the sovereignty of this Parliament. Matters that oughtto be considered in the Australian Parliament have now been handedover for consideration and decision by this international financial group.

What will be the effect of this loan on the Australian community? The loan will be used to finance increased imports. In none of the documents presented by the Treasurer was mention made of the growing unemployment in this country, and that is oneof the problems that faces the Government.Yet we know that our unemployment continues to grow and Australian industries are being sacrificed to such an extent that the Australian Industries Development Association declared that within twelve months if there is no change of policy the country would be bankrupt. The “ Sun-Telegraph “ of 7th May saidUndertakings given by the Commonwealth Government to the International Monetary Fund before borrowing £78,000,000 look grim.

This financially embarrassed Government has sought the aid of the international pawnbrokers.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

Treasurer · Higgins · LP

– Fifteen minutes will be all too short a time in which to deal with this very important subject. The first point I make is that the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) appears to have led those who sit with him in the Australian Labour Party into a trap. He has sucked in the more gullible and the newer members of his party who apparently have not troubled to study the history of this issue inside the Labour Party.

In 1944, Australia with a Labour government then in office decided to accept membership in the Bretton Woods arrangement. In 1947, the Labour Prime Minister, Mr. Chifley, brought to this House the legislation in which Australia formally accepted membership in two important organizations, the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank. The International Finance Corporation and the International Development Association have since been added to this complex of international financial institutions. But I remind the House that these organizations when taken together represent one of the most hopeful developments in the post-war history of the world. Here we have 70 countries combining for peaceful purposes to assist the development of under-developed countries, to assist each other through temporary balance of payments difficulties, and to make a positive and constructive contribution to the peace ful progress and prosperity of the world. That potentiality was clearly recognized by this Parliament at the time. Indeed, as I shall show in a moment, there was overwhelming support from both sides of the House for the legislation when it was then introduced.

It is rather significant that in some quarters there has been a persistent campaign attacking these institutions, which not only include 70 governments representative of their countries but indeed exclude almost entirely any Communist penetration. There is only one country with a Communist form of government included in those 70 countries, and that is Jugoslavia. Consequently, there has been a constant campaign of attack and criticism from the Communists and from quarters sympathetic to Communist thought on these institutions.

I invite honorable gentlemen on the Opposition side to go back and examine those who have been attacking this institution and what it stands for, and see how they measure up in that kind of context. I think a few minutes should be spent on this past history because it is very revealing. At the time - the honorable member for East Sydney has frankly acknowledged it - there was a division of opinion inside the ranks of the Australian Labour Party. He was in the forefront of the campaign of criticism. At the time, he was a member of the Government as Minister for Transport, and he was publicly taking the platform and campaigning, as he can do so vigorously, against his own colleagues and his own Prime Minister, quite contrary to the normally accepted tradition of ministerial responsibility. It is interesting to recall that in that campaign he had alongside him at the time the present leader of the Labour Opposition (Mr. Calwell), who, I think, was then the Minister for Immigration and Information. Here they were campaigning against their colleagues. They found themselves in a minority. They fought it in the caucus and it was an open secret at the time that the Labour Prime Minister (Mr. Chifley) had to rebuke the honorable member for East Sydney and others who were talking about Australia being led into some snare in this way.

This same hoary old argument raised then about us losing our sovereignty in some way and becoming subservient to some other foreign interest has now been raised again. Has the United Kingdom, which has been the biggest borrower from it in the history of the International Monetary Fund, ever surrendered its sovereignty to this institution? It took a drawing and a stand-by arrangement which amounted in total to 100 per cent. of its quota when it needed it at the time. I do not remember honorable members opposite saying at the time that the United Kingdom, one of the world’s great leaders, had surrendered its sovereignty. When a drawing was made by the Labour Government when it was in office in 1949, did supporters of the present opposition say that the Government of the time had surrendered its sovereignty? Was there any feeling on their part that they had surrendered their sovereignty as an` Australian government?

This is so much nonsense, and we must therefore look back for an explanation as to how the honorable member for East Sydney, having failed in his campaign so significantly at that time, is now apparently in a position of sufficient strength inside the Labour Party to reverse the process of that time. What at that time was the leftwing rump of the Labour Party, unable to force its point of view on the majority, now - perhaps with the connivance of the leader of the Labour Party, who was then joined as a comrade in this issue, and others of like mind - is of sufficient strength to bring about this reversal of the attitude so firmly held by Mr. Chifley and other senior members of the Labour Party at that time. I have no doubt that there are still divisions on this issue; but the Australian people will be interested to know whether, although the divisions are still there, the majority influence has changed so dramatically that what was a left-wing influence, unsuccessful in those days, is the dominant influence in the caucus now.

I will say this for the present Leader of the Opposition: Having voiced his resistance to the proposals and regarding himself as a true Labour man, when the vote came he is recorded in “ Hansard “ as having voted with the majority. In fact, it was an overwhelming majority, only five members of the Parliament recording their votes against the proposal. But the honorable member for East Sydney, who has always held himself up to be the epitome of the true Labour man - where was he at that time? The light on the hill was shining brightly. The Leader of the Opposition saw the light on the hill. He realized that he had been misguided and he came along and joined the band of angels. But although the light on the hill was there, the honorable member for East Sydney was lurking somewhere in the dark. He did not show up for the vote, quite contrary to the tradition of the Labour caucus.

Let me turn to the essence of this case. We are told that because we have made this drawing, as have other countries before us, in some way there has been a surrender. Any one who has followed the reasoning behind the speeches delivered by leaders in this field over recent years will know that they are looking now to the International Monetary Fund in a very different light from that in which it was viewed years before. It is no longer looked upon as an organization to which one turns in situations of extremity. President Kennedy has already publicly said that he would not hesitate to go to the fund if it was necessary to maintain the strength of his currency. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Selwyn Lloyd, has made simliar public statements quite recently. On 6th February, Mr. Lloyd stated in the House of Commons -

The Fund has a useful role to play in helping countries with temporary balance-of-payments problems. In the past, there has, perhaps, been the mistake made of regarding that too much as a last resort. Payments into the Fund and drawings from the Fund should not be thought of as dramatic, something by way of a crisis measure, but as a normal financial operation.

That is the way we have viewed this operation - not as a matter of great stringency or great stress upon our resources, but as a prudent action to make it clear not only to people outside this country, but also to people inside it, that the Government is in a strong position to pursue the policies it has announced. In April of this year, Mr. Per Jacobsson, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, speaking at the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, pointed out that -

Assistance by the Fund is given for a variety of reasons, and should not be regarded as available merely in emergencies. The authorities in a number of countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States have also made it clear that they share this understanding and. that they- count on their country’s drawing rights in the Fund, as part of their effective reserves and that they would not hesitate if necessary to make use. of those rights.

The point I next wish- to- turn, to is the passage- in the- honorable, gentleman’s speech and the suggestions that have appeared1 in the press: that, by making this drawing; Australia-, has in. some’ way limited its- capacity to deal, effectively with its economic, problems as. they develop.- from time to time. I say quite emphatically this is not the case: fi? is quite proper that Australia”, when’ making a- drawing’ from1 the fund, and particularly when’ asking for the stand-by arrangement which goes beyond our first’ line of drawings with the’- fundi should give a general indication of its policy intentions in the light of’ conditions as it sees them at’ the time’”. We all know that should there lie any’ significant change of circumstances;, calling for.’ some drastic review df policies,- it would be proper for us to consult further with: the: fund”.

Australia is not the only country that’ must accept this kind of obligation, lt is a very proper, obligation which member nations of the fund accept, not only, in their own interest, but also in the interests’ of all Other members of the fund. Australia has an interest in this fund not only as a country which draws from it, but also as a contributor to it. If the fund is lending its resources to various countries, we want to ensure that- the borrowing countries will not spend the money like drunken, sailors - not that it is likely that any government would’ be irresponsible’ enough to1 do so. Just as we give some indication to’ our colleagues, the other members of this great international organization’, of our intentions, it is- entirely proper that when those other nations: borrow from the fund we in Australia should be made aware of their intention’s. In this way we1 can ensure that’ the fund will’ continue on> a soundly conducted basis.

Iri conclusion, Sir, I again emphasize that Australia set out its policy intentions at the present time. We said -

The basic aim is a: sustained- growth of population and production within a framework of a balance between domestic demand and available resources, and between external receipts and payments.

Does anybody challenge that statement.? We said that- these policy statements must- be understood as. applying only to conditions as’ they. then, appeared. But we said: that while outstanding bank advances would be limited to a. total consistent with financial stability under prevailing conditions, this would preclude more than a moderate increase in advances over the years. Our flexibility remains.-


– Order! The Minister’s time has expired’.

Melbourne Ports

– In attempting to rebut the claim made by the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) regarding the loss of Australian economic sovereignty, the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) began, as he so often does; by using diversionary tactics. He pointed, rightly, to the fact that there had been a division of opinion in the Labour Party on the original question whether Australia should subscribe to either the International. Bank for Reconstruction and Development, or the International Monetary Fund. I would suggest that, in any healthy political party there will be. differences from time to. time, and quite substantial differences, on economic policy.. As a matter of fact, the Treasurer is himself rather concerned, with differences and difficulties of that kind at the present time.

I also point out - and it is implicit in the articles of agreement of the International Monetary Fund itself’ - that there are differences of opinion among those nations which ultimately subscribed to the fund. This is apparent from the document itself. In this connexion I shall ask the Treasurer in a moment or two whether he will give some indication as to future movements that may take place, but before doing so I’ shall refer particularly to article XIV. of the agreement. There is a very extensive set of rules governing the International Monetary Fund. First, there are conditions governing, the transitional period. It was realized that the fund, could, not have been established at all unless allowance was made for the different economic circumstances of the various countries. The other article that T think is of some significance at the moment is article. VIII..

Part of the argument that is now being conducted concerns* Australian- sovereignty. and sovereignty is a word that permits of fine distinctions in interpretation. However, Australia still avails itself of the provisions of article XIV., which sets out the transitional arrangements. Recently, however, there has been a shift by other countries from article XIV., which allows flexibility in a country’s internal movements, to the provisions of article VIII. Once you get on to article VIII. you are on a closed road. This article provides for the free exchange or convertibility of a nation’s currency to the currency of any other member nation.

I suggest, that there are two great mysteries that remain to be explained with regard to the conduct of this Government. First, why did the Government make its great bolt for freedom in February, 1960, by abolishing import controls? No- one has yet explained why the Government took that action at the time when it did. Any one who read the report of the Tariff Board a month or two before the controls were abolished would, in fact, have been justified in inferring, that import restrictions would be retained for a considerable time. Yet they were abolished, virtually overnight, and I suggest that they were abolished, because of consultations that took place overseas between this Government and certain organizations. The genesis of Australia’s real economic troubles at the moment is to be found in the relaxation of import controls. Any government that discards import” control as a measure that may be availed of, either temporarily or permanently, in Australia, throws away a fair part of our economic sovereignty. A further part of it can still be thrown away by shifting from the transitional arrangements of article XIV. of the fund to the permanency of the currency provisions of article VIII.

I would like to ask the Government this question: Has Australia entered into any commitments which may result in the near future, and when the: Parliament is not in session, in the Government agreeing to the free convertibility of our currency?. If the Government: does agree to- this; it will1 not be making a bolt for freedom; it will- merely be nandina control of Australia’s economy to external interests.

It is apparent that this Government is prepared, to rely solely on monetary and fis cal devices. There is a great conflict in the world at the moment between two schools of thought, which, I think, can be summarized in this way: Can the internal economy of a country be based primarily on a reliance on monetary and fiscal policy, or must other instruments be used in addition because monetary and taxing policies, used alone, are too blunt and too brutal in their application?

Mr McMahon:

– There are tariffs.


– Yes, there are tariffs, and the Government has thrown away a great part of that weapon by removing import controls. I would like some one on the Government side to get up and explain, without hiding- behind generalizations as honorable members opposite usually do, how the tariff alone can look after Australia’s balance of payments. Tariffs are entirely different from import controls. Tariffs are designed to look after Australian industry, and that is something that depends largely on our own internal capacity. Import controls were designed to look after our balance of payments. That is a different problem, because of the nature of our economy, and honorable members of the Country Party should be concerned about this subject.

The Treasurer closed by telling us how Australia’s economic policy is based. He said that in the statement made to the International Monetary Fund the following comment appeared: -

The basic aim … is a sustained growth of population and production within a framework of a balance between domestic demand and available resources and between, external! receipts and payments.

It sounds very well, but does anybody suggest that Australia at the moment is in a position of either sustained growth or controlled inflation? Economic activity is declining and there are still all the signs of inflation in the economy. Yet this is the kind of policy that the Treasurer has presented to us! Of course, this is the sort of document that would be submitted to a bank for its consideration because it is the sort of document on which a bank would write a loan. Some of the conditions mentioned in it are. the sort of conditions which the fund itself endorses.

I am not arguing that, in some circumstances, the International! Monetary Fund is not a very good thing. I think it can be a very good thing. I think it is a very good thing for countries other than Australia. Australia should not be borrowing other people’s currency. Australia should be encouraging other countries to borrow our currency which is available in the fund. No attempt has been made by the Government to enter into arrangements with our Asian neighbours to borrow some of our currency from the Fund in order to provide for some of their desperate economic needs. As the Labour Party saw the International Monetary Fund at the end of the war, it was one of those bodies which had great aspirations for the future. There was also the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, there was the Havana conference and there was the Bretton Woods Agreement. All of them were built in hope but all of them have been wrecked or changed since because of international tension.

It is in that kind of transitional period that this sort of thing has to be carefully scrutinized. I do not think there is any doubt that Australia has handed away some of its economic sovereignty. Any individual or international organization hands away economic sovereignty when borrowing from a bank. Banks are not philanthropic institutions. They are hard-headed business organizations. Australia should not be run on the basis of hard-headed business. It should be run on the basis of responsible government.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- Mr. Deputy Speaker, the first thing that one notices about the proposal to discuss this matter is its queer character. It does not appear even to amount to a censure motion although, of course, the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) has again made known his very familiar views on the question. The honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Crean) referred to differences between the parties and to how healthy they were. I think that every .party would accept that. But the case to which the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) referred went a little further. For a member of a Cabinet to campaign against his colleagues and openly to abuse a decision that had been made is an extraordinary state of affairs. Of course, these differences persist.

It would be obviously unfair to attribute to the honorable member for Melbourne Ports views of the kind that are held by the honorable member for East Sydney. The honorable member for East Sydney, of course, has had a life-long career flogging dead horses. He still trundles out the imaginary capitalist who disappeared about 25 or 50 years ago. He still wants to speak in that way. The Opposition has not explained - certainly not in a way that I can understand - in what way we lose our sovereignty because of the Government’s action. Of course, when you enter an international body of any kind, there is some inhibition of your inclination to go completely on your own. Honorable members opposite might know the words of their previous leader, the late Mr. Chifley, said when the Bretton Woods Agreement was debated in this House. Mr. Chifley said by implication that the Bretton Woods Agreement would involve some derogation of sovereignty. His were wise words. He said -

A feature of these Bretton Woods organizations which commends them to the Government is that . . they constitute an attempt for the first time in history to grapple with world economic problems by concerted action on a world scale for the common good. They recognize the vital fact that the complex and ever-changing problems of international trade, finance and economic relations generally can no longer be allowed to drift as they did formerly when individual nations followed separate and often discordant policies. They represent a bid to pull the world situation together, get it under control and set it upon a steady and coherent course.

Those are very sensible and wise words and no doubt they can be read, as they were probably read at the time by the honorable member for East Sydney, as indicating some derogation from national sovereignty. But how are you to view the modern world? We are among the first ten of the world’s trading countries. Do we think that what we do is nobody else’s business? Do we think that what other people do in relation to trade and finance is of no concern to us? It is logical that we should become members of these international bodies.

I have attended them, myself, as our representative and have criticized very severely policies pursued by the United

States of America in connexion with agricultural products and by the United Kingdom with respect to its domestic agriculture. I have criticized American dumping of primary products all over the world to the detriment of our interests. To suggest that these things should not be linked together and that agreement on them should not be the subject of very considerable consultation with people in other countries before action is taken which will materially affect our interests is a ridiculous notion.

The honorable member for Melbourne Ports talked about these institutions being wrecked. The only wrecking that is taking place is the parting of company with Communist countries, which means, probably, that the Bretton Woods institutions are the most smoothly working international institutions in the world and also the most successful. What does the document given to the International Monetary Fund say? It outlines the Australian Government’s economic policy. It states -

The basic aim of Australian economic policy is a sustained growth of population and production within a framework of a balance between domestic demand and available resources and between external receipts and payments.

Is that not a laudable objective and a sensible one? This is the crucial sentence -

The declarations of policy made here must therefore be understood as applying only to conditions as they now appear.

Some curious souls have read into this document the meaning that somehow the present level of credit and precisely the present conditions will continue until 1962. What does the document say? It says -

Seasonal needs apart, however, the monetary authorities intend to keep a firm control over the liquidity position of the banks, with a view to limiting during the year ending June 1962 the amount of outstanding bank advances to a total that would be consistent with the maintenance of financial stability.

What does anybody want? Does anybody want to go beyond this? Does anybody want super-inflation? Does anybody want to increase bank advances beyond the limit of financial stability? The statement which is the main subject of this debate is a very sensible and sound statement. Inflation inevitably results whenever the monetary supply increases faster than the supply of goods and services. We all know that. The position is quite clear from this document, although it may not be clear to the honor able member for East Sydney, because he does not want it to be clear. The document states -

It is the view of the Australian authorities that, subject to what is said above as to changes in economic conditions, present policies, as indicated above- that is, to restore stability - are adequate to restore domestic and external equilibrium in the near future. If further action were needed major reliance would be placed on fiscal and monetary measures.

If further action were required, what else could the Government do? What other measures are available to the Commonwealth Government to control the economic situation? Of course, Opposition members may not like these policies. The differences between the Opposition and the Government are quite manifest. Members of the Australian Labour Party love import controls and - that euphonious term - selective import licensing. But what do these things mean? They mean that a lot of people who have gained in the past stand to gain in the future. What is selective import licensing?

Mr Whitlam:

– This man is not even a euphonious phony.


– I might return the compliment with interest.

Selective import licensing is, in fact, arbitrary rationing by the bureaucracy for the benefit of the specific and favoured few. That is what it is in practice, and that is the system that the Australian Labour Party would like to restore.

If any one thinks that we can move from the conditions of a siege economy, such as existed for so many years, into the conditions of an economic system with proper protection for Australian industry by means of the tariff - the traditionally accepted weapon - without any dislocation in the process, let me tell him that that is quite impossible. There is no doubt that as time goes on most of these things will be ironed out.

It has been said, Sir, that this drawing on the International Monetary Fund is a derogation from Australian sovereignty. But what is the record of the Australian Labour Party in these matters? No doubt, the honorable member for East Sydney does not like it, but there was a time when a Labour government found itself in a situation not altogether -dissimilar from that in which this Government stands to-day. What did the Labour Government do? It made a drawing from the International Monetary Fund.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- Mr. Deputy Speaker, the Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) began his contribution to this debate by saying that fifteen minutes was all too short a time in which to deal with this vastly important subject. But, on 27th April, when he had unlimited time, he took less than four minutes to deal with .this subject. On that occasion, when his time was completely unlimited, he .did not take the opportunity to tell the House why the .Government had made .this borrowing from the International Monetary Fund. Yet now he tells us that fifteen minutes is all too short for the purpose. On 4th May, after .questioning in .this House .and elsewhere, he was forced to take fifteen minutes in making a statement which occupies three and one-half pages of “ Hansard “, and to tell the House and the people what he could have told us, presumably, on 27th April. I should think that fifteen minutes would seem far .too long a time for the Treasurer to have had to endure the embarrassment that has been forced on him by this situation, -which is of his own making.

The right honorable .gentleman, as is usual when he is in an embarrassing situation, attempted to draw a red herring across the trail. He contrasted the position of the International Monetary Fund in the years from 1947 to “1’949-with the position to-day. In 1947 and 1949, the situation with respect to the fund was very different from the present situation, as I intend to show in a few minutes. The Treasurer said that the Labour ‘Government ‘had “borrowed ?9.000,000 Australian from the fond in 1949. But did the Labour Government go cap in hand to the fund in ‘that year with a memorandum of intentions and policies’? Did it undertake to “impose on the Australian economy restrictive policies which would cause unemployment? No. The Australian Labour Party did not do that. ‘It did not give away one fraction of our -sovereignty.

Mr Chresby:

– How .does the honorable member .know?


– Because I have checked on the documents, as the honorable member can do if he -wishes. No .undertaking of any sort -was given .in ?949. Not one .-scrap of Australia’s sovereignty was given ur then. That is the fact that Government supporters have to face, ;and that is the point that the Treasurer carefully avoided.

This ‘Government was in difficulties a few months ago. lt could not go to the International Monetary Fund unless it “was in difficulties. Appendix I. attached to the annual report of the fund for the fiscal year ended 30th April, 1952, -makes that clear. It states -

On the contrary, the task of the Fund is to help members that need temporary :help, and requests should .be expected from members that are in trouble in greater or .lesser degrees.

So, according to the International Monetary Fund, this Government was in trouble to a greater or lesser degree. We have another indication in an authoritative publication - an essay in international finance entitled “ The International Monetary Fund: .Its Present Role and Future Prospects “, which was published in March, 1’961. At page 18, we find this statement -

Requests for drawing beyond these limits require substantia] justification.

So the Government had to give substantial justification in support of its request for this ?78,125,000.

Let mie now point out the difference between the International Monetary Fund to-day and an the years from T947 to 1949. I refer the House to the second-reading speech made by Mr. ‘Chifley, who was then Prime Minister of Australia, -om the international Monetary Agreements Bill 1’947, as reported at page 590 of volume 190 of “ Hansard “.. Mr. Chifley referred to the International Monetary Fund .and the .International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and said -

These institutions form part -of the general structure for peace, security and welfare in the postwar world .. . . The broad object of this machinery is to promote throughout the world expanded production-

Not restricted .production, hut expanded production - employment, trade and .higher standards of .living all .round.

Was .the objective to Apply to Australia .a restrictive policy -which would be likely to produce 5 to 7 per cent, of unemployment? Was ‘that the intention of the International Monetary Fund in 1947.? lt was not. The present policy of the fund dates from December, !t9.5:6. lt iis a policy -which followed on the Suez Canal crisis of that year. That is made ‘dear in the published essay on the International Monetary Fund to which I have already referred honorable members. Clearly, in that year, for the first .time, governments borrowing from the fund were required to crawl in under the door and give to the ‘fund a memorandum of policies and intentions. That is the change that has taken place. That is the difference between the International Monetary Fund of to-day and the fund in the days when it was established. ‘It was founded in circumstances in which people looked to it to promote rapid expansion ‘in all parts o’f the world and the development of under-developed countries. But that day ‘has gone. ‘We are now in the grip of an international concern which is reflecting .the Interests of the investors of New York and “London. This concern requires flexible conditions and affluency in terms of overseas funds in order that the demands of .the investors .for dividends and interest can be met first. That is the kind of .-situation which has forced the Government .to give up our sovereignty in ‘.this respect.

Let .me now examine the .extent to which this ‘Government has ‘given up its sovereignty. I want to emphasize that quite clearly Article VJH. of the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund requires those members which aTe subject to its provisions - and we aTe - to avoid restrictions on current payments, multiple exchange rates and discriminatory currency practices. If these countries were ever again to resort to such measures, they would have to consult with the fund and obtain its prior approval. I emphasize the words “ obtain its prior -approval “.. We -all are ‘in the hands of the fund and in order .to change the policies which have .’been submitted to it m the Government’s .memorandum of intentions and policies, we have ito obtain the fund’s prior approval. That is laid down in Article VIII. H -challenge any /one to contradict, in this debate or at any other time, the provisions of Article VIII of the agreement. That is the general provision.

The Government did not come first to the Parliament to submit to it and the people the .course that it proposed to take. Instead, it sent .a departmental official - the Secretary to the Treasury - to New York to conduct negotiations. Those negotiations were not conducted in Australia, and they were not even discussed in this Parliament. So the people and the Parliament of Australia have lost their sovereignty in this respect. This proposal was not submitted to the Parliament at all beforehand. The Secretary to .the Treasury went meekly to the International Monetary Fund and took with him, presumably with the authority of the Treasurer, a memorandum of policies and intentions .of the Australian Government that had never been submitted to the Parliament for approval. The memorandum contains a -number of very significant points, which are all subject to the general force of Article VIII. As is recorded at page 1526 .of “Hansard”, it declared -

The .Government .has repeatedly .stated and now reaffirms its intention not to re’impose restrictions on ‘trade ot current payments . . . lt re-affirms its intention not to re-impose these .Unrigs. Is not .that giving up some of our -economic sovereignty? Then, on page <1 5.2.7 of “Hansard “., we .find this statement by the Treasurer concerning the stand-by arrangement - -In consideration .of -the .policies and intentions set forth in the Memorandum attached to the annexed letter, -the International Monetary Fund agrees to -a stand-by arrangement . . .

That is clear enough. The memorandum ot intentions and policies is presented to the fund and the fund then agrees to lend the money. Is not that an abrogation of sovereignty? Is not that the giving of power to the International Monetary Fund? In ‘that memorandum of policies and intentions the Government first ‘undertakes to restrain government expenditure. Secondly, it undertakes to go into the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission and do its best to oppose increases in wages.

Mr Bury:

It does not undertake to do that.


– Of -course lt does’! Does it not mean that? Of course it means that! Do not split hairs. Think straight for ‘a little while. The ‘Government has agreed to carry out the policy which it has been pursing for the last twelve months. Has it not gone before the commission during the past twelve months, and will it not do so again in the future? The fourth undertaking given by the Government was to maintain a very severe credit restriction policy. All these undertakings represent a restriction of activity and development in Australia which is totally different from what was envisaged even by the International Monetary Fund at the beginning. These undertakings represent a considerable abrogation of the economic sovereignty of the Australian Government and the Australian people. This policy can only mean the imposition of restrictions upon development of the Australian economy and the creation of unemployment for the Australian people.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

New England

– The Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) placed this matter in its proper perspective when he said it represented a normal business undertaking, and the sooner the House realizes that and refrains from discussing such extraneous issues as sovereignty and so on, the better it will be for the people of Australia. This proposal is merely a normal business undertaking to obtain, for the present, a maximum of £78,125,000 from a fund that was set up for an express purpose. The charge made by the Opposition all through this debate cannot be sustained if the proposal is looked at from a commonsense point of view. The Opposition set out, first, to show that the undertakings to be given will mean an interference with the sovereignty of the people of Australia. The honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns), although very forceful, was entirely illogical for the greater part of his speech.

Let us look at the origin of the fund. This fund was a product of the aftermath of the war. But long before that aftermath had developed, we had the economic recession of the 1930’s, when it became perfectly clear to the world that unless some greater and more fluid arrangement was made for exchanges then, with the added burden of war, the world certainly would not be able to function as a social and economic unit, one member nation being dependent upon another for the working of a multi-lateral system of exchange. The war simply increased the necessity for such machinery. That machinery was set up first to deal with the ravages of war, and this proposal is designed to enable the normal trade transactions and the development of both under-developed and undeveloped countries to proceed at something like normal pace. That was fully understood by Mr. Chifley when he introduced the 1947 measure.

What amuses me, if it does not confuse me and everybody else, is the way in which the Opposition has somersaulted. Whilst claiming all the benefits of the astuteness and clearheadedness of the late Mr. Chifley when it suits them, honorable members opposite argue now that his ideas are out of date. First, the honorable member for Yarra tried to beat us to the gun by quoting what Mr. Chifley said. Let me quote from the same “ Hansard “ as that from which the honorable member for Yarra quoted. In that “ Hansard “, Mr. Chifley is reported as having said -

The broad object of this machinery is to promote throughout the world expanded production, employment, trade and higher standards of living all round.

That is the first statement of intentions and policies. Mr. Chifley went on to say -

Broadly, the fund comprises on the one hand an international pool of gold and currency reserves to meet emergencies, and, on the other hand, a code of rules to regulate exchange relationships between members.

Since a great deal has been said about our tying ourselves up to this fund in some peonistic fashion, let us see what Mr. Chifley said with his eyes wide open. He went on to say -

This would constitute an addition of that amount to our international exchange reserves, and would be available if our overseas funds should run down, for instance, as the result of drought. It would also assist overseas loan obligations in times of difficulty.

Let me revert now to the point raised by the honorable member for Yarra that, somehow, we are subverting the purposes of this proposal from the original intentions wilh relation to employment, production, exchange and so on. The late Mr. Chifley made the position perfectly clear when he said -

Certain obligations are undertaken by member countries under the fund agreement in relation to exchange controls and the par value of their currencies.

He also made it clear that if a country were up against difficulties of trade, and perhaps drought, then it proceeded to take the step of borrowing from this fund. He went on to say -

  1. . the United Kingdom Government sought and obtained from the fund a ruling that “ steps necessary to protect a member country from chronic or persistent unemployment arising from pressure upon its balance of payments are among the measures necessary to correct a fundamental disequilibrium “.

What is the honorable member for Yarra growling about? Admittedly, this Government is faced with a certain amount of re-adjustment and an unemployment problem. Mr. Chifley quite clearly foresaw that it would be necessary to go to this fund in certain circumstances in order to achieve what this Government and the Treasurer have set out to achieve - the attainment of economic equilibrium. It is of no use talking about loss of sovereignty by giving certain undertakings. You cannot discriminate between country A and country B. You cannot say to one, “ We will impose certain requirements upon you “, and not place similar requirements upon another country. That would be a loss of sovereignty. The position is that this is machinery designed to cover all member countries. Although it may seem to be harsh towards us, it is necessary if the sovereignty of countries is to be respected. Mr. Chifley went on to say -

Further, in return for the exchange undertakings given, a member is assured of assistance from the fund in time of need and is freed from the fear of its external trade being disrupted by fluctuations in the exchange rates of other countries and by the restrictive currency practices which caused so much trouble in the past. External trade is in itself an important determinant of levels of employment, especially for countries like Australia.

The suggestion was made that the step recently taken has interfered somehow with the belief in Australia’s competency to discharge its obligations. I should like to read to the House an extract from the 4th May, 1961, issue of the “Financial Review”. It is in these terms -

Would overseas investors, whose money is so vital to our current and future solvency, look warily at an Australia dipping into reserves - and into second-line reserves at that? Apparently they have not

The article then goes on -

One of the big implications of the draw that overseas finance will have noted is that as palliatives for the current stress on Australia’s solvency, both import quotas and revaluation are definitely out

That kind of thing clearly was envisaged when Mr. Chifley introduced his legislation. In conclusion, I want to mention this point - it is not the money that is borrowed that counts; it is the use to which it is put that really matters. If people borrow money to indulge in unlimited luxurious living and in speculative investment, so that the economic strength and morale of the community is upset, that money has been borrowed unwisely. But if it is borrowed, as this Government has borrowed it-

Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay:

Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- The Treasurer (Mr. Harold Holt) and the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Bury) devoted all, and most, of their time, respectively, to matters which did not concern the subject that is before the House. The references that they made to Australia concerned other days, and the references that they made to our day concerned other countries. The submission of this matter for discussion does not involve any criticism of the International Monetary Fund as an institution, or rather as an ideal. It does involve a criticism of the way in which this Government has resorted to the fund during the last month. The Treasurer made a reference to spending money like a drunken sailor. That was an unhappy reference because many people regard him as a tipsy Treasurer who has been put on a bond by the International Monetary Fund.

A rigidity has been imposed on Australia’s fiscal and monetary policy, not only for the present financial year but also for the whole of the next financial year because of the Treasurer’s stubbornness or lack of illumination. We have borrowed a sum of money which represents less than 2 per cent, of our national income and less than one month’s imports into Australia. To secure a drawing of £A.78,125,000 and a stand-by credit of £A.45,000,000 we have committed ourselves for this and the next financial year to fiscal and monetary policies which have not succeeded and show no sign of coping with the two problems- with- which they are supposed to cope: - inflation and: our adverse balance of payments. The Treasurer did not deal with, those problems. It has been very difficult to obtain any information from him- by asking, questions about these borrowings. It was not until he was needled into promising to make a statement, to the House that he gave us some information about an undertaking, the existence of which he had denied only recently. On 2nd May the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Cairns) asked the Treasurer a question on this matter.. He replied; - the Government has not. accepted any obligations … I shall be. glad to see what information I can- provide for honorable members to allay their concern in this matter.

In reply to a supplementary question that was asked’ by the honorable member for Wills (Mr. Bryant) the Treasurer stated that he would certainly try to give the requested information before the House went into recess-. At that time the House was expected to sit at least until’ to-day and there should have been no- difficulty in- the Treasurer giving the information almost immediately to the House. If he had known of these undertakings the information should have been given to us well before the House went into recess. There is no- doubt about that. But he probably did not know what undertakings had’ been given or, if he did know of them, he did not realize that they were undertakings. The- correspondence was between Sir Roland Wilson, Secretary to the Treasury, and Per Jacobsson. Apparently the Treasurer knew little of this correspondence, but this is typical of his lack of knowl’edge or appreciation of the vast issues that he- undertook to handle at the beginning of 1959 when he was appointed Treasurer.

There is no question that these are undertakings. Furthermore, not only are they undertakings which will involve a continuation of the policies which were initiated in February last year and reinforced in August and November last year, but also they are undertakings, which wilt require the approval of the Fund before they can be altered. This is clear from the Treasurer’s statement that - the Australian Government would, at the request of the Managing Director, be ready to consul! with the Fund and, if necessary, reach, new understandings before any request for a further drawing under the standby arrangement is made.

In other words, before1 we receive any additional accommodation from the’ Fund we have: to receive; the Fund’s permission to change the policies to which; we are committed. Those policies are four-fold. The first is to achieve ai balance of government expenditure and receipts in the next budget. The second is the continuation of the credit squeeze.. The third is the.- continuation; of the free flow of imports which is- being promoted by this arrangement because of the currencies which, we have chosen to borrow. The fourth is an undertaking to- continue to promote cost and price stability by wage fixation. An honorable member on the Government side may deny that suggestion, but the position is clear.

The explanation of the undertaking to promote, cost and price stability is given in one sentence only from the memorandum -

The Government has recently laid its views before, the Arbitration. Commission in connection with, the hearing of a claim for an increase in the basic wage.

That is the only illumination that is necessary on that point. Clearly the Government intends to ask the Commonwealth. Conciliation and Arbitration Commission to continue for the rest of this financial year, and for all of next financial’ year, the process of wage fixation and margin limitation which it has followed in the last few years. People may think that the rise- in prices in this country is purely the result of increases in wages, but that, is not so. It is also the result of business practices and pricing policies. Significantly, in the memorandum, the Government has made no reference to its oft-touted proposal’ for legislation dealing with restrictive trade practices. It is clear that we. will not see any such legislation before the end of the next financial year.

The Treasurer tried to assert that the Fund was lending for long terms, but only last week he said that the Fund makes its resources- available to- its members for temporary support of. their balance of payments. The fact is that our balance of payments problem is not temporary or. short-term; it is chronic. The Minister for Trade (Mr. McEwen) has claimed that it is intransigent. There has been a fundamental disequilibrium in our balance of payments of about £150.000.000 a year. Over the last ten yeans, including the current one; we have had a current account deficit of approximately £1,800,000,000. That sum nas largely been covered by about £1,-400,-000,000 in overseas borrowings; £400,000,000 in public borrowings and ‘£1’000;000;000 in private borrowings.

The Fund was created to meet unexpected and temporary problems such as Great Britain’s problem in relation to the Suez Canal and our problems that arise from drought or sudden falls in commodity prices. It is an intransigent and chronic problem which we are now faced with. In the last ten years, including the current one, we have had a surplus on current account in only two years, -the financial years 1952-53 and 19.56-57, and in each case it followed strong fiscal and monetary measures which were associated in each case with import licensing. In this case we have the same strong fiscal and monetary measures, but we do not have import licensing. Until we have import licensing we will have all the distress and stagnation that we had in 1952-53 and 1956-57 and none of the balance of payments equilibrium which was then temporarily brought about. We are operating under Article XIV of the International Monetary Fund Agreement .and we have forgone the advantage which that article gives to its members in a transitional period; that is, the option of imposing restrictions on our imports and exchange. We have forgone that and have given it up and we have undertaken the rigidity which we would have if we were a full member under Article VIII.

The Government is now, as in the past, committed to both public and private international interests, who in large measure determine Australia’s development and trade. We are put in a position where we will take any goods that people like to sell to us and where we will borrow money so that we can buy them, even if this means selling slabs of our industry or restricting the sovereignty of our government. We are not in a position of equal bargaining power with the great countries whose currencies we are borrowing. This gives us no help for the future in solving our “ intransigent” balance of payments problem.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- Never before in the history of this House have we heard such irresponsible nonsense as has been spoken to-day by Labour members and, in particular, ‘by the honorable members for East Sydney (Mr. Ward) and Yarra (Mr. Cairns). Both of those honorable members asserted that by borrowing our own reserves from the International Monetary Fund Australia has lost sovereignty and has allowed the International Monetary Fund to exercise control over Australia’s -domestic policy. They have also said that the money from the International Monetary Fund is available only in emergency and that therefore Australia must be facing an emergency. None of those assertions has any foundation whatever in fact.

The most interesting thing which has evolved from this debate is the history of the split which occurred in the Australian Labour Party in 1947 when the honorable member for East Sydney and the present Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) were apparently split from their leader, Mr. Chifley, and endeavoured to prevent Australia from joining the International Monetary Fund.

It is also interesting to note that after this split the present Leader of the Opposition was apparently brought into line by Mr. Chifley and voted for Australia’s taking part in the International Monetary Fund. But the honorable member for East Sydney, although he was a Minister in the Chifley Government, ran away and decided not to vote on either side of that particular issue. I therefore think we have to examine these allegations of loss of sovereignty in the light of what was actually done by the Labour Government at that time. A bill was introduced by Mr. Chifley to enable Australia to join the International Monetary Fund and it was passed by an overwhelming majority in this House. The only ones who voted against it were certain members of the Australian Country Party such as the former Speaker, Mr. Archie Cameron. Fifty-five members voted in favour of the bill, including the present Leader of the Opposition, but not including the honorable member for East Sydney who disappeared. Five members voted against Australia joining the International Monetary Fund. They were Mrs. Blackburn, a Labour member; Mr. Archie Cameron, who at that time I think was a Country Party member-

Mr Turnbull:

– He was a Liberal.


– Then a Liberal; Mr. Turnbull, who was a member of the Country Party; Mr. Lang, who made one of the many splits in the Labour Party, and Mr. Rankin, who was a member of the Country Party. I repeat that this House carried that measure by 55 votes to five, showing that, overwhelmingly, the representatives of the people of Australia favoured the establishment of an international monetary fund. The Chifley Government then proceeded to borrow from the Inernational Monetary Fund, and if there has been any loss of sovereignty it occurred when Mr. Chifley borrowed from the fund. It is therefore utter nonsense to say that there has been any loss of sovereignty because Australia has chosen at this particular time to transfer some of its second-line reserves to its first-line reserves in accordance with its rights under the International Monetary Fund.

On this question of loss of sovereignty, I point out that the following countries have borrowed from the fund - and I have never heard it said that they have lost their sovereignty - the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Japan, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil and Spain, and also Australia, under Mr. Chifley. But according to the irresponsible nonsense now talked by Labour members it is predicted that Australia will lose some of its sovereignty. It has also been said that because of this agreement we cannot alter our economic position. The memorandum published by Sir Roland Wilson states to the contrary. It says -

Policy has therefore frequently to be adapted to meet a shift in conditions. The declarations of policy made here must therefore be understood as applying only to conditions as they now appear.

It leaves Australia the utmost and complete freedom to alter its economic policy if necessary from day to day to meet changes in economic conditions. Therefore, there is nothing to support the Labour Party’s contention that we have lost sovereignty or that the fund can exercise any control over us; nor is there any authority to support the suggestion that this money is available only in an emergency.


– Order! The time allowed for the discussion has expired.

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m. TIMBER.

Minister for Trade · Murray · CP

– by leave - Mr. Deputy Speaker, this morning the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Duthie) asked a question in relation to a reference to the deputy chairman of the Tariff Board in connexion with timber. I replied by saying that a reference had been made, and that certain advice had been given by the deputy chairman. I regret that, due to a mental aberration, I gave a wrong answer. I had given the correct answer in the House on this matter last week when I said that the Government, for reasons which I then stated, had decided not to refer the matter to the deputy chairman. I apologize to the honorable member for Wilmot and to the House for inadvertently giving the wrong answer this morning. All that I said otherwise stands, except that the reference was not made to the deputy chairman.

page 1776


Motion (by Mr. Harold Holt) agreed to -

That leave be given to bring in a bill for art act relating to life insurance.

Bill presented, and read a first tune.

Second Reading

HigginsTreasurer · LP

– by leave - I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this bill is to make the amendments to the Life Insurance Act 1945-1959 which were foreshadowed in the course of my second-reading speech on the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Bill (No. 2) 1961. Honorable members will recall that that bill implemented the Government’s decision to encourage greater investment in public securities by life insurance companies and private superannuation funds.

A major provision which was introduced was that life companies which conform with the investment arrangements laid down will be exempt from taxation on the investment income attributed to their superannuation business. In addition, a company can obtain an increase in the deduction allowed under section 115 of the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act if investment in public securities exceeds the standard laid down, that is, 30 per cent, of assets in public securities, including not less than 20 per cent, in Commonwealth securities. A decrease in that allowance occurs if a company holds a smaller amount of public securities and does not enter into an undertaking to attain the 30/20 per cent, ratio. In either event, the adjustment to the section 115 deduction applies only to the Australian portion of a company’s life insurance business, just as the 30/20 per cent, ratio applies only to the assets held by a company in respect of its Australian liabilities.

In order that these arrangements will be effective, some machinery amendments to the Life Insurance Act are required. Under that act a company is required to establish and maintain one or more statutory insurance funds. Premiums and investment income in connexion with the policies included in the class of life insurance business for which a statutory fund has been established are paid into the fund, which may be used only to pay claims and expenses relating to such policies.

At present, the superannuation business and overseas life insurance business of a company are generally included in the one fund with other Australian life insurance business. Whilst adequate information is available in respect of the overseas business, the information available for superannuation business is limited to certain statistical data only. In addition to this problem it is possible that, in the future, some companies may wish to set up separate statutory funds for their superannuation business or overseas business, instead of relying on the apportionments provided in the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act, to determine the extent of the tax concessions or allowances available. The Life Insurance Act permits establishment of a separate fund for part of a class of life insurance business only if the approval of the Insurance Commissioner is obtained and it seems reasonable to modify this arrangement.

Therefore, the principal amendments in the bill now before the House include one to enable a life company to establish, if it so wishes, a separate statutory fund for the whole or part of its superannuation business, or its overseas business or both, subject only to the necessary agreement of the commissioner as to the apportionment of liabilities and assets between the existing fund and the new fund. If this course is followed the company, by segregating the various classes of its business, will identify the superannuation income which is eligible for tax exemption and the assets to which the 30/20 per cent, ratio does not apply. It will not be necessary, therefore, to resort to the apportionment processes contained in the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act.

Another amendment provides that, where a separate superannuation fund is not established, sufficient information will be available relating to that business. The additional information required will be a separate actuarial valuation and separate revenue account for that business. This information will enable the apportionments contained in the Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Act to be applied.

One further amendment to which I should make reference relates to the existing requirement in the Life Insurance Act for an equitable apportionment of expenses between the various classes of life insurance business. A company should pass any saving of income tax on the investment income of its superannuation business to superannuation policy-holders, and provision has been made for this to be done.

The opportunity has been taken to rectify a few minor drafting defects in existing sections of the act.

Mr Crean:

– Is it intended to put this bill through next week?


– I think it is necessary, if the earlier bill is to pass, but, of course, it will not come on until next week.

Mr Crean:

– It will be debated next week?


– Yes. I commend the bill to honorable members.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Crean) adjourned.

page 1777


Bill presented by Mr. Harold Holt, and read a first time.

Second. Reading.

. Treasurer · Higgins · LP

– by leave - 1 move -

That the bill, be- now read a second time.

During the last session I introduced a bill, the principal purpose of which was to’ delete from- the Audit Act the requirements for the preparation- of statements’ of sundry creditors of the Consolidated Revenue Fund and the inclusion of those statements i» the annual report of the Auditor-General. At that time,. 1 promised further amendments to the Audit Act. The bill contains these further amendments, some of which have been recommended by the Public Accounts Committee, and. others of which have been agreed upon between the Treasury and the Auditor-General.

Of the new provisions which the bill seeks to insert, clause 11 deals with commercial accounts of departments. The Public Accounts Committee, when investigating these accounts, directed attention to the absence of clear legislative authority governing them. The clause proposes to authorize the Treasurer to direct a department to keep accounts for such of its operations, and to prepare financial statements in such form, as he determines. The clause also provides that the books, accounts and statements kept and prepared pursuant to a determination by the Treasurer shall be subject to inspection, examination and audit by the AuditorGeneral. Section S1a, which the bill also amends, will authorize the Auditor-General to report to the Parliament the results of his audit.

Clause 10, which has the support of the Joint Committee of Public Accounts, proposes a new section to contain a special appropriation of the Consolidated Revenue Fund for refunds of revenue not covered by other acts. The necessary appropriation for these refunds is now contained in the annual Appropriation Act. A special appropriation is likewise proposed for refunds from the Loan Fund and an amendment of section 62a of the act is included to give authority for the refund of amounts standing to the credit of the Trust Fund.

It has been recognized for some time that section 63 of the act, which deals with the making of arrangements for the accounting and control of moneys outside the Com monwealth:, does not contain any authority relating: to> stores. This: isi now to: be remedied., la conjunction with this, amendment, the section has. been; redrafted to make it clear, m the. first place, that the provisions of the Audit Act apply to the operations of Commonwealth departments in the- external territories of the- Commonwealth: - but not so as to apply to- the various Territory administrations - and secondly, that the provisions of the act apply to- Commonwealth operations in overseas countries except as modified1 by directions given by the GovernorGeneral. It is proposed that this amendment shall- operate from, a date to be proclaimed by the Governor-General, to enable suitable amendments to be made to what are now the Overseas Accounts Arrangements.

Honorable members will recall that, some years ago, the right of access by the AuditorGeneral to the accounts of the Parliament, and in particular to the accounts of the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms, was in question. Amendments to the act are now proposed to remove any doubt as to the authority of the Auditor-General to audit the public money transactions of the parliamentary departments. The audit of the transactions of the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms bank account, which do not come within the scope of the act, will continue to be by arrangement between the presiding officers and the Auditor-General.

In its fortieth report, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts commented favorably upon a proposal to publish the Treasurer’s Finance Statement omitting the shillings and pence and the details of lapsed appropriations. The statement has been prepared in this form since 1957-58, but the committee asked that the relevant provisions of the act be reviewed, and if necessary, amended to give full authority for the practice. Clause 13 of the bill seeks to confirm in the statute the improvements and economies effected by this departure from tradition.

For some years the Auditor-General has, as this House is aware, adopted the practice of presenting a report on the Treasurer’s Finance Statement early in the Budget session and later, a supplementary report upon accounts which were not available at the time of preparation of the mam report. The Auditor-General feels that, although this- practice has- bees’ endorsed1 and welcomed by- this- Parliament, it may not be in- accordance- with- the strict letter of the law. He has, therefore, asked that the Parliament, by an amendment of the- act, recognize the principle of an early, report on- the Finance Statement and. supplementary re-ports, upon; other, accounts,, the. audit of which was. not completed in time for inclu-sion. in the. earlier report. The proposed amendments will so. provide.

An- amendment is also, necessary to section TI which- deals with- the- regulation-making powers under- the- act. If was pointed- out during- the course- of the inquiry by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts into Treasury Regulations 52 that section 71’ of the- act does not confer any authority to make regulations- in respect of” works and services carried’ out for the purposes, of the Commonwealth. Regulations applying equally to stores, works and’ services have been made from time to time, and the purpose of this amendment is to enable these regulations to be continued.

Other, clauses which- amend; existing provisions, deal mainly, with’ machinery matters: (Clause 6, for- example,, remedies an omission in ai section introduced: in> 1948; clause 7 allows the Auditor-General to call1 for re- turns of receipts, if he, requires them; clause 1’2 enables the Auditor-GeneraL to. authorize officers of his staff to allow or. admit defective vouchers, under section 4.7 of the. act. Any further information, desired, by. honorable, members, on. these amendments can be supplied, during the debate at the committee stage, lt. is not proposed to proceed; to finality with, this, bill, in the course, of. this session:. I hope we. shall do that when- the House meets, for the. Budget, session-.

I commend’ me Bill to honorable members.

Debate- (om motion by Mp. Crean) adjourned-.

page 1779


Motion, (by Dr.. Donald Cameron.) agreed to-

That leave: be given. to. bring im a- bill, for. an act. relating to. the Commonwealth: Serum Laboratories.

Bill’ presented’; and read’ a~ first, time.

Second Reading-

Dr. DONALD CAMERON (OxleyMinister for Health)- [2.32],- by leave- I move -

That the- bill be- now read’ a- second; time:

The purpose of this bill is to establish a statutory commission to administer the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories at Parkville,. Melbourne; Before1 explaining the: reasons for. this. proposaL and the manner in which it is proposed! that the commission will operate I may assist honorable, members if I outline briefly the growth andi development of the laboratories- since their establishment in. 191-6.

The. laboratories: had; their origin in the events- of. the ISM-l 8: war when: serious difficulties occurred: in obtaining: supplies on antitoxins from; European or American sources^ to meet Australian) requirements-. This. was. a matter o£ considerable concern and following, examination; by the- various authorities: connected: with: this, matter; approval- was: given, to: the: establishment of a. federal institute for the production of sera and” vaccines to meet our. needs and requirements.

This, approval, provided, for the establish.ment. of> the laboratories* under the. auspices, of. the. then. Department: of; Trade and Customs- which, at that, time, was- respondsible fori the administration of the: Quaran-tine* Act.

Steps- were: taken for. the erection ot the necessary- buildings; and: engagement of the requisite- staff. Df. W. J. Penfol’d was appointed first director, of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories and;, on his. arrival from England! im November, 194’6 he- commenced’ work in the- Walter and Eliza Hall Institute- at the Melbourne Hospital. The permanent Buildings- for the Commonwealth. Serum Laboratories were then’ being erected at Royal Park- and were first occupied in July, 1918.

Prior- to: taking: up: duty. as. director; Dr: Penfold: visited* laboratories in England; France and- American in order’ to obtain the latest, information so1 as to’ ensure that’ the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, would’ be. built and’ equipped on the most’ modern lines. This was- also to enable effect to-be given to’ their two-fold” purpose; firstly, production, of sera, vaccines and other bacteriological products, and secondly, research in relation to such products.

This two-fold purpose has been the basic approach to the activities of the laboratories since their inception and explains, in simple terms, why the laboratories have been an important national institute in Australia for almost half a century.

Dr. Penfold resigned as director in 1926 and was replaced by Dr. F. G. Morgan in March, 1927. Dr. Morgan gave very distinguished service as director until his retirement in July, 1956, when the present director, Dr. P. L. Bazeley, was appointed.

The laboratories have been very fortunate in the service rendered by the three gentlemen who have occupied the position of director. The growth of the laboratories is surely a matter of national pride and satisfaction and has been made possible by the service and efforts of the staff of the laboratories, assisted and encouraged by the many and varied organizations operating in like or associated fields of endeavour.

Honorable members will be aware of the activities of the laboratories in the production in Australia of biological products originated by epoch-making advances in the field of medicine. Probably the most notable of these are insulin, penicillin and poliomyelitis vaccine. However, there are many important fields which are not so widely known and these include a wide range of products to meet the requirements of the Australian and Allied forces in the South-West Pacific area in the last war, the production of a wide range of veterinary products, processing blood for the Red Cross in the Blood Transfusion Service and the supply of immunizing materials which are used in mass immunization campaigns against diphtheria, whooping cough and tetanus. These are hut a few examples of the wide area of medicine served by the laboratories.

Naturally, this wide area of activity has required substantial capital investment and development. The Commonwealth Serum Laboratories now occupy a 23-acre site at Parkville, Melbourne, and operate a 325-acre farm at Broadmeadows and a 1,361-acre farm at Woodend. The capital invested in the laboratories exceeds £6,000,000, the annual turnover is approximately £2,400,000 and the staff employed is approximately 1,000.

From a small beginning, the laboratories have grown into a large-scale undertaking devoted to production and research designed to prevent disease and treat serious illness in our community.

It is a matter of national importance that the laboratories continue to maintain their position in the various health fields and, to meet changing and growing needs, a flexible and efficient management is necessary to direct the affairs of such a large and important undertaking in a business-like way. Since their establishment, the laboratories have operated within the public service framework, originally within the Department of Trade and Customs and since 1921 within the Department of Health. While the laboratories have reached their present high status in the Australian and overseas communities within the framework of departmental methods and administration, it has been felt that this form of administration is no longer the most effective for the purposes for which the laboratories exist. The production and research activities undertaken by the laboratories now range over a much larger and essentially more specialized field than in earlier years and problems of marketing, research, administration and management have become increasingly complex.

The Government has been conscious of the increasing growth and complexity of the laboratories’ activities and has very carefully examined ways and means to improve overall administration. I emphasize that this review was designed to ensure the continued progress and development of the laboratories as an integral part of the activities of the Commonwealth Government in the field of public health. Following this review, the Government has come to the conclusion that the establishment of a statutory commission comprising both business and medical men of wide experience would provide the most flexible, effective and therefore efficient form of administration. Details of the structure and authority of the commission and its relationship with the Commonwealth are set out in the various clauses of the bill. I will be pleased to supply honorable members with further information which they might want on particular aspects at the committee stage of the discussion. At this stage, therefore, I propose to outline the broad principles on which the commission will be established.

The commission will consist of five commissioners including an experienced medical man and the director of the laboratories. Of the five commissioners, two will thus be medical men of very wide experience. It is intended that the remaining three commissioners shall be men of wide and appropriate experience in business and financial fields. The commissioners will be appointed by the Governor-General and will include a chairman and a vice-chairman. It is proposed that the director will be appointed for a term of five years and two of the commissioners will be appointed for a term of four years. The other two commissioners will be initially appointed for two years, but succeeding appointments will be for four years. The maximum number of commissioners retiring at any one time will thus be two and the continuity of the work of the commission will not be adversely affected by any changes in personnel. The commission will have the usual powers of a body corporate with perpetual succession. The normal provisions regarding appointment of acting commissioners, the making of the oath or affirmation of allegiance, leave of absence, remuneration and allowances, dismissal, vacation of office and meetings of the commission are provided in the bill.

It is proposed that the biological products which will be manufactured and sold by the laboratories will be prescribed by regulations. In accordance with the usual approach adopted in business activities of this nature, the commission will adopt a policy aimed at obtaining sufficient revenue from the sale of products to cover the expenditure of the commission plus a reasonable return on the capital invested. In other words, the commission will follow accepted business lines in relation to this aspect of its activities. It is intended that all products currently marketed by the laboratories will continue to be produced. The Government is fully seised of the importance of the research activities of the laboratories and special provision is accordingly included in the bill for the commission in accordance with a determination of the Minister, to undertake research appropriate to its functions. Special provision is being made for the Commonwealth to meet the cost of this research where the commission’s operations result in a loss.

In order to ensure that ample production capacity or stocks of products are maintained by the commission to meet any particular emergency, such as the taking of precautions against an outbreak of smallpox or to meet the health requirements of the community generally, it is proposed to permit the commission, subject to the determination of the Minister, to take the necessary steps in this direction with financial support from the Commonwealth. Quite a large proportion of the production - for example, polio vaccine - of the laboratories is currently purchased, directly or indirectly, by the Commonwealth Government. This position will continue, and provision is accordingly being made for the prices of these products to be determined by the Minister after consultation with the commission.

An important consideration in the transfer of the activities of the laboratories to the control of a commission, is the position of the existing staff who have rendered most valuable service over the years. This matter has been carefully considered by the Government and provision is being made for the existing officers of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories to retain their existing rights as public servants and in particular their rights to furlough, superannuation and compensation. The assets of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, including such items as plant, machinery, equipment, book debts and a wide variety of other items, will be transferred to the commission. The value of these assets plus the net amount of capital provided from moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the commission will represent the capital of the commission. It is not proposed that the commission pay any interest to the Commonwealth on its capital, but the commission will make payments out of its annual profits to the Commonwealth. The commission’s advice will, of course, be taken into account in determining the amounts of these payments.

The bill provides that the profit of the commission shall be determined in accordance with normal accounting principles for an organization of the type of the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories. As with other statutory commissions of this nature, the accounts and records of the financial transactions of the commission will be subject to inspection and audit by the Auditor-General who will have the usual rightsand responsibilities in this regard. The commission willbe subject to taxation under the lawsof the Commonwealth but not to taxation under State tor Terriorial laws to which the Commonwealth is not sabject. In order to ensure that Parliament is fully apprised of the activities of the commission, the foil provides that the commission shall prepare and furnish an annual report to the Minister for submission to -Parliament.

Before concluding, 1 would like to reiterate that the Government’s foremost thought in introducing this bill to provide for the establishment of the commission, is to ensure that the Commonwealh Serum Laboratories are provided with the most effective organizational set-up possible. This willenable them to continue to operate and progress in fulfilling their -national responsibilities in the most effective way. I commend the bill to honorable members.

Dr Donald Cameron:

– I stated in the Housethis morning that I would discuss that matter with the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies).

Debate (on motion by Mr. Allan Fraser) adjourned.

page 1782


Second Reading

Debate resumed from 10th May (vide page 1749), on motion by Mr. McMahon -

That the bill be nowread a second time.

Smith · Kingsford

– Having examined the hill that is before the House, I have come to the conclusion that it represents a most vindictive attack by this Government on the trade union movement. It follows quickly upon the introduction of legislation ‘by the Labour Government in Tasmania providingfor long service leave without anyof thetags or penalties which theMinister forLabour andNational Service in thisGovernment (Mr.McMahon) loves so well. The powers thathe have decided to challenge the Tasmanian legisla tion in the HighCourt of Australia, and this Government isnowfervishly active in trying to rush its bill through for reasons best known to itself. It is acting,of course, as it always does act, in collusion with the foreign shipowners, in an endeavour to provide a federal basis for the employers’ plan. TheGovernment’sobjective, of course, is to frustrate the efforts of various States that are preparing legislation for the purpose of granting long service leave. I ventureto suggest,however, that those States will be successful in passing their legislation despite the efforts of this Government.

The Government has tried to push this bill through the Parliament with indecent haste. It was brought down yesterday and the Government originally hoped to dispose of it to-night. Shordy afterwards, the Parliament was to go into recess. However, the Opposition has forced the Minister and the (Government to allow more time for consideration of the measure. The Government’shaste in the matter makes me suspicious.

Mr Mackinnon:

– -You are a suspicious character!


-I am always suspicious of honorable gentlemen opposite, especially thosewho occupy the front bench. lt was for this reason thatI gavethe measure intense examination and -considered it clause by clause. I looked very closely at it, knowing thatI wouldfind plentyof legal traps in it. After all, I have had 35 or 40 years in the industrial movement, and I rknow what organized labour suffers at the hands of anti-Labour governments at all times.

The Minister’s legal cunning in drawing up abill is well known. What has been the result of his efforts? I suggest it is one of the most spurious documents that it has ever been m,y unhappy lot to witness. The Minister, whose well-known hatred of the organized trade union movement will bear further examination later, ‘has spent many worrying moments over thisbill, and he has conceived a diabolical plan to include so many restrictions in the bill as to make it worthless and completely unacceptable to theLabour movement. What is he looking for? A strike on the eve of ‘the election? Usingall thelegal knowledge that he possesses, he has tried ‘to ‘create the illusion that he is a good fellow and that the Government is most eager to provide some benefits for this fine body of men, hundreds of whom are members of the Australian Labour Party, and the majority of whom are fathers of large families of Australian boys and girls.

The Minister has laid down all sorts of depressing conditions in the bill. Let us consider the working conditions of these men. They work in all kinds of weather. Their union, the Waterside Workers Federation, is trying to provide some kind of security for these men, who have most inhumane conditions of employment forced on them.

Mr Anderson:

– Rubbish!


– “ Rubbish “, says the grazier from Hume. He has never been on the waterfront except to board a luxury liner to take him on a tour of the world. Let the grazier from Hume work in some of these so-called ships that ply around our coasts, and on other vessels that arc engaged in overseas trade, often with coloured crews. He would have to work, as these men work, in all kinds of filth and in working conditions that it is almost impossible for the human mind to contemplate.

The Government, of course, works in collusion at all times with the foreign shipowners who are guiding the steps of the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) into the House of Lords. When the right honorable gentleman is finally admitted to that august assembly the Minister now at the table, the Minister for Labour and National Service, expects to take the place of the Prime Minister in this chamber. As I have said, the Prime Minister’s steps are being guided into the House of Lords, and one of the conditions of entry is this long service leave legislation. The Prime Minister made another step towards his goal recently when he agreed to the shipowners’ demand for an increase in freight rates. Honorable members opposite have been most vociferous throughout my speech, but I notice that they are silent now. The Government has allowed the shipowners to increase freight rates by 14 per cent, during the last eighteen months. When the waterside workers, who make all the profits of the shipowners possible, ask for a little out of the profits by way of long service leave, the Prime Minister gives the task of preparing legislation to the Minister for Labour and National Service, and the result is the measure that we now have before us.

The Minister says, “ We must give them an incentive “. What he means is, “ We must give them an incentive to forget about participating in so many unlawful strikes “. What is an unlawful strike? The Minister, of course, is naive enough to believe that this unholy body of waterside workers is responsible for every strike that occurs on the waterfront. He never thinks that the shipowners, or the stevedoring firms that have contracted to do certain jobs at certain prices and within certain times might be responsible for some of the strikes. There are times when these stevedoring organizations find that because of the inefficient methods they employ they are unable to complete certain contracts on time, and they decide that the best way out of the difficulty is to provoke a strike, so that they will then not have to comply with the penalty provisions of the particular contracts. In such a case a strike is provoked by the pin-pricking tactics of men who are known on the waterfront as bulls, whose task is to look after the interests of the shipowners. Honorable members opposite are all trying to interject, but they would not know anything about the position. The putrid press is then called in by the shipowners to spread its poison and the Minister rushes to the aid of the putrid press and bellows “ communism “. He forgets completely that thousands and thousands of waterside workers are honoured members of the Labour Party, good family men and fathers of good Australian sons and daughters. It is easy to cry communism. A barren mind finds it particularly easy, and our Minister is at the top of the tree in that category.

Let us have a look at the Minister’s background. He is a wealthy businessman, with interests in the steel industry, the shipping industry, and in heavy industry generally. I worked for the firm in which he is interested. It was very hard to get anything out of it. I remind honorable members opposite that I had 40 years on the waterfront as a boilermaker, and I am proud of every minute of it. The Minister practised law and at various times had close connexions with judges of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court.

Mr McMahon:

– Never! I had no association with them.


– Being Minister for Labour and National Service he would have great influence with former Ministers of the Government who have been elevated to the Commonwealth Industrial Court, such as Chief Judge Spicer, who was Attorney-General in this Government.


– Order! The honorable member for Kingsford-Smith would be wise to get back to the bill, and to cease making remarks reflecting on the judiciary.


– I suggest that the long service leave amendment to the stevedoring industry legislation will have to go through the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission for the OK of Chief Judge Spicer.

Mr McMahon:

– It will not.


– I make no apology. The Minister was very successful in his efforts to frustrate organized labour through the Commonwealth arbitration tribunals by means of the wage freeze, the pegging of margins, and the imposition of pains and penalties. I know that every time I look at him I have pains and penalties. The Minister has an obsession for pains, penalties and restrictions. This is an infamous bill, particularly with respect to its provisions for old men. The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Howson) insulted all the old men in the Waterside Workers Federation in his speech yesterday.

Mr Cleaver:

– They are old, are they not?


– Of course they are.

Mr Cleaver:

– They are over 80?


– Yes. You will be 80 some day. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being introduced in King’s Hall to a member of the Waterside Workers Federation who is 86 years of age. He had been a member of the Waterside Workers Federation since 1894.

Mr Cleaver:

– Is he still drawing attendance money?


– If you were to work on the waterfront you would not live until you were 86. It was most unfair for these old men to be criticized by a young snob - a young near-millionaire - and I resent it. But let us get on with the Minister. In view of the Minister’s connexions, I think he should be removed from his high office because, naturally, he would be prejudiced. He cannot help it. It is bred into him. I could mention some incidents over the years which would make him prejudiced. He would be prejudiced in favour of big business, and when big business cracks the whip he answers. We have an industrial authority presided over by a chief judge who was previously Attorney-General in this Government. He is aided and abetted by a judge named Joske, who used to sit opposite.


– Order! The honorable member must not reflect upon a court. He will restrict his remarks to the legislation before the House.


– I did not mention the court. I am talking about a judge called Joske.


-If the honorable gentleman does not restrict his remarks to the legislation before the House but continues to reflect on judges, he will be required to resume his seat.


– I know that the Minister for Labour and National Service would like me to reflect more on the waterside workers. But a member of the Liberal Party was elevated to a very high office in this community and he now gives much consideration to arbitration affairs. It is well known that the court is loaded. That is no reflection on the court.


– Order! I shall give the honorable gentleman one more chance. If he again reflects on a court or on judges he will be asked to resume his seat and another honorable member will be called.


– Among my 46,000 constituents are many waterside workers. They are honorable men, Sir, even if you doubt my assertions about other honorable men. But I say this: There were three members of this Parliament and a member of the trade union movement who had been entrusted with a trade union case but who ratted on the trade union and went over to the federal government; those people were all elevated to an honorable place. 1 do not think it is very honorable. Those are my views.I am always on the side–

Mr Wilson:

– I rise to order. I suggest that the honorable member for KingsfordSmith should be required to withdraw his remarks reflecting on the judiciary. He said, first of all, that the court was loaded. That is highly offensive. Secondly, he made statements reflecting on the judiciary in the last few words that he spoke. I draw your attention to Standing Order No. 77, which reads as follows: -

No member shall use offensive words against . . any member of the judiciary.

The honorable member for KingsfordSmith has used many offensive words against a member of the judiciary. I suggest that he be asked to apologize and withdraw his remarks.

Mr Allan Fraser:

– I wish to speak to the point of order. Mr. Deputy Speaker, you have just given a ruling rebuking the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith and saying that you would give him one more chance. Since then, he has not named or referred to any member of the judiciary.


– I have listened very attentively to the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith. In his last remarks he made an indirect reference to a court. He did not, however, name any one and he was not explicit as to whom he was referring. I was prepared to overlook the point, and was waiting to ascertain whether the honorable member was directly referring to the court. I can say that he was not. The honorable gentleman will continue his remarks, but he had better watch his step.


– Thank you, Sir, for an excellent ruling. I am sure that it reflects unfavorably upon the millionaire who just made the attack. Of course, he would have no knowledge of the waterfront industry. He would have no knowledge of the real he-men and good Australians who are engaged in this industry. They are not miserable-looking half-bred millionaires.


– Order! The honorable member for Kingsford-Smith will restrict his remarks to the legislation before the House.


– Further, Sir, in defence of the waterside workers, I should like to refer to remarks passed by the Minister for Labour and National Service in his secondreading speech. Perhaps the honorable and cultured gentleman opposite thinks that this is a good measure.

In “ Hansard “ - a public document - we may read what the Minister said in his second-reading speech when he was discussing the approach of the waterside workers’ leaders to this matter. This cultured lawyer at the table said -

In truth, the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation have been engaged in a prostitution of the very purposes of trade unionism. All too frequently, at unauthorized stop-work meetings, allegedly called to discuss some major industrial issue, discussions are centred on and resolutions are put about matters that are not industrial.

See the inference?

Mr Pearce:

– No.


– How can honorable members opposite be so dumb? We know they are dumb. What do their constituents think when they see such a body of dumb cattle representing them?


– Order! I ask the honorable member to restrain his language. It is most unparliamentary, and I ask him to try to behave with the dignity becoming to a member of this Parliament.


– May I suggest, Sir, if my language is unparliamentary, that we should strike the word “ prostitution “ from the Minister’s speech. I think that that is most unparliamentary language, and you seem to be very dumb about it.

Let us come back to these incentives for the waterside workers. This goodhearted Minister announced this incentive of long service leave. There will be three months’ long service leave worth approximately £250 to each man, after 25 years’ service. The Minister, who has a notorious hatred of unions and who has as his pet objective in life the destruction of the great trade union movement, never offers any cooperation, but bellows from morning to night about communism in an effort to inflame the community against the waterside workers and their union. His departmental officers try to create an inferiority complex in the minds of the waterside workers instead of searching for a solution of the problem. I point out to the Minister and the House that in the rules of every trade union there is a clause which provides that no strike action shall be contemplated until all channels of negotiation have been explored. That is a fundamental principle in the trade union movement. The shipowners find it easy to create a strike atmosphere, and so it goes on. They slide gently out of their commitments by causing a strike by provocation. The Minister smiles. Apparently, he likes the provocation on the part of the shipowners. I believe that he supports it.

Let us look further at these long service leave provisions and see how keen are the members of this Government, including the Minister, to meet the wishes of this powerful gang of foreign crooks.


– Order! I ask the honorable member for KingsfordSmith to resume his seat.


– Surely this Government is not protecting the shipowners.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– On a point of order: I submit, Sir, that there is nothing in the Standing Orders that prevents a member of this Parliament from describing shipowners or anybody else who is outside the Parliament as a gang of crooks. If the Chair thought, as I am inclined to think it did, that the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith was referring to the judiciary, to a member of this House or to Government supporters in this chamber as a whole, I would say that the Chair had acted correctly. But I suggest - and the “ Hansard “ report will verify this - that the reference by the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith to a gang of crooks was a reference to the shipping interests outside the Parliament, and they have no protection whatsoever.


– I have warned the honorable member for KingsfordSmith on a number of occasions during his speech about the unparliamentary manner in which he has addressed himself to this bill. I am prepared to give him another chance if he will modify his language and restrict his remarks to the bill.


– Thank you, Sir.

Mr Ward:

– Another excellent ruling.


– It was a very good ruling.

The action of the Minister for Labour and National Service seems to me to be a typical instance of sheer hypocrisy, insofar as it will enable this Government to impose harsher conditions on the waterside workers, and in particular on the older ones. I hope that those words are not unparliamentary. The Government is pandering again to the foreign shipowners. We must not forget the sale of the Commonwealth shipping line by this Government. On 1st September last, in answer to a question in which I asked for the re-establishment of our own shipping line, the Prime Minister said -

Coastal - yes, we have one. International - no, we will not have one.

Honorable members can draw their own conclusions.

When one looks closely into the provisions of this bill, one sees their real purpose. Take the qualification that if there is a port stoppage, no matter what the cause or how justified, for every day that the stoppage lasts each worker will have to serve one additional month in order to qualify for long service leave. In addition, he will be penalized by losing his right to attendance money on four days for each day of the stoppage. 1 should like to mention the time in 1917 when I was on strike for nine months. Had a provision like this existed in those days, I would still have been paying for that strike. Again, in 1928, I was out every Saturday for eighteen months in a campaign to implement the five-day week. We succeeded, too, and we did not have one scab. This provision which I have just mentioned is the most diabolic that I have ever seen in any legislation.

Then we come to another gem. I do not know who thought this one up. If more than 250 or one-third of the men at a port are involved in a stoppage, the men will be penalized unless they can convince a judge of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission that the stoppage was justified. We see where these judges come in again. What a farce and a joke this is. Surely the Minister was not serious when he accepted this infamous suggestion by one of the bright boys in the Department of Labour and National Service. This brings back to me memories of my days on the labour market as a boilermakcr, when we had strike after strike in order to build up the conditions which the people of Australia enjoy to-day despite this ill-fated Government. We endured sacrifice and suffering and starved ourselves in order to get these conditions, including the 40-hour week, which will soon become a 35-hour week. So it will go on. That is the sort of thing for which we suffered in days gone by. If that qualification had been in operation then, there would have been an open revolution. I remind the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. McMahon) that this is the atomic age, and there is no justification whatever for a provision of this kind. It just shows how low the Minister and his departmental officers can get in their efforts to stultify the onward march of the trade union movement.

Mr McMahon:

– I rise to order. I ask for the withdrawal of those remarks about myself and my departmental officers. I refer to the honorable member’s remark: “ It shows how low the Minister and his departmental officers can get “. If he were referring to me only, I would not raise any objection, but I will not have my departmental officers referred to in that way.


– Order!I ask the honorable member for KingsfordSmith to withdraw the reference he made to the Minister and his departmental officers.


– We are getting to be real pansies.


– Order! I ask the honorable member to withdraw the remark.


– I refuse to withdraw it. I withdraw it so far as it relates to the departmental officers, but not so far as it relates to the Minister.


– Order! The Minister has not requested that you withdraw the reference to him, but I do. I now ask the honorable member please to withdraw that remark.


– They have prevailed upon me to withdraw it.


– Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.


.- I know that the House has enjoyed the humorous interlude while the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith (Mr. Curtin) was speaking, but I do not propose to waste my time on it. The one thing that stands out clearly in this debate is the fact that the Opposition is certainly putting up only a sham fight. There is also not a shadow of a doubt that the speech delivered by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell) last night, in which he stated publicly that in future the Australian Labour Party could not support, either in this House or anywhere else, any unauthorized stoppage, embarrassed the Australian Labour Party. He made the position very clear when he said, “ We of the Labour Party do not support these unauthorized stoppages “.

Mr Bandidt:

– Who said that?


– The Leader of the Opposition, and honorable members may read it in “ Hansard “. The Leader of the Opposition also said - i think that anarchy anywhere, in the trade union movement or elsewhere, is not to be tolerated.

That was a very important statement coming, as it did, from the Leader of the Opposition in this Parliament, when he was referring to this bill and to many things that had happened on the waterfront. He also embarrassed the Australian Labour Party in its attacks upon this Government when he said quite emphatically last night -

Whatever the Tasmanian Parliament has passed we want to improve upon and we think the country is prosperous enough to pay for it.

We have heard terrific howls in this place from the Opposition about the country going to the dogs, yet the Leader of the Opposition says that his party thinks that the country is prosperous enough to pay for improvements in the conditions of waterside workers. The Leader of the Opposition has shown in two ways that the Opposition is putting up nothing more than a sham fight against this bill, and in both he has seriously embarrassed his own side. First, he said that the Labour Party did not, and would not, support unauthorized stoppages. I ask the House and the nation to note that, and to mark it well for future reference. Those of us who know that the Leader of the Opposition is a stalwart of the trade union movement, and that he is a contender for the office of Prime Minister, were expecting him to present a calm, calculated and enlightening speech. Instead, we heard something to which we are becoming accustomed in this place, something akin to the rantings and ravings of a street corner tub thumper.

I pass now to the background of waterfront stoppages. The honorable member for Kingsford-Smith spoke about the terrible things the Government wishes to do to the waterside workers union. Let me remind honorable members of what happened during the war years. Let me remind them that some of the leaders still associated with the waterside workers were among those who called the members of the Sixth Division sixbobaday murderers. We all remember that. Again, when the boys at Milne Bay had their backs to the wall and needed the utmost support, at the time when they needed every ton of shipping and supplies that they could get, the wharfies, who had then the same leadership as they have now, refused them that help: I and every other member of the Ninth Division remember only too well how we had to go down on to the wharfs to load ships with the things so urgently needed by our comrades and colleagues at Milne Bay. We also remember what happened at Pyrmont when these same leaders incited their fellows to cease workins on a ship loaded with industrial gases, including ammonia. Their cry then was, “ This ship is unsafe; it has mustard gas in it “. I repeat that I and every other member of the Ninth Division, some of whom went north never to return, remember only too well that we had to go down to the wharfs to work these ships.

A moment ago, the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith told us that unions do not go on strike until all other avenues prove ineffective. I do not agree with that. Despite what the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith says, we must face the facts as disclosed in paragraph 30 on page 86 of the report of the fait Committee of Inquiry. That paragraph reads -

The reason stated for stoppages does not attempt to cover any underlying cause of a dispute. The information in the Board’s summary is obtained from the officer of the Board in the port where the dispute occurs and gives the reason as outlined to him by the Federation representative for the stoppage of work. The Federation may give a different reason for a stoppage of work than that which is in reality the true reason. An example of this is the well-known “ Radnor “ case in which it was notorious that the loading of the “ Radnor “ was held up because it was taking arms to Indo-China, but the waterside workers stopped work ostensibly over the question of amenities.

In the six-year period, ending 1955, 2,600,000 man-hours were lost owing to disputes associated with political issues, and 2,000,000 man-hours were lost through stoppages arising from refusal to work overtime and for other reasons, many of them purely political. These facts cannot be denied.

In reminding the House and the nation of another very important point, I refer to a publication which is well known to everybody, although some members of the Australian Labour Party shy away from it like startled deer when they see it. It is, “ Communism is Treason “, by Mr. J. T. Lang. In it, Mr. Lang quoted the following article which was published in the Tribune “, a Communist paper, on 29th May, 1948:-

The Australian trade unions’ ban on Dutch ships prevented Dutch Imperialist forces from keeping their October 4, 1945 re-occupation rendezvous with Lord Louis Mountbatten in Batavia.

Australians and striking Indonesians, Chinese, Indians-, and others who supported the ban thus prevented re-imposition of Dutch rule over Indonesia’s 75 million people, and gave the Indonesian Republic precious time to gather its forces.

That was no strike for legitimate industrial reasons, and that was typical of many of the stoppages we have suffered.

Let me deal now with the effects of stoppages.

Let me deal now with the effect of these stoppages on the community as a whole. Who suffers as a result of these stoppages? The whole community suffers! Last night, the honorable member for Macpherson (Mr. Barnes) made a very potent point when he directed attention to the increase in the carriage of goods by road, the effect of this upon the roads themselves and . the cost involved in maintaining the roads. The nation is being loaded with this cost simply because ships were not being loaded and masters never knew when they would be able to leave a port once they entered it. Therefore, people who wanted goods transported turned to road haulage, and to-day we are paying the cost of maintaining the roads which are deteriorating because there has been a great growth in the carriage of goods by road.

Every stoppage by waterside workers that was not the result of a genuine industrial dispute, but of something that had no relation to the principal purpose of a trade union, hurt trade unionists throughout the country. The waterside workers let down their fellow trade unionists everywhere. This cannot be denied, because, as a result of delays to ships and other port stoppages, many other trade unionists lost their jobs.

Let me deal now with the effect of stoppages on the waterside workers themselves. Through their short-sightedness they have allowed their leaders to lead them into unnecessary stoppages which the Leader of the Opposition said last night that the Labour Party does not support. I assume that no member of the Opposition will deny this assertion by his leader. What followed these stoppages? Fewer ships were available for handling, and so fewer jobs were available on the waterfront. The watersiders accelerated what inevitably would have happened - the installation of mechanical means of handling cargo. They did themselves out of jobs because fewer workers were required to handle cargoes. I do not think that the average waterside worker has realized the effect that these unnecessary unauthorized stoppages have had, but I am proud to know that the Leader of the Opposition joins the Government in denouncing them.

I wish to deal now with the leave provisions of the bill. The Minister outlined, in his second-reading speech, the benefits that are being offered to waterside workers, and I need not repeat them. The Leader of the Opposition said last night that his party is not opposing the benefits; the only objection that the Opposition has to the bill is in relation to the so-called penalties. The Leader of the Opposition used the words “ No tags “ as if we were doing something diabolical, something terrible, something which was ultra vires, and something which completely negated the spirit and meaning of Magna Carta. We are doing nothing of the kind. After all, what is the basic point of our freedom under

Magna Carta and under our democratic system of government? It is that we are free to do as we like, so long as we do not break the law. If we do not like the law we have the constitutional right to try, quietly and peaceably, to find supporters for our point of view who will assist us in having the law changed by constitutional means. That is the fundamental principle. That is what is meant by the rule of law. Surely to heaven, this nation is not expected to accept the principle put forward by many members of the Opposition that the rule of law must not apply to the Waterside Workers Federation because they are above the law and completely immune to it. Is there a divine right of the Waterside Workers Federation? No! I believe that every genuine unionist, every genuine member of the Labour Party and every genuine Australian will be 100 per cent, behind the Government in its attempt to introduce to the waterfront the same kind of ordinary common-sense principles that apply in our day-to-day life. If we want to cross the street we are free to do so provided that we do not cross it at an incorrect angle and so cause upset and trouble to others. If we do, we must pay the penalty.

Any one would think that we were doing a dreadful thing by introducing this bill. So far, no member of the Opposition has made any comment - but I suppose they will now that I have mentioned it - about a new concession that has been included in the bill. It provides that if an individual is successful in his appeal to the court against suspension or other penalties that may have been imposed upon him, he will be granted compensation for the loss of wages that he suffered while he was under suspension. There is nothing in any award which prevents any member of the Waterside Workers Federation from appealing if he believes himself to have been unjustly penalized. He is in the same position as any other citizen who can appeal to the courts of the land for redress of a grievance.

What utter rot has been talked about these penalty clauses. One would think that they were something that had been suddenly taken from the laws of the Czars. There has been no mention in this debate of the penalties which the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation apply, not legally but by devious means, to waterside workers who get out of line with the policies laid down by their leaders. The Labour Party has not said a word about that. Apparently it is all right for the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation to use threats and intimidation to force a man to do something that he does not want to do because he wants to protect his wife and family, but if is not all right for the Government to apply the rule of law to the Waterside Workers Federation.

This bill does nothing that is new to the law of our country or of any British community. The Government is seeking merely to apply the common law. If any member of the Waterside Workers Federation feels aggrieved, he has the right of appeal and, if his appeal is upheld, he has the right of compensation. Where, then, is there any penalty on the honest law-abiding man? I repeat that the fight being put up by Labour Party members on this issue is purely and simply a sham. Their hearts are not in it because the Labour Party now has been committed publically by its Leader to two opinions: The first is that the Labour Party does not approve and will not uphold unlawful unauthorized stoppages, and the second is that this country is so prosperous that it can meet all the demands of the Waterside Workers Federation. However, because of the Opposition’s screams previously that this country is going to the dogs, members of the Labour Party - many of them genuine fellows - realize in what a terribly embarrassing untenable position they have been placed.

No matter which Opposition member speaks on this bill, his heart will not be in the fight because he knows that the so-called penalties have been taken from the ordinary civil law - or criminal law, if you wish - and applied to the Waterside Workers Federation. Waterside workers have their right of appeal and their right to compensation. All that they are asked to do is to observe the law. In other words, the burden of the penalty lies not upon the innocent member of the Waterside Workers Federation but upon the one who knows that he is contravening the law.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

Mr. Speaker, this is a bill which gives for the first time the benefit of long service leave to members of the Waterside Workers Federation in certain circumstances. It is the first time that the Parliament has exercised its right to grant long service leave or to give any industrial conditions to people outside the Commonwealth Public Service, other than in the case of the coal-miners, in which instance, acting in conjunction with the State parliaments, it did take action in respect of long service leave. I do not disagree with the Parliament fixing industrial conditions for workers in respect of whom it has the constitutional power to fix such conditions. Indeed, my only criticism of the Government in this respect is that whereas it has confined the operation of long service leave under this bill to waterside workers it should have extended it to every other person employed in the maritime industries for which it has constitutional power to legislate.

The Government should have extended long service leave even to the employees of private employers in the whole of the Territories of the Commonwealth, over which this Parliament has jurisdiction. The fact remains that even to this day in the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and the other Territories administered by the Commonwealth, employees of private employers are not entitled by law to long service leave conditions. I believe that is wrong. I believe that this Parliament ought to legislate in respect of this kind of thing so that every member of the Parliament, whether Liberal or Labour, would be made to stand up and be counted on industrial matters and bread and butter issues. I believe that if this Parliament were clothed with the same powers possessed by the State parliaments in respect of industrial conditions, so that every man on the hustings would stand before the electors and be compelled to state where he stood on such questions as long service leave, sick leave, annual leave, quarterly cost-of-living adjustments and the basic wage, there would be a different kind of Parliament elected.

What happens to-day is that some of the workers, unfortunately, are voting for people who are utterly opposed to the interests of the working class. In answer to questions addressed to candidates on the hustings, the workers are told, “The questions of rates of pay, quarterly costofliving adjustments and other industrial matters are not matters over which the Commonwealth Parliament has any power. They are something which only the Commonwealth court can determine, so do not question me on these things and make me stand up and be counted on these bread and butter questions, because I have no say in them, and as much as I would like to help you I can do nothing about them “. I would like to see the day come when every candidate at a federal election could be made to declare himself on bread and butter issues. What is wrong with members of this Parliament being the ones to determine the industrial conditions ar.d the wages of the people of the Commonwealth? Is it not far more democratic for an elected parliament to fix wages, rates of pay and other industrial conditions than to give that power to a court, the members of which are appointed for life and are not answerable to the people whose conditions they determine? No one who is a true democrat can get away from the fact that true democracy demands that things like the fixation of wages and the determination of working conditions ought to be done by people who can be sacked at the next election if they do not fix just ar.d proper conditions.

One of the things which this Parliament should remember in respect of those for whom we have the constitutional power to determine industrial conditions is that the State Parliaments already exercise these powers and nothing of any consequence has happened to the people living in the States, except a great deal of good. Great reforms have come from the elected representatives of the people being given the power to determine matters such as the 40-hour week, long service leave, sick leave, quarterly cost of living adjustments, two weeks annual leave and preference to unionists. All those things were first obtained in this Commonwealth by the action of the New South Wales Labour Parliament using its legislative power to determine and lay down the standards so that the unions could go to the Arbitration Court with a fait accompli, and say, “ Here you are. It is already in existence in New South Wales, the most populous State. We have it already in

Victoria.” I am speaking of what happened in the case of the 40-hour week. The unions would say further, “ We also have it in Queensland, under a Labour government, and now we ask the Arbitration Court to refuse, if it will, a 40-hour week to all the workers of Australia “. The Arbitration Court could not refuse when more than half the workers of Australia were already working a 40-hour week.

Nothing serious has happened as a consequence of a Parliament using its legislative authority to fix industrial conditions. Why should not the workers who elect the Federal Parliament have as much right to expect this Parliament to legislate in their favour as the workers who elect a State parliament have to expect it to legislate in their favour? I believe that every member of this Parliament should be made to stand up and be counted on important fundamental bread and butter issues so that at the following election he would go to his electorate and would have to give an account of himself and explain to the workers why he had voted against quarterly cost of living adjustments and against the various other industrial reforms that the trade union movement is trying to establish in this country. If that were the order of the day, Liberal members of the Parliament would not be so blase about the workers of this country as they now are. They would be more sensitive to the demands of the working classes in this country and there would never, in fact, be anything but a Labour government elected if the Parliament were compelled to legislate on things which are of bread and butter importance to the people who vote.

Do not forget that of the 5,000,000 voters at election time no less than 4,500,000 are either industrial workers or their dependants. Imagine the effect it would have on a parliamentary election if 4,500,000 of 5,000,000 electors depended directly upon the results and actions of the men they elected to this place. The main reason why there is such apathy towards parliamentary elections in the federal sphere, and the only reason why some workers vote for Liberal candidates, is that the Parliament at the moment legislates mainly in respect of matters which are of only abstract importance to the workers, who therefore say of the Federal Parliament, “This is of no consequence and it does not matter whether the Liberals or Labour win “. That is one of the unfortunate consequences of this Parliament being able to shift the responsibility of making these fundamental decisions to a court, the members of which are appointed for life and are not answerable to those people whose conditions it determines. In my view, this is a matter which should be given serious consideration.

As I said at the beginning, this bill purports to confer great benefits on the waterside workers - benefits such as long service leave of three months after twenty years’ continuous service, but subject to all kinds of pains and penalties which do not apply to any other workers in Australia who are entitled to long service leave. I would like the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. McMahon) to kindly tell this House, if he can, why the waterside workers, of all the workers in the whole of Australia, are to be singled out for this special treatment and are to be compelled to suffer these special penalties whenever there is a stoppage. This Parliament has dealt with long service leave on one previous occasion only, to my recollection. That was when it dealt with the long-service leave applicable to persons employed in the Commonwealth Public Service. On that occasion the Parliament did two things. It gave six months’ long service leave after twenty years’ service to members of the Commonwealth Public Service, as against the three months’ long service leave after twenty years’ service which is now being applied to waterside workers; and it gave that long service leave to public servants with none of the strings and penalties attached to it under this bill.

I think that whoever was the typesetter on the Melbourne “ Age “ who was responsible for setting the type for the first 10,000 copies of the issue of that paper that came out this morning hit upon, either by accident or design, the correct title of the bill. In the heading he described the bill as the “ Long Service Leave “ Bill. In other words, what he was saying by his headline was that so long as a waterside worker is prepared to remain completely servile to the employers in the maritime industry for twenty long years then, and only then - after twenty years of servility - will he be entitled to a miserable three months’ long service leave as against the six months enjoyed by people in the Commonwealth Public Service and everybody else in respect of whom such legislation have been passed by this Parliament.

The Minister admits - he is perfectly frank about it - that the purpose of the bill is not primarily to help waterside workers. He says quite openly and honestly that the bill is aimed at disciplining the Waterside Workers Federation in order to prevent disputes and stoppages in the industry. The Minister was quite open about it, and I give him full credit for the fact that he openly states the real reason for the bill.

The only thing about the Minister’s speech which I think was devious was that he did not clearly explain - maybe because he did not know, though somebody is responsible for writing it in - the provision to which I will refer. Whoever was responsible knew what he was doing when he wrote in that most dangerous provision affecting irregulars and old men. I do not know whether the Parliament or the Minister knows, but already every waterside worker over the age of 65 has this morning received a letter from the authority which reads -

Dear Sir,

Long Service Leave.

You will be aware that the Federal Government has introduced amendments to the Stevedoring Industry Act to make provision for long service leave for waterside workers.

The records of the Authority indicate that you are over the age of 65. Your immediate entitlement, if any, under the proposed legislation is at present being examined by the Authority, and when I have further information I will again write you.

Yours faithfully,



The Minister has to strike at the old men, the old stalwarts of the industry, many of whom have come through right back from the days of the 1928 strike. They are the leaders of the young men, the teachers of the young men, who are telling the young men who enter the industry of the things that they have had to fight and strive for through the whole history of the Waterside Workers Federation. They are the tutors and teachers of the young men, not only in industrial and political matters, but also in how to do the job itself. Everybody who knows anything about the waterfront knows that there are many waterfront jobs which require a great deal of experience. Winchdriving is one, among many others, in which old men - the men who are now to be thrown out on the scrap-heap, the men who have been refused a pension in addition to the ordinary social service pension - can work. As a result of this bill these old men will be forced out of the industry. I say that this is a serious matter.

This Parliament is being asked to pass a bill which purports to confer a benefit, but it is clothed with all kinds of pains and penalties which outweigh and completely cancel any benefit that would normally accrue. For example, if a waterside worker is involved in an unauthorized stoppage for one day, he is to lose up to 30 days of the qualifying period of twenty years’ service which will entitle him to long service leave. In addition to losing up to 30 days of his qualifying period he is to lose four days’ attendance money.

I should like the Minister to explain, when he winds up the debate, what will be the effect of this loss of four days’ attendance money on entitlement to annual leave. What, also, is to be the effect of the loss of four days’ attendance money on entitlement to paid public holidays? It is stated in the waterside workers award that a person shall not be entitled to a paid public holiday unless he is either working or is available for work on the working day immediately preceding the public holiday and on the working day immediately after the public holiday. “ Working day “ is defined in the award as being a day on which the person concerned has qualified to receive attendance money. If a working day is a day on which the worker is qualified to receive attendance money and he is subject, under the act, to four days’ disqualification from receiving attendance money, and any one of those four days falls immediately prior to or immediately after a public holiday, the effect of the act and the award combined will mean that he will be subject to - in addition to up to 30 days of his qualifying period for long service leave, in addition to the loss of four days’ attendance money - this possible further penalty of loss of a paid public holiday.

It does not end there. It also could strike at his entitlement for annual leave, because a worker in the industry is not entitled to the full annual leave of eleven days unless he completes 261 working days or, if not actual working days, working days and days on which he collected attendance money. Suppose that he had been disqualified from receiving attendance money for sixteen days, and had worked for 245 days. If the sixteen days to which I have referred were the only other days available for work to bring him up to the entitlement for long service leave, and annual leave, clearly, instead of being entitled to eleven days annual leave, he would be entitled to only ten days. I should like the Minister, when he replies, to state clearly, in unambiguous terms, what the effect of the bill will be in this connexion.

I want to remind everybody inside and outside this Parliament that the opposition to this bill is not some Communist-inspired plot, as one would imagine after listening to the speeches made by some honorable members opposite. The opposition to this bill comes out of the unanimous decision of the interstate executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Mr Anderson:

– How many Commos are on that?

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– How many Commos are on that, asks the honorable member. I knew that the grazier from Hume could be relied upon to ask that question. Of the sixteen members of the interstate executive of the A.C.T.U. no more than three are members of the Communist Party.

Mr Anderson:

– Four.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– The honorable member says that there are four, but he has forgotten the fact that George Seelaf, the fourth man, was defeated at the last congress and is no longer on the executive. There are three Communists on the executive. If the honorable member counts the number of fingers that the Minister held up he will know that there are three out of sixteen who are Communists. Could anybody seriously suggest that three men out of sixteen could determine and dominate the decisions of that body? Of course nobody could! Those sixteen men did not come down in the last shower. Any man who thinks that three men could dominate the thinking of men like Evans and Albert Monk and Souter and Kenny and

Norman Thom and these other men like Reg. Bishop and Joe Chamberlain, who represent the various branches of the A.C.T.U., does not know anything about the men concerned. The Minister, I am pleased to note, nodded his approval of my remarks that nobody could dominate the decisions and the minds of Albert Monk and the others, and I am pleased that at least he is honest enough to admit that those men could not be dominated by three Communists in an executive of sixteen.

Mr Anderson:

– And how many fellow travellers?

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– How many fellow travellers? The old McCarthy smear. According to the honorable member for Hume anybody who parts his hair on the left side is a fellow traveller. If he rides on a tram with Jim Healy he is a fellow traveller. If he wears a red tic he is a fellow traveller. If he does anything contrary to what the Australian Country Party thinks or what the Liberal Party says, he is a fellow traveller. It is all absolutely absurd.

I want to give this ray of hope to the men in the industry - the men who do the hard work on the wharfs, not the men who sit at glass-topped desks in the executive offices of the shipping companies: To the waterside workers and those in the maritime industry as a whole, I say that we echo ;he sentiments of our leader who last night said that immediately upon becoming the government the Australian Labour Party will remove the whole of the penal clauses in this abnoxious legislation. We will extend the provisions of the bill to every one to whom we have the constitutional right to extend it. The waterside workers, therefore, can be assured that they have not very much longer to suffer from the disabilities of this bill. If they will throw their weight behind the Australian Labour Party at election time, if they will throw their finance into the campaign funds of the Australian Labour Party, as they have in fact always done in the past, there will be a new government after the election. One of our first actions then will be to remove the obnoxious penal clauses from this bill.

I believe that this piece of legislation has been deliberately introduced by the Government in a cunning, crafty move to create industrial unrest at election time. The Government knows very well that it cannot win the election on economic or social issues. It is hoping now that it can create some industrial disturbance on the waterfront, so that it will be able to say: “ Here you are, the commos are at it again. Vote for the Liberal Party and we will cure everything.” What the Government does not seem to bargain on is that the people will reply to that kind of strategy by saying: “ You have been here for twelve years. You were elected twelve years ago to fight communism. Now, on your own admission, communism is stronger than it was when you were elected twelve years ago. If you cannot do any more to fight communism than you have done after twelve long weary years, it is time we had another government in your place.”

It is no use blaming the Communists and the waterside workers for what has happened on the waterfront. The real cause of the trouble on the waterfront is the provocative action of the employers, the refusal of the authority and the employers to observe proper safety regulations, and the various pinpricking actions of the employers from time to time. In the Waterside Workers Federation, Jim Healy does not raise his finger and say, “The whole of < you 22,000 members will go on strike tomorrow “. That is what honorable members on the other side of the House seem to imagine happens.

Mr Killen:

– What are your views on Jim Healy?

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– My views on Jim Healy are these-

Mr Killen:

– I will give you mine later.

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– Yes, and I will tell you what mine are. My views on Jim Healy are these, and everybody will admit this: Jim Healy is using to the utmost advantage the stupid legislation that the Government has introduced. He is using to the utmost advantage for himself the pinpricking tactics of the employers. Instead of weakening Jim Healy and defeating him, as the Government probably thought it would do with this legislation, it will strengthen him. The Waterside Workers Federation will not decide to reject one of its leaders simply because the Menzies Government says it does not like that leader.

The more the Menzies Government says that it dislikes the leader of the waterside workers, the stronger that leader will become. It is like the attack made by the United States on Cuba. That attack strengthened rather than weakened Castro. The Government’s attack on Healy will strengthen him rather than weaken him. If Healy’s election was ever in doubt before this legislation was introduced, it certainly is not in doubt now. Healy will win with an overwhelming majority because of the action of this Government.

I want to talk now about the fundamental principle of the right to strike. The right to strike is an integral part of the way of life of the Australian in his struggle for a decent and more secure standard. In fact, it is the only weapon available to labour when constitutional means fail to reach a just settlement of industrial grievances. The distinction between the right to strike and the need to strike, of course, cannot be too strongly emphasized. I am not one of those who advocate that employees should strike to settle every industrial grievance. On the contrary, I am one of those who believe that industrial grievances should be rectified, if possible, bv negotiation and by constitutional means. But by the same token, I say that where constitutional means fail to settle an industrial grievance that is real and genuine, the right to strike remains the only weapon available to the worker.

It is the right to strike that often enables a union to achieve its aim merely by threatening to strike. I see no difference between a union threatening to strike or using the strike weapon to achieve its aims and the British Medical Association using the threat of a doctors’ strike to achieve its aims, as it did when the Chifley Government wanted to introduce its free medicine scheme. A strike is no more than the action of sellers of labour combining together to get the maximum return for the only thin? they have to sell, their labour. It is no different, in my view, from the action of the banks which join together to increase interest rates; the shipping companies which join together to increase freights; the airlines, when TransAustralia Airlines was forced by the Government to join with Ansett-A.N.A. to increase fares; the quarry companies which join together to increase the price of metal; the insurance companies which join together to increase their tariffs; the British Medical Association, which agreed to an increase in fees by doctors; the chemists, the architects and the lawyers, even the bakers and butchers and last but not least the newspaper proprietors, who join together to impose upon the community the charge that they think is proper for the services or goods that they have to sell. There is little difference between a strike and the takeover bids that have enabled those engaged in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail industries to adopt restrictive trade practices.

The Australian Labour Party has always fought for the right to strike and it will never give up the right to strike. While we, of course, will always frown on the irresponsible use of the strike weapon, we will nevertheless always aver that the right to strike is, as Percy Clarey used to say, one of the features that distinguishes the free man from the slave. No country that forbids a man to withhold his labour can claim that it is really free. Nobody strikes for fun. Striking is not a funny exercise.

Mr Killen:

– Do you seriously believe that?

Mr Clyde Cameron:

– Of course 1 do. My experience as a union official is that men do not strike for fun. A strike imposes too big a burden and hardship on the wives and families, and working men are no different from other men. They love their wives and families just as other men love their families. It is no good the honorable member saying that they do not; they do. It is useless for any one to say anything else.

If the right to strike is to be effective, the trade unions must always be free to exist, to build up funds and to organize for strike action. The Chamber of Manufactures, the Employers Federation, the Graziers Association, of which the grazier from Hume is a distinguished member, the shipping combines and the colliery owners all have their unions for the purpose of taking some kind of action for the benefit of their members, just as trade unions take strike action for the benefit of their members, Government supporters have made a cardinal error in believing that their plea to the wharf labourers to throw out their Communist officials would succeed. It will have the very opposite effect. If they wanted to help Jim Healy, they could not have done so better than by bringing in this legislation. It has given him the opportunity to attack it, to pick it to pieces and to show the weaknesses in it. The Government could not have done anything worse, as a Liberal government, than to say to the waterside workers that they should throw out their Communist leaders, because the waterside workers are certain to do the very opposite to what this Government says. Whether Jim Healy is a Communist or not is completely beside the point. When the waterside workers are asked to elect a secretary of their union and they decide that Jim Healy is a better secretary than some other persons, it is their right to determine whom they will have as their secretary, just as I have the right to call a Communist doctor if I am sick and I think he is best qualified to treat me.

Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay:

Order! The honorable member’s time has expired.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Killen) adjourned.

page 1796


Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 8); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 9); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 10); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 11); Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 12); Customs Tariff (Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Preference) Amendment (No. 1)

In Committee of Ways and Means:

Minister for Repatriation · Evans · LP

– I move - [Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 8).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that on and after the twelfth day of May, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 16th March, 1961; 23rd March, 1961; and 18th April, 1961.


[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 9).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals, and that on and after the twelfth day of May, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one. Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates, namely: - 16th March, 1961 ; 23rd March. 1961; and 18th April, 1961.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 10).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that on and after the twelfth day of May, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates:- 16th March, 1961; 23rd March, 1961; and 18th April, 1961.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 11).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, bc further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that on and after the twelfth day of May, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 16th March, 1961; 23rd March, 1961; and 18th April, 1961.

[Customs Tariff Amendment (No. 12).]

  1. That the Schedule to the Customs Tariff 1933-1960, as proposed to be amended by Customs Tariff Proposals, be further amended as set out in the Schedule to these Proposals and that on and after the twelfth day of May, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one, Duties of Customs be collected accordingly.
  2. That in these Proposals, “ Customs Tariff Proposals “ mean the Customs Tariff Proposals introduced into the House of Representatives on the following dates: - 16th March, 1961; 23rd March, 1961; and 18th April, 1961

page 1809


page 1809


[Customs Tariff (Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Preference) Amendment (No. 1).]

That, on and after the twelfth day of May, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one - **Mr. Chairman,** the Tariff Proposals which I have tabled relate to proposed amendments of the Customs Tariff 1933-1960 and the Customs Tariff (Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Preference) 1960. They will take effect to-morrow morning. In the main, the proposals provide for changes in duty on canvas and duck, cotton sheeting, animal and vegetable fats and oils, umbrellas, hand tools, barytes and xanthates and arise from consideration of Tariff Board recommendations on these goods. I shall table the Tariff Board reports at a later stage. The Tariff Board has recommended that protection be extended to a larger of cotton sheeting than at present but that the duties be reduced. The reduction amounts to approximately 10 per cent, ad valorem on most sheeting. At present, protection does not extend to sheeting weighing less than 4 oz. per square yard. This has led to a diversion of demand to very light sheeting. The proposals aim to close this gap in the present protection. In such circumstances the Tariff Board considers that reduced duties on normal weights of sheeting will provide adequate protection. The proposals also make twill sheeting dutiable at the same protective rates as the more common plain or matt sheeting Similarly, on cotton canvas and duck the Tariff Board has recommended an increase in the scope of protection. It considers that this action is necessary to counter a diversion of demand from the usual types of canvas and duck' to singleyarn or " Dersuti " types which are at present admitted at concessional rates of duty. The board considers that if singleyarn ducks are brought within the protected field, the overall level of protection for the Australian industry can be reduced. The duties on flax canvas are being increased to bring them into line with those on cotton canvas and duck. As the sheeting and canvas and duck changes involve a number of textile tariff items, the opportunity is being taken to introduce an improved tariff structure for the section of the tariff concerned. The report of the Tariff Board on animal and vegetable fats and oils covers a wide range of oil seeds and nuts, oils and meals produced therefrom and fatty acids. Broadly speaking, the board has recommended duty-free admission of oil seeds and nuts of types not grown in Australia and no change in the duties on other seeds and nuts. In regard to the oils, the Tariff Board has, in general, recommended duties of 4s. per gallon most favoured nation on edible oils and ls. 6d. per gallon on inedible oils. Exceptions are linseed oil, for which the board has recommended a duty of 2s. per gallon, and olive oil, for which a bounty of ls. 6d. per gallon is recommended. On some oils which are not produced in Australia or which the board found did not require protection against imported oils, duty-free entry has been recommended. Examples are palm oil and unrefined coco-nut oil. The board has also recommended that a proportion of local requirements of linseed oil, safflower oil, soya bean oil and peanut oil should be admitted under by-law. The quantities to be imported under by-law will be related to the use of local seed for the production of oil. The use of by-laws in this way has the effect of lowering the average cost of the oils and means that the industry can be protected by lower duties than might otherwise be necessary. The board considers that the Australian olive oil industry should receive increased assistance and has recommended a bounty of1s. 6d. per gallon. The Government agrees that increased assistance is justified but has decided that this should take the form of an increase of1s. 6d. per gallon in the import duties. The board has recommended no change in the duties on animal and fish oils, free entry of oil cakes and meals and increased duties on tall oil and on fatty acids. These last products are used in the soap and paint industries. Touching next on hand tools, new level of protection have been recommended by the Tariff Board following its review of a section of this industry. The rates proposed vary from 25 per cent. to 271/2 per cent. under the British preferential tariff and from 321/2 per cent. to 35 per cent. under the international tariff. The result will be increased duties on some tools and reductions on others. On those tools for which there is no local manufacture, nonprotective rates of free British preferential tariff and *71/2* per cent. otherwise are being adopted. The production of xanthates in Australia is accorded protection against imports of sodium and potassium alkyl xanthates from most-favoured-nation countries at a proposed rate of 15 per cent. ad valorem. The British preferential tariff rate remains unchanged at free. Sodium and potassium alkyl xanthates are used mainly in the mining industry as flotation reagents. Barytes is a mineral earth used mainly in the paint industry as a dry colour and filler and in the oil industry as a lubricant in drilling operations. On barytes, which is the name given to barium sulphate in its natural state, the Tariff Board has recom mended no change other than the deletion of a redundant by-law item. The opportunity is being taken to revise the wording of the main items for the goods without alteration in rates of duty. As to umbrellas, on the advice of the Tariff Board the protective duties on the normal types of umbrellas are being increased. The duties now proposed are 3s. each plus 15 per cent. British preferential tariff and 3s. each plus 471/2 per cent. otherwise. The amendments being made in Custom, Tariff (Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Preference) Proposals No. 1 are complementary to the alterations in the Customs Tariff Proposals relating to vegetable oils. In addition, various drafting changes are being made to the schedule to the Customs Tariff (Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Preference) 1960 in accordance with suggestions made by the Parliamentary Draftsman. This involves remaking the schedule. I commend the proposals to honorable members. Progress reported. {: .page-start } page 1811 {:#debate-30} ### TARIFF BOARD Reports on Items. {: #debate-30-s0 .speaker-KMD} ##### Mr OSBORNE:
LP -- I lay on the table of the House the reports of the Tariff Board on the following subjects: - >Animal and vegetable fats and oils. > >Barium sulphate (including barytes) and witherite (including calcined withcrite). Canvas and duck and substitutes therefor. Cotton piece goods (sheeting, &c). Hand tools (excluding power-driven tools). Umbrellas, sunshades and parasols. Xanthates. I am also tabling two other Tariff Board reports on - >Compressors for use with air-conditioning plants. Tinsmen's snips and shears. which do not call for any legislative action. The board's findings have in both instances been accepted by the Government. Ordered to be printed. {: .page-start } page 1811 {:#debate-31} ### STEVEDORING INDUSTRY BILL 1961 {:#subdebate-31-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed (vide page 1796). {: #subdebate-31-0-s0 .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN:
Moreton .- It is probably just as well, **Mr. Speaker,** that the tariff proposals were brought forward after the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** had made his speech on this bill, because 1 have had an opportunity of simmering down a little, and some of the things I would have said about him in the heat of the moment I will not now say. This course, I am sure, will be a lot more pleasant and acceptable to the honorable member. Nevertheless, speaking in a cooler atmosphere, as it were, I am still bound to say that the honorable member made a most extraordinary speech. He may interpret the word " extraordinary " as he likes, but I can say that I use it to denote that the speech was really something out of the ordinary. I hope that every one who takes a nodding interest in the political life of this country will give attention to some of the remarks that the honorable gentleman made. Let me cull out some of his more notable contributions. He said, with simulated frenzy, that every member in this House should stand up and declare himself on bread-and-butter issues. He meant, of course, that on matters concerning wages and hours and long service leave, and anything that may touch the economic environment of any individual, this Parliament should have full power to legislate! {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Hear, hear! {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN: -- I am interested to have his affirmation of my interpretation of his statement. If the honorable member's view in this connexion were accepted, what a wonderful spectacle we would see at election time. Let us assume that the honorable member for Hindmarsh were opposed in his electorate by, shall we say, the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward),** and that the two gentlemen were contesting a plebiscite, one against the other. A lively argument would develop as to which one of the two could outbid the other. On the electoral level, with one political party against the other - and assuming that both parties accepted the honorable member's principle - what a pitiful sight we would see. Jones would get up, representing the Labour Party, and say, " I promise £25 for suchandsuch a benefit ", and then Smith, representing the Liberal Party, would try to offer a little more. Of course, if one took any notice of the cynical comments of honorable members opposite, the name of Smith would never appear in the list of Liberal Party candidates for this Parliament, but that is by the way. This is quite an important matter, and it is a proposition that should not be lost sight of. Again, what would be the effect on the national economy of this violent form of auctioning promises for votes, because that, indeed, is what it would amount to? There is another interesting comment to be made about the speech of the honorable member. Whatever hope he may have given to members of the Waterside Workers Federation, he destroyed that hope when he said, towards the end of his speech, "When we are returned as a government at the next election, we will repeal this legislation ". I thought when I heard that remark, " At least you must say one thing of him, Killen; he is a supreme optimist, because he has as much chance of sitting on this side of the House after the next election as I have of following **Major Gagarin** into space". The principle behind this rather complex measure is quite clear. The legislation proposes to provide for a form of long service leave and it also proposes to make adjustments concerning various members of the Waterside Workers Federation according to their age. The honorable member for Hindmarsh asked why the Waterside Workers Federation should be singled out for the grant of long service leave only if they comply with a set pattern of industrial behaviour. I think that is putting the proposition a little too simply. I believe the honorable member should concede the fact that what this measure does is to provide a long service leave benefit consistent with reasonable behaviour by members of the federation. Waterside workers will have ample safeguards. If the honorable member looks at clause 17 of the bill he will see that a system of appeal is provided for. Any waterside worker who believes that he has been done an injustice has a right of appeal. We must, however, give consideration to another fact. No other industry in Australia has a record of industrial turbulence and disturbance as wretched as that of the waterfront industry. In 1959-60, some 806,000 man-hours were lost, and if you accepted the statements of the honorable member for Hindmarsh you would come to the conclusion that every minute of that lost time was spent legitimately, pursuing in a reasonable and rational way the legitimate activities of the trade union. I want to put to the House, **Mr. Speaker,** that a great deal of that time was lost because of matters that were not even remotely concerned with industrial issues. Political issues overseas, from the activities of Castro in Cuba to the policies of Soekarno in Indonesia, were all brought, in one way or another, within the domain of the waterside workers' leaders, and were used to stimulate stoppages by federation members. Possibly. I am not the only person who has misread the industrial history of this country, but it occurs to me that we can surely delineate between matters that touch and concern exclusively industrial issues, and those that are, in their very essence, political. The honorable member for Hindmarsh asked, in a rhetorical fashion, " Does any honorable member suggest that people go on strike for the sake of going on strike? " I said to him, " In some cases, yes ". He gave me a clip or two about the ear for having said that. The truth of the matter is, however, as can be proved by the record, that time and time again stoppages of work and strikes by members of the Waterside Workers Federation have occurred, on the flimsiest of pretexts and on grounds not touching or concerning industrial matters. This bill is a reform. It provides that if a pattern of reasonable behaviour is followed, long service leave entitlement will accrue. I think it is essential, however, that the community should realize that it will ultimately pay for these benefits. In those circumstances, it is reasonable that the community should be safeguarded against blatant irresponsibility. One might conceivably envisage a situation in which a waterside worker might be on strike for a number of years, building up all the time an entitlement to long service leave. I suppose that by a little shuffling here and there it would be possible for a group of individuals, if they were not inhibited in any respect and not anchored to any provision, to become members of the Waterside Workers Federation and to become entitled to long service leave without ey-r having worked in their lives. That is quite possible. I believe that the community has every right to expect that the Government, in legislating on these matters, and particularly in dealing with a union with such a notorious record as this union has, should provide every safeguard. Any one who listened attentively to the honorable member for Hindmarsh would have gathered the impression that the leader of the Waterside Workers Federation, **Mr. Healy,** is something in the nature of a little Lord Fauntleroy - a pleasant affable gentleman, not given to irrationality and who pursues, in an eminently progressive way, the business of bringing reform to this industry. **Mr. Healy** is a member of the Australian Communist Party. That is well known. He does not deny it. He is also a trade union leader. He must subordinate one role or the other. As a Communist, **Mr. Healy** is not interested in reform. This bill has provisions which the Opposition styles " pains and penalties ", but which we style " incentives for good behaviour ". If those provisions were stripped from the bill, **Mr. Healy** would still oppose it. He would oppose it because, as a Communist, he is bound to despise every form of reform. Unless he can associate it with, and subordinate it to, some other objective, he is not at liberty to support a reform. Communists do not believe in reform. They never have. Only folk who are ignorant of what is going on in the world believe that they do. Let us look at what **Mr. Sharkey** has said on this matter of reform. This has pertinence to this measure and to the actions of **Mr. Healy. Mr. Sharkey** said in his booklet " The Trade Unions ", which has recently been revised - >Reformist class-collaboration expresses itself In the adherence of the unions, in Australia and New Zealand, to legalism - to the arbitration system. The function of compulsory arbitration is to prevent strike struggles and to enforce acceptance, by law, of a low standard of living. It will at once be seen that arbitration is detrimental to the development of the class struggle and class consciousness and of that genuine and fundamental solidarity and perfected organization necessary to the revolutionary struggle for socialism. All right! They do not believe in arbitration. Here it is, put by **Mr. Sharkey** in more explicit language - >The reformist trade union officials wholeheartedly support the arbitration system. They do not want strikes and struggles to disturb their peaceful salaried existence. **Mr. Sharkey** then went on to cite Lenin in this respect. Healy, being a Communist, does not believe in reform. He must subordinate the concept of reform to the broader horizon of establishing a world Communist state. This may appear, at first blush, to be a detached and somewhat irrelevant theoretical consideration but it is highly important to understand it. One of the great tragedies of the Waterside Workers Federation is that few of its members realize that Healy has not their interests at heart. He has the interests of Moscow at heart. Does **Mr. Healy** repudiate Lenin? Of course he does not. He supports him and studies him and agrees with all his writings. This is what Lenin said in the matter of reform and revolution in " Selected Works ", volume 1 - >Revolutionary social democracy always included, and now includes, the fight for reforms in its activities. But it utilizes "economic " agitation for all sorts of measures, but also (and primarily) the demand that it cease to be an autocratic government. Moreover, it considers it to be its duty to present this demand to the government, not on the basis of the economic struggle alone, but on the basis of all manifestations of public and political life. In a word, it subordinates the struggle for reforms to the revolutionary struggle for liberty and for socialism, as the part is subordinate to the whole. This refers, of course, to their brand of liberty. This is the policy of Healy. He cannot have it both ways. If he is a Communist, as we are all led to believe, he supports the theoretical precepts of the Communist Party. He recognizes the authority of Lenin. If he does *those* two things he is bound to repudiate the idea of reform. I shall recapitulate what I said a few moments ago. If the provisions which the Opposition describe as " pains and penalties " and which we correctly describe as " incentives " were taken out of the measure, **Mr. Healy** still could not support this bill. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- He said that. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr KILLEN: -- I am delighted to have the Minister's assurance. It is interesting to recall, as background to what I have said about **Mr. Healy,** that the criminal code of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics lays down that any person who holds up any form of public transport, regardless of the reason, is liable to deprivation of personal liberty for a period of ten years. The right to strike in the Soviet Union is denied. Yet, **Mr. Healy** is most vociferous about the need to preserve the right to strike in Australia. If he fell within the scope of Soviet criminal law, on last year's performance alone he would be liable for 1,070 years gaol - ten years for each of 107 stoppages. That would give him an opportunity to write his memoirs, if nothing else. This is something that has escaped many good, decent Australian trade unionists: They do not realize, in accepting this Communist clap-trap about the right to strike, that that right is denied in the Soviet Union. It is of no avail to say, by way of reply, " Of course they do not have to go on strike in the Soviet Union. Everything there is rosy and lovely ". If you accept that, you are put to the task of finding a reason for the fact that approximately 11,000,000 people have fled from Soviet controlled territories since the end of the war. I have pointed out the need for the leader of the Waterside Workers Federation to subordinate everything that he does to the fundamental task of furthering the goal of the Communist Party. That is **Mr. Healy's** only objective in life. On page 25 of **Mr. Sharkey's** booklet we find this statement - >All strikes have political significance, since everything that deals a blow to the capitalists deals a blow also to the capitalist order. But the point is the degree, the proportion of this significance. If an economic strike bears the nature of a spontaneous outburst, it does not thereby lose its political significance. . . . Again, he wrote - >Strikes, properly led and conducted and properly timed, are a revolutionary weapon. Strikes develop the labour movement, organise and unite workers and win the intermediate social strata to the side of the revolution. There, in the clearest of language, is frank repudiation of the nonsense that characterized the argument of the honorable member for Hindmarsh that there are not people who are interested in having strikes for the sake of them. Healy would have a strike every day in the week if he thought it would advance the goal of the Communist Party of Australia and of Moscow. The last matter that I want to mention in illustrating this subordination of the ideas of orthodox and legitimate trade union activity to the ultimate goal is the persistent behaviour, year in and year out, of members of the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia in running unity tickets. I know that this is old hat, but we should noi lose sight of the fact that this has been going on for so many years. No union has a livelier record of activity with respect to unity tickets than the Waterside Workers Federation. I have here a photostat copy of a unity ticket and of various reports, circulars and the like, relating to elections in the Brisbane branch of the federation a few years ago. There was some complaint about whether or not members of the Australian Labour Party could be associated with unity tickets and an inquiry was made. After the inquiry had been completed, a circular was sent out to members of the union. The circular refers to the delegate of the union on the Queensland central executive of the Australian Labour Party, and I ask the House to listen to this gem - >On enquiring of our Q.C.E. delegate, **Mr. P.** Healy, I am informed that on the same question being asked at the Q.C.E. meeting, it was ruled that their decision referred only to political elections, and not industrial elections. This is another illustration of the way in which **Mr. Jim** Healy has subordinated the business of running a trade union to the ultimate objective of aiding the international cause of communism. The honorable member for Hindmarsh said that if communism is stronger to-day than it was twelve years ago that amounts to a condemnation of this Government. That statement is completely untrue. What has stimulated the Communist Party on the industrial front in the last twelve years has been the absolutely spineless and pathetic attitude of the Australian Labour Party regarding unity tickets. Time and time again, we see it. **Mr. Arnell** was on a unity ticket with members of the Communist Party in 1958, 1959, 1960 and 1961. It happens every year. No wonder he has the name " Unity Ticket Arnell ". This year, he has been endorsed by the Australian Labour Party as one of its Senate candidates. The honorable member for Hindmarsh cannot simply push these things out of sight as if they did not exist. As I have said, **Mr. Deputy Speaker,** these things serve as further evidence of the manner in which affairs are conducted by **Mr. Healy,** those who surround him and those who are interested, not in assisting, fostering and forwarding the cause of the Australian trade union movement, but in destroying it by destroying its great tradition. They are the ones who condone this form of activity. The bill, complex though it may be in many respects, represents a welcome step forward. In my judgment, it constitutes a genuine effort to bring stability to one section of the Australian economy that desperately needs it. {: #subdebate-31-0-s1 .speaker-K58} ##### Mr O'CONNOR:
Dalley **- Mr. Deputy Speaker,** as the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** has stated, this bill creates a precedent and proposes something new in the way of benefits for members of the trade union movement. It proposes to give long service leave, under certain conditions, to members of the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia. But these benefits can be obtained only subject to certain penalties. The Opposition opposes the bill because of its punitive character, which results from an attempt by the Government to cut across a fundamental principle of the trade union movement. The Australian Council of Trade Unions has stated in unmistakable terms its opposition to the measure. Before the bill reached this House, representatives of the council waited on the Minister and stated to him its deep-rooted opposition to the principle embodied in his measure. Those representatives pointed out that it was unacceptable to the trade union movement. The trade union movement will not accept benefits under the conditions proposed in this bill, and because the measure is completely opposed to the traditions and basic principles of trade unionism in this country, the A.C.T.U., as I said a moment ago, stated unequivocally its opposition to this bill. The council has advised the Waterside Workers Federation, accordingly, of its opinion of this measure. In this debate, it is interesting to note, Government supporters have attempted to lay at the door of the Waterside Workers Federation every shortcoming, real or imaginary, that exists on our waterfront. They have gone to rather extreme lengths and resorted to fantastic measures in an attempt to justify their attitude. This industry is a very important one, it is true, and I think that I would not be out of place if I emphasized the words used by the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** in describing this industry. He said - >What happens in this industry bears on the returns we get from our exports and on the prices we pay for goods in Australia. What happens on the waterfront, in short, materially affects each and every one of us. That is perfectly true. But the Minister and the Government have tried to establish that what happens on the waterfront is, directly or indirectly, the responsibility of the union. Costs on the waterfront have a tremendous effect on our economy, and I think that the part that overseas freights are playing ought to be mentioned. The only authority that I have been able to go to for recent figures relating to this subject is the report of what has become known as the Tait committee, which reported on the stevedoring industry in 1957 after an inquiry. In order that the House may appreciate the important part that overseas freights play in affecting costs in our economy, I refer to paragraph 7 at page 119 of the report of the Tait committee, which states - >It is not possible to give an authoritative figure for the total freight bill for the carriage of Australia's overseas trade as there are no statistical records available. However, an estimate prepared by **Dr. Westerman** and given in evidence shows Australia's freight bill on goods carried to and from Australia in the year 1954-55 to be of the following order: - After deducting the cost of incidentals, freight alone has been responsible for adding £100,000,000 to the cost of our imports. On page 131 of the same report reference is made to how these costs are arrived at and the big part played by overseas freights. Listening to honorable members on the Government side, one might be led to believe that everything that is taking place on the waterfront is attributable to the actions of the members of the Waterside Workers Federation. The Waterside Workers Federation does not come into this picture at all. These heavy costs are due to a combination of factors in no way connected with the Waterside Workers Federation. They are attributable directly to the actions of the shipowners, who have repeatedly snapped their fingers at the Australian Government, and this is borne out by the following paragraph on page 131 of the Tait Committee's report: - >In the liner trades, other than the Australia/ United Kingdom-Continental trade, the fixation of freight rates is a matter of unilateral decision by shipowners engaged in each particular trade acting through the Conference governing that trade. All shipowners who are members of the Conference charge the same rates of freight. An exception to this is the setting of freight rates for the carriage of wool between Australia and Japan, in which instance the rates are fixed in Japan by agreement between the shipowners and the wool mills for which the wool is shipped. Paragraph (k) of that committee's conclusions deals also with freights and reads - >In the absence of further information the Committee finds it difficult to avoid the conclusion that the ultimate determining factor in the setting of freight rates in the Australia/United KingdomContinental trade has been " What the traffic will bear " having regard to such alternatives as are available. The Minister has said that the stevedoring industry has an important bearing upon our internal and external economy, and he has taken advantage of the opportunity to voice strong criticism of the Waterside Workers Federation, but he has made no reference at all to the other factors which are playing a much greater part in disrupting our economy. When presenting the bill, the Minister made many statements that are open to question. For instance, he said that the number of days lost in the stevedoring industry amounted to 29 per cent, of the total number of days lost in all industries in Australia in the last five years. That is refuted by statistics contained in the last bulletin issued by the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, in January, 1961. On page 20 of that bulletin is published a table showing the working days lost in industry for the year ended 31st December, 1960. According to that table, the number of working days lost in the stevedoring industry was 167,820 out of a total of 725,107 for all industries in Australia. Here it is appropriate to remind honorable members that other industries are just as turbulent as the stevedoring industry. For instance, there were 107,773 working days lost in the coal-mining industry and 149,204 in the engineering and metalworks industries in that same year. The table to which 1 have referred indicates that the number of days lost in the stevedoring industry represents only about 16 per cent, of the total working days lost in Australia, and that is far below the figure given by the Minister. Other factors contribute to stoppages from time to time, and I suggest that the Government is deserving of criticism for its failure to take adequate measures to guard against them. I feel that if the Government had acted with greater energy, if it had shown more imagination, if it had exercised a little more foresight, much of the loss could have been avoided. I refer in particular to the loss of man-hours due to wet weather. Up until about twelve or eighteen months ago, nothing at all had been done by any one to counteract the loss of man-hours due to rain with the result that last year, out of 29,000,000 man-hours worked, approximately 1,500,000, or 4.8 per cent., were lost due to rain. Certainly the commission has attempted to do something in the last twelve or eighteen months to prevent loss due to rain, but much still remains to be done. The Minister has sought to convey that the waterside workers are the only disruptive element in our economy, but there are many other factors which lead to disruption and to suggest that the waterside workers are the only disruptive element is to submit a completely unbalanced argument. All through this debate, honorable members on the Government side have been most avid in their desire to seize upon anything in an attempt to lay the blame at the feet of the waterside workers. Last night, the Minister said that the holding up of one ship might cost £1,000. He was followed on the debate by the honorable member for Fawkner **(Mr. Howson),** who seized upon this figure of £1,000 to draw heavily upon his imagination and to argue that if 1,000 ships were tied up in Australia it would cost the economy £1,000,000. But the Minister himself was not in a position to prove that the holding up of one ship would cost £1,000; he qualified his statement by saying that it might cost £1,000. And those honorable members on the Government side who have spoken since that time have seized upon this figure in an attempt to discredit the Waterside Workers Federation. Again, I submit it is reasonable to expect that the effect of freight charges upon the economy would arouse the keen interest of members of the Country Party, but, all during this debate, those members of the Country Party who have spoken seemed to be indifferent about the effect of heavy freight rates upon the economy and have seized upon this opportunity to join with members of the Liberal Party in launching a barrage against the waterside workers and the trade union movement in general. The purport of their whole case has been that because there are or may be members of the Communist Party in responsible positions in the trade union movement, this in itself is a reason why such legislation should be implemented. The honorable member for Moreton made frequent and lengthy reference to the fact that **Mr. Healy** is a Communist, and to the part that he plays in the Waterside Workers Federation. But the only result of this bill, and of the approach of Liberal and Country Party members to the Waterside Workers Federation, will be that **Mr. Healy's** position in the federation will not be weakened in any way. On the contrary, it will be consolidated. It is absurd for members of the Liberal and Country Parties to continue this destructive approach and their references to the shortcomings of communism because, in fact, by so doing they are strengthening communism in this country. Long service leave for waterside workers is something that is long overdue. In the United Kingdom, the United States of America, New Zealand and Canada the principle of long service leave for waterside workers has been long accepted although its operation differs considerably in the various countries from what is proposed in this bill. Nevertheless, it has been accepted as a principle. I have not been able to learn of any country in which long service leave is granted under the terms and conditions laid down in this bill. The Government cannot justify its approach to this matter because it cuts across all accepted principles of long service leave. Long service leave should be granted as a right. It is not to be held over a worker's head as a continuing threat. In the States where long service leave has been in operation for many years, the leave can be taken at any time irrespective of what happens to the employee, but in this instance the Government has made a startling departure from the accepted principle. Long service leave is either a right or it is not. If it is to be withheld in the manner now proposed in the bill, it would be equally consistent to apply similar conditions to wages. Any attempt to use punitive measures to try to force employees to accept a principle that completely cuts across everything that they have regarded as a right, will be resisted. By treating communism in the way that the Government now proposes to treat it the Government will do nothing but assist it. The Government is proposing to grant long service leave on certain conditions that one would find operating in Communistcontrolled countries. One would expect to find this kind of legislation in Hungary, Poland, and other similar countries where governments insist upon the subservience of the workers. This Government is adopting similar means to make the waterside workers subservient to it. Of course, the Government will never succeed. The trade union movement in Australia is a free movement. It believes in freedom. It is unfettered and it stands for very vital and fundamental principles. It is extraordinary that this Government, by using this bill as a pretext to attack communism, is doing things that one would expect to be done by Communist governments. I join with other members of the Opposition who have voiced their disapproval of this bill. The bill should be opposed because it contravenes the fundamental principles of the trade union movement and the accepted way of life of the free people in this country. I believe that long service leave is a fundamental right of every person. Unless it is given as a right, no one will accept it or can be expected to accept it. {: #subdebate-31-0-s2 .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr ANDERSON:
Hume .- One always listens with respect to any speech by the honorable member for Daley **(Mr. O'Connor).** He advances reasoned arguments and presents his case in its most favorable light. But I am completely opposed to many of his statements. He said that the trade union movement in Aus tralia is a free, unfettered movement which believes in freedom. Those are very fine ideals, but they are far from the truth. The Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** has attacked me for being an inveterate trade union hater. I am not. I believe in trade unionism and in free trade unions. However, in Australia and in certain other countries the trade union movement has fallen into the hands of people who have no scruples and who debauch and debase fine ideals. The trade union movement in Australia is not a free movement. The honorable member believes in it and I respect his view, but his judgment is completely at fault. He stated that the bill cuts across trade union principles and that long service leave is a right. It may be a right, but certain responsibilities are attached to it. The workers must earn the right to long service leave. Such rights are not given simply because a man is a member of a work force. He must earn the right to long service leave. No economic organization can pay for such rights unless the worker accepts the responsibility of earning them. I have always been a very strong supporter of this Government. Although I do not agree always in detail with each of the measures that it advances, I agree with its general policy. However, I have never agreed with the way in which it has allowed indiscipline on the waterfront to continue for so long. Members of the Opposition who feel that they carry the burden of excusing the conduct and indiscipline on the waterfront have taken on an intolerable burden because in other countries of the world the Australian waterfront is regarded with contempt. No other country has any respect for the Australian waterside workers. I do not mind making that statement from any platform. In that wonderful haven of human life, so called - Soviet Russia - women are employed on the waterfront. It is fairly hard work, but there are much harder jobs. The Leader of the Opposition has accused me of being allergic to trade unions and to waterside workers. I am not allergic to them. Quite often the Country Party is abused by the Labour Party. But how often does one hear of a strike in the rural industries? How often does one hear of a dispute between management and labour in the rural areas? Where does the Country Party operate? In the country areas! There are industrial disputes and indiscipline on the waterfront but one very seldom, if ever, hears of a strike in any rural industry. We have learned that every man, no matter what his walk of life may be, is an integral part of the economic system and must pull his weight. But that is not the case on the Australian waterfront. Whatever the Country Party may be accused of, at least where we live as ordinary citizens of Australia, we live at peace and with mutual respect for those who also work, whether in management or in labour. So, it might be a good idea to take a hint from these curious hillbillies, the Country Party, and learn that we have respect for our fellow men and that that is why there are not disputes in the country. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: -- If there is such a pathetic spirit on the waterfront, can you punish it into being a good one? {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr ANDERSON: -- If there is not a bad spirit on the waterfront, why punish any one? I was told by interjection yesterday, many waterfront people are ex-servicemen and, as a consequence, I should have regard for them. I do not accuse the wharf labourers. In the Army or anywhere else I do not blame indisciplined troops. I blame their leaders. I have never yet blamed illmannered troops in cafes or anywhere. I look at the regiment and then at the officers, and on the waterfront an identical case applies. You do not look at the people. You look at the leaders, and that is the great complaint we have in this Parliament. Honorable members opposite have never heard us attacking the wharfies but their leadership and that is where the trouble lies. One of the reasons why I have some contempt for the waterside workers - and I use the word with every meaning - is because these people allow themselves to be led by persons who have not the interests of Australia at heart I have no hatred for the trade unions, but I have a great dislike for the way the trade unions are being handled in Australia. And I am not the only one. Make no mistake about it; because intimidatory tactics are employed on the waterfront. There was the Hursey case, and there is the colossal cost of transportation. Let us look at what a noted authority - not a member of the Country Party - said on the question of intimidatory tactics in trade unions. And this is what happens on the waterfront. Hundreds of those people, the decent-looking crowd who came up here the other day, are opposed to strikes, but they dare not voice their opinion. 1 quote now from " Hansard " of 14th May, 1958, where the following appears: - >It is true that to-day a few unions - fortunately, a very few - literally control their officials with a rule of terror. It is a' form of tyranny, the like of which no civilized country would tolerate for very much longer. That was said by an authority on the trade union movement - not a member of the Country Party, but the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron).** The honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. O'Connor)** when speaking about the cost of disputes raised the question of freight in the cost of transport. I quite agree that that could well be looked into, but how much is the cost of freight affected by the turn-round of ships? The cost of disputes in the loss of wages on the waterfront in 1959 was £217,000. The wharf labourers lost that sum in wages, but these things are so organized that the overtime worked by waterside workers makes up for that and pays for the hold-ups. When the Waterside Workers Federation is fined for an unauthorized stoppage the cost to each wharfie is 6d. All it would cost each of the wharf labourers who came up here the other day would be 6d., if the federation were fined £500 for an unauthorized stopage. But it costs the shipping companies tens of thousands of pounds for the hold-up of ships. They have to pay the wages of their employees on the ships. They have millions of pounds of capital tied up in all the ships which were tied up in the strike yesterday; that is millions of pounds of capital not earning anything. Who has to pay for that? All the men who came up here yesterday and tried to influence the Parliament by their presence here created an extra cost, and the whole of that will be paid for by people living in the country and shippers importing from overseas. The men themselves did not lose anything, because everything will be paid for. They can go back and work overtime on the wharfs this week to catch up and re-imburse themselves for their loss in pay. That is being done every day. The honorable member for Macpherson **(Mr. Barnes),** in a very good speech, pointed out the terrible damage to shipping transport done by the indiscipline on the waterfront. What is the purpose behind it? Are these men winning anything for themselves? I say they are not. I say it is the result of Communist leadership, which infiltrates those places where it can hurt the national economy most. Does anybody here think the Communists are working in the interests of the workers? I am certain that the member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** does not think so. It is part of a Communist conspiracy to increase the costs in a capitalist society. That is all it is. It is nothing else but that. What other purposes has it? Why is it that the Australian Labour Party people who work in trade unions do not get the leadership? Why must it go to the Communists? Is it because the Communists are much cleverer at this sort of thing than is the Australian Labour Party. We see the results up here; it is bad leadership. The waterside workers, by legislation, are given great benefits. They have a closed shop. Nobody can unload or load ships unless he is a member of the Waterside Workers Federation, and that is one reason why I dislike closed shops. It is because a man is forced to join a trade union. That cuts right across the Charter of Human Rights. The waterside workers are protected, and under that protection they practise complete and absolute indiscipline. We have heard the honorable member for Hindmarsh say that at each election every candidate for this Parliament should have to stand up and say how he would deal with matters of pay and conditions of labour in this country. Can one think of anything more stupid or more designed to break the parliamentary system than to have a Dutch auction at every election? It is incredible that a man should get up here and say that. And the funny thing is that it is not Labour policy. Only the other day, the railways union was trying to get **Mr. Heffron,** the Labour Premier of New South Wales, to intervene for increased wages for railway men, but he said, " It is not the task of government to make arrangements for wages and hours of work. It is the task of arbitration." We hear honorable members opposite talk about the right to strike. Here is a point I would like to be considered very carefully in regard to the right to strike: What is the arrangement between management and labour? Is it arbitration? Does not arbitration require that each side will be prepared to accept the impartial judgment of a disinterested person? How do you reconcile the right to strike with arbitration? I cannot. I think it is highly dishonorable. I can understand and sympathize with a strike where a sudden grievance occurs in a time of emotion, but most of these strikes are a long-drawn-out business and are carefully thought out. If we look at the Tait report on the inquiry of 1957, we find that an analysis of the causes of waterside stoppages showed 30 different causes, ranging from smoke-oh, meal breaks, hours of work, working night shifts and the size of slings to claims for industrial pensions, political strikes and so on. There are 30 different causes. These are not sudden grievances born of an emotional situation. They are long-thought-out practices of disruption designed to weaken the economy. This report shows that in the six years from 1949 to 1955 there were 1,987 stoppages, and 10,000,000 man-hours were lost, of which 2,600,000 were lost on political issues. If we are to talk about indiscipline on the waterfront because of hardship associated with the work, let us look at the figures for 1960. In Sydney, in September, 65,000-odd man-hours were lost over the question of amendments to the Crimes Act and other subjects. In Brisbane, 6,000-odd man-hours were lost; and at Fremantle 8,700 man-hours were lost in a strike in connexion with an amendment to the W.A. Police Act. In October, in Melbourne, Brisbane and Port Kembla, amendments to the Crimes Act caused the loss of 37,000-odd man-hours. These were political stoppages in the year 1960. There were 29,000 man-hours lost in Queensland in November. In Fremantle, in December, stoppages because of the Crimes Act cost 6.000 man-hours. These stoppages were for political reasons only, and they affected men who are forced by law to be trade unionists, and are forced by their trade unions to strike against something with which they may not be entirely in agreement. The honorable member for Dalley **(Mr. O'Connor)** says that the trade union movement is a free, unfettered movement. He says that he believes in freedom. I would not have it thought that I disagree with the right to strike. However, I have said clearly that I regard striking with contempt. I do not deny a man the right to strike on a major industrial issue in which he cannot get justice otherwise, but if he strikes over something which comes into the province covered by the conciliation and arbitration laws of this country 1 claim that he is dishonorable. It is dishonorable of him to strike instead of going to arbitration, when he and his union have accepted the benefits of arbitration and he works under an award that confers benefits which were gained by arbitration. I can sympathize with men who strike justifiably, but 1 still regard with contempt striking as a means to an end. When the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** was speaking earlier to-day, I asked by interjection how many Communists there were on the interstate executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The question arose whether three or four of the sixteen members of that executive were Communists. Whatever the number of Communists, I say that the association of Communists in any organization ultimately leads to disaster. The honorable member for Hindmarsh regarded my question as frivolous. He turned it off. He asked how three men could influence its decisions. Let us get down to brass tacks. It is extraordinary how the Labour Party goes from one side to the other. Its members are always opportunists. The honorable member for Hindmarsh is a member of the Australian Workers Union, a trade union which refused to affiliate with the A.C.T.U. because of Communist influence in the A.C.T.U. Members of the Labour Party keep on pretending to be pursuing one course of action - looking after the worker - and here is a leader and a critic of the A.W.U., which organization, I repeat, refused to join the A.C.T.U. because it regards it as Communist-dominated, who used abusive terms about me because I suggested that the Communists had influence on the A.C.T.U. Honorable members cannot get round that one. Either the honorable member for Hindmarsh is an opportunist or he dodges from one thing to the other. What is the reason? Why does not his group, the most powerful trade union in Australia, join the A.C.T.U.? So when honorable members on this side interject and say that that organization is Communistdominated, at least we have good grounds and good support for our belief in the attitude of the A.W.U. for instance. That trade union will not have a bar of anything that is associated with Communists. Now I return to the bill, and I shall deal with the subject of the personal penalty which is to be imposed under it. I agree wholeheartedly with the imposition of this personal penalty - not that I want any man who works for a wage to be penalized, but I want some protection for people who do not want to strike. This provision is regarded by the Labour Party as a penalty on all workers. I do not regard it in that way. I regard it as a protection for people who do not want to strike. There are a great many men among the waterside workers who at present have not the courage to come out as not favouring strikes. If striking means that a man is going to lose £5 or thereabouts he will have second thoughts before he goes on strike. It is important to have this personal penalty in the legislation, because so many trade unionists are indifferent to the effects that strikes have on other people. If anybody does anything that seems to be against the interests of trade unionists they cry out and beat their breasts. But trade unionists have no hesitation about acting to the serious detriment of the interests of farmers, for instance. The farmer works under tough conditions and in difficult seasons, and he has no 40-hour week like the trade unionists enjoy. He may send fat lambs to the market, but perhaps as soon as he has got them on the train there is a strike at the Homebush Abattoir. As a result, the farmer loses a large proportion of the money that he should have got for those lambs, because the Iambs are not properly treated. They do not reach the buyer in the condition in which they would have reached him had there been no strike. Do the trade unionists at Homebush say, " There is a batch of fat lambs coming down this week, and the farmer will suffer if we have a strike, so let us put off our strike until next week "? Has anybody ever heard of a trade union leader showing such consideration for the farmers. The work of farmers provides a living for many trade unionists in the cities, but that does not protect farmers from the results of strikes by city trade unions. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: -- Fremantle waterside workers offered to load all perishable materials and all perishable primary products during their recent strike, and that offer was rejected by the employers. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr ANDERSON: -- Quite likely. You could make a good argument on it, but the point is that the waterside workers of Fremantle are not quite so bad as waterside workers elsewhere. The record of industrial disputes shows that the worst States are Queensland and New South Wales. New South Wales has about 800 disputes every year in all forms of industry, Queensland has about 200, and Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania average about 20 or 30 each. So the two most industrially lawless States are Queensland and New South Walesa - Queensland because it has a Communist-dominated trade union council and New South Wales because communism is so strong in the trade union movement there. I believe that the personal penalty provided in the legislation will be a good thing because it will help the decent fellows among the waterside workers - and there are decent fellows among them - to stop some of the striking and bring back peace in industry which, after all, the public wants. We have to export to the world's markets, and our freight and other costs, and delays in the turn-round of ships, all have to be paid for. If we cannot compete in the world's markets because industrial troubles add to the cost of production, where shall we end? I believe that the measure will give security to Australia and peace to the waterfront. {: #subdebate-31-0-s3 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY:
Fremantle .- I suppose the very essence of the argument of the honorable member for Moreton **(Mr. Killen)** and the honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** is that the background in which we should regard this legislation is the background of studying the way that the Communists use trade as a means to power. The honorable members are very one-sided, however, in their applica tion of that argument. It is only five or six years since we had a royal commission here arising out of the Petrov affair, and I suppose one might say that the general findings of that commission were that the purpose of a Soviet embassy in this country was to conduct espionage, organize sabotage in industry, and induce university graduates who were Communists to enter sensitive parts of the government service. All those points did the Governmnt no political harm, but all of them were used against the Labour Party. Not very long ago, however, the countries of Russia, China, Czechoslovakia and Poland appointed as buyers of wool men like **Sir James** McGregor and **Mr. Marcel** Dekyvere, who had the closest personal relations with the leaders of the Government parties. As a result of their buying, the price of wool jumped very sharply, and I think also as the result of their influence the Russian Embassy was brought back into this country, an embassy which, on the Government findings, had the functions I have mentioned. If they are the functions of a Russian embassy, nothing that **Mr. Healy** does is of any comparable importance. The embassy was re-opened because trade was involved. Government supporters are not worried about sales. They are worried about Communist activity in one field only, and that is in the field of the trade union movement. They cannot argue that the findings of their commission were not as I have said and they cannot, if those are the findings, justify their action in bringing back an embassy to carry out the policy I have mentioned. I regard a large part of the discussion of communism that has taken place to-day as irrelevant. The point I want to make about the legislation is: Why has it been introduced? The Government has been in office for twelve years. In all that time we have had a great deal of stevedoring industry legislation, but the Government has never got round to thinking that there ought to be long service leave for waterside workers. If we study the press reports of the Minister's speeches and recall the speeches of the honorable members for Moreton and Hume, we will find that the focus of their interest is not long service leave at all; the focus of their interest is whether this legislation will discipline the waterfront. Therefore, from the Government's point of view, this is not so much a long service leave measure as a disciplinary measure. Why was the long service leave principle appended to the disciplinary section? I think the answer is very simple. The Government's hand has been forced by the State of Tasmania. Tasmania brought in the Stevedoring Industry (Long Service Leave) Act, No. 74 of 1960. I think it is being challenged in the High Court at present, probably on constitutional grounds. {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: -- It was passed by both Houses in Tasmania. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- Yes, it was passed by the Legislative Council of Tasmania, which is possibly the most conservative chamber in the Commonwealth of Australia, if not in the whole Commonwealth of Nations. Of the eighteen members in the House, four are Labour members. The point about this is that there were possibilities that other States would follow Tasmania and enact long service leave provisions. {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: -- Without penalties. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- Yes, without penalties, as there are in this act. The Government, therefore, was forced into the field of long service leave because the State had led it in. The Tasmanian act is as recent as December, 1960. Although Tasmania's action had this effect on the policy of the Commonwealth Government, the Commonwealth Government is primarily interested in the punitive sections of its own measure. I think that the honorable member for Hume, who has had very distinguished command of large bodies of men, knows in his own heart that when a benefit is being conferred - long service leave would be a benefit, normally speaking - it is fatal psychology to attach to it all sorts of punitive addenda which lead people to suspect the motive in conferring the benefit at all. Some honorable members opposite have said that the waterside workers cannot expect to have long service leave without other conditions being added. The attitude of the waterside workers is not in agreement with that view. They say they would rather do without the long service leave than have all the punitive conditions. Why does the Government press on with long service leave which it alleges is a benefit, in the face of the oppo sition of the people whom it claims to be the beneficiaries? The honorable member for Hume and other honorable members have spoken about political strikes. I do not dispute that they occur and I personally disagree with them. But after all, that is a one-sided selection of the events. The recent dispute in Fremantle was not a political dispute; it was an industrial dispute. It arose in effect out of section 30 sub-section (1.) of the Commonwealth Stevedoring Industry Act No. 53 of 1956. I as member for Fremantle have been making representations to the present Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** and to his predecessor, who is now the Treasurer **(Mr. Harold Holt),** on this section of the act in the way it operates in Fremantle. There cannot be any accusation that the waterside workers in Fremantle were precipitate or rash over this matter, because I have been a channel of their communications to the Government for three years. Nobody can say that they were impatient on this issue. At a certain stage, the president of the Waterside Workers Federation, **Mr. Ralph** Errington, said to me: " You are a member of the Opposition. It would be a good thing if we could get some of the Liberal members to come and actually look at the situation themselves ". The honorable member for Perth **(Mr. Chaney)** and some of his colleagues were invited to come down and look at the situation. As a result, those members made representations to the present Minister's predecessor on exactly the same lines as I had. They were at pains to say that they thought the case was entirely reasonable. Let us have a look at the situation in Fremantle, because honorable members have spoken about employers and employees in this debate. One of the troubles on the waterfront is that men are dealing with institutions which are like dinosaurs that have neither souls to be damned nor bodies that feel kicks. No group of employers has so totally abdicated every responsibility that ordinarily an employer would be expected to carry than have the employers on the waterfront. If a question is raised as to whether the handling equipment On a ship is dangerous or wires are likely to snap under the loads, the employers decide nothing. The matter is referred to the Commonwealth Director of Navigation, and the employers resent any stoppage while the men contend that the equipment is dangerous. On other questions, the decision is left to the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority. For the life of me, in the existing situation on the waterfront, except that the Government must always genuflect to the principle of private enterprise, I do not know why there are any private employers in the stevedoring industry at all. For all their effectiveness on the waterfront, we may just as well have the dinosaurs of the harbour trusts, the navigating authorities and the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority exercising exclusive power, without any employers whatever. These bodies could recruit the labour and do all the rest of it. But that is an aside. What happened in Fremantle was this: For many years - Fremantle is unique in this respect - the foremen were members of the Waterside Workers Federation. The honorable member for Hume, in answer to my interjection, said that industrial relations in Fremantle, comparable to those in the eastern States, were very good. I suppose that is true on the record. One of the reasons for that situation was that the foremen and the men, instead of being in opposition to one another in rival organizations, were federated together in the one organization. Where there has been a dispute between a foreman and a waterside worker in the eastern States, the tendency has been for the union to take up the cause of its member against the foreman. But in Fremantle, in those disputes, the union may fine a man for insulting a foreman or fine a foreman for bullying another member of the same union. I believe that that unity in the organization on the waterfront was the basic cause of the longer record of industrial peace in Fremantle than the record in the eastern States. But the whole purport of the Government's policy has been to break that, and they have backed the breaking of it. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- Nonsense. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- It is easy to say. " nonsense ". Surely we can make this a matter of rational discussion instead of expletive. I will show the Minister how the Government's policy operated. He may endea vour to refute me, because as Minister he has the right of reply. Section 30 (I.,) of the Stevedoring Industry Act works in this way: If a watersider is promoted to the position of a foreman, he is held by the Minister, the Government and the act to have left the industry. I have the Minister's letters to that effect. The foreman does exactly the same work as the other men except that he has authority, but I have letters from the Minister or his predecessor - I think it was his predecessor who actually said this - to the effect that while it is true that a foreman is part of the process of stevedoring, it is equally true that a truck driver's work is part of the unloading and loading of ships. That is a ridiculous argument. A man might be promoted to foreman and then the stevedoring company may subsequently decide that he is not a suitable man to be a foreman. He cannot then go back to work on the waterfront as an ordinary watersider. I took up the case of a man named Blundey and others with the former Minister for Labour and National Service. He did not defend the section particularly, but he said the man could go to Bunbury and work as a watersider there and then transfer back to Fremantle and he would have a number. What a subterfuge! Could there not be a plain commonsense arrangement that if, for the convenience of the industry, a man was promoted to foreman, when he ceased to be a foreman he could become a waterside worker again and retain his same number? The same absurdity applies to a man who becomes a crane driver. If he becomes a crane driver for a while and then ceases to hold that job, he cannot be an ordinary stevedore on the waterfront again. The honorable member for Hume is capable of analysing that situation. What is its effect? It makes the man who becomes a foreman very vulnerable to his employer, and that is why this situation has been held in a vice, because if he is then sacked by his employer, he has no work on the waterfront at all. There have been several votes of foremen in Fremantle on this subject of remaining in union with the waterside workers. At the last actual ballot that was conducted, they decided to so remain by 118 votes to ten; but there was great determination on the part of the employers to detach the foreman, and they induced a number of men in the union to seek to form another union. It obtained registration in the State Arbitration Court and so you have the foremen of Fremantle at the moment split between the two. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- They are registered with the Australian Council of Trade Unions. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- I am not discussing that. I am discussing the actual effect of these things on Fremantle. One thing happened of which the Minister is probably unaware. In the course of this discussion, the union asked to see the employers. It was thought, though the employers denied it, that there was another union being formed with their influence or that they were negotiating with it. As the employers sat there denying it, the union representative handed them their draft agreement with the new union to come into being for registration of that agreement with the Arbitration Court. This was the new union that had been formed as the result of their efforts. In other words, they were sitting there - let us face the fact - and telling untruths. One of them afterwards commented that he felt as small as threepence when it was proved that they were negotiating with a clandestine organization and the draft consent award was produced. If the men feel that they cannot accept the word of those with whom they are negotiating, there is no influence that can produce industrial peace there. The new agreement provides that the foremen in Fremantle can work what is called a double-header, that is, an eight-hour shift and another eight-hour shift on top of it. They can work right through in the same day. Certainly, the intention of some of the foremen who joined this association was to make money quickly, even at the expense of burning themselves out. The union considered that this threatened industrial conditions of the other foremen and pressure was being put on the foremen to leave the Waterside Workers Federation. That was the basis of the strike. There was never any clear explanation of the background of representations over years from Fremantle to the Minister. It was a damaging strike which lasted fourteen days. In that time, perishable cargoes began to reach the wharf and the union publicly offered to load these perishable cargoes for nothing at all. That is the answer to the allegation that the men sadistically desire to inflict damage on the primary producer and the community. The offer was rejected. Many other disputes have taken place in Fremantle, although they were not general disputes. I think that Fremantle authorities take a fairly dim view of some of the Commonwealth operations in respect of the employment of shipping there. Whatever men might feel in their disputes with the manager of the Fremantle Harbour Trust, Colonel Tydeman, he is one of the world's great experts on the dangers of explosives in harbours, because he was the man who was called on to restore Bombay after it was blown up in the Second World War. He has had to be in conflict with slovenly Commonwealth handling of explosive ships in his period at Fremantle. That is a different aspect of the impersonal dinosaurus operating. The contention of the men in Fremantle - and this is never admitted - from time to time has been that they are unloading with the poor equipment that economizing shipowners have been using. It is often dangerous equipment. Ropes and wires are sometimes such that they will not stand stresses. These have been stoppages which have angered the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, but Captain Bruce, of the Commonwealth Department of Navigation, has been called and justified the safety doubts again and again. He has condemned the equipment which the men have called dangerous. There has been real irritation about that among authorities. An employer has said to me, "If we in Fremantle are going to be so exacting in the standards, we will not have foreign shipowners sending their ships to Fremantle at all, because it will mean that all the time they will have to go to the trouble of changing their equipment ". It is not only the equipment that is affected. The waterside workers have not been the only ones involved so far as Captain Bruce is concerned. Consistently there have been condemnations of lifeboats in Fremantle harbour, and ships have not been able to proceed to sea or take passengers until they have been repaired. {: .speaker-KDA} ##### Mr Duthie: -- Immigrant ships, too. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- Yes, crowded immigrant ships. Those who have seen them in Fremantle have begun to develop suspicions that there may be something in the contention of the waterside workers that some of the shipowners are more interested in profits than in human values, including human safety. 1 feel that the Government's whole mistake in this is the belief that bad morale on the waterfront can somehow or other be changed by this measure to a good morale. There has been thoroughly exaggerated argument in this debate about the age of the men on the waterfront. It has been quoted that 6.8 per cent, are under 30. But 66 per cent, of them are under 50 years, and it would be a good thing if we were shown in this Parliament again the film, " Date of Birth ", produced by the Department of Labour in Canada which established that older men were more efficient, more safety conscious, less likely to change their jobs, more responsible and generally speaking, more effective workers than younger men. This is, of course, because of their maturity, and because, I suppose, they become more set in a job and are less likely to change it. My father worked until he was 71. There is a strong belief amongst many honorable members of this Parliament that a mare should retire at 65. We seem to have at the back of our minds the subconscious belief that everybody is a public servant who can retire on a good superannuation.. {: .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr Reynolds: -- That is not true even of public servants. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr BEAZLEY: -- No, ft is not true even of all' public servants. However, if a man is a labourer he has not any substantial backlog of savings to make the prospect of retiring on the age pension very attractive. It is rather a sad commentary on this situation that already the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority in Fremantle, anticipating the passage of this legislation, has begun writing letters to men employed on the waterfront, reminding them that they are over 65 years of age, as a hint that they should move along. This information has come to me to-day. T would be somewhat reassured about this if I thought that the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority had been scientific enough to assess the productivity of these men, or to see whether a crane driver, for instance, over the age of 65 years was in any way less efficient than a younger man doing similar work, or whether, in fact, he was really more responsible than the younger man. It is an absolute tragedy that when the Government decides to make provision for long service leave, as another necessary step in the decasualization of the waterfront industry, it makes the fatal psychological error of believing that it can build up good morale on the waterfront by providing means of punishing the men working there - and the provisions of this bill do constitute a punishment. The economists frequently use the term " multiplier ". Consider the multiplier involved in this measure. For one day's stoppage you will lose four days' attendance money. For one day's stoppage you will lose 30 days from the period of your service that is calculated for the purpose of granting long service leave. For a stoppage of fourteen days in the port of Fremantle, had this legislation been in force, the men involved would have lost fourteen months from their period of service for long service leave calculation purposes. The Tasmanian legislation faces the fact that if a man is not serving because of a stoppage, the actual time during which he does not serve cannot be counted for long service leave purposes. But the period of service is reduced only by the time during which the man concerned was not working. The time is not multiplied by 30, as this legislation envisages. I believe this measure is wrong in its approach. It must fortify the point of view that basically the Government is hostile to these men. The speeches that have been made in this House by honorable members on the right of **Mr. Speaker,** from the Minister down, have shown that the Government and its supporters are far more interested in the punitive clauses of the legislation than they are in its provisions for long service leave. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Halbert)** adjourned. Sitting suspended from 5.49 to 8 p.m. {: .page-start } page 1827 {:#debate-32} ### HOUSING AGREEMENT BILL 1961 Bill received from the Senate, and (on motion by **Mr. McMahon)** read a first time. {:#subdebate-32-0} #### Second Reading {: #subdebate-32-0-s0 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service and Acting Attorney-General · Lowe · LP -- by leave - I move - >That the bill be now read a second time. The bill authorizes the Commonwealth to complete a housing agreement with the States the form of which is presented as a schedule to the bill. The need for a new housing agreement arises because the current five-year agreement, which was completed in 1956, expires at 30th June, 1961. During the five years of its operation, the 1956 agreement allowed the provision of about £180,000,000 in Commonwealth advances to the six States for the construction of dwellings. About £129,000,000 of this sum has been made available to the State housing commissions for the purpose of their housing programmes which will allow the construction of about 47,000 houses by the end of June next. Nearly £46,000.000 has been advanced through the agreement for the finance of homebuilders, mainly through building societies, and this will have financed over 18,000 houses. Lastly, a further sum of about £5,000,000 has been advanced to the States for the construction of dwellings for serving members of the defence forces, this sum being matched by a like amount from the funds which are available to the State housing commissions. Altogether, the housing agreement has made a considerable contribution to the finance of dwelling construction in Australia. Construction of homes under the agreement has provided a stable component in the national housing programme. It is aimed, moreover, at the construction of dwellings for families of low or moderate means and the home building which has been financed under the home-builders arrangement has also been relatively low in cost. A special feature of the agreement has been the provision of advances by the Commonwealth at a specially reduced rate of interest which has been maintained at 1 per cent. less than the current rate upon long-term Commonwealth bonds. When the 1956 agreement was completed, there was clear evidence of a very considerable housing shortage throughout Australia. Since then, this shortage has been greatly reduced. I believe, in fact, that it is now only a real problem in some States, particularly in New South Wales and, perhaps, in Victoria. There is still, however, the desirability of making houses available to families on small incomes. Since the CommonwealthState Housing Agreement funds, whether expended on State housing schemes or through building societies, particularly cater for such people, it is this special part of the housing backlog which is most relevant to the decision upon a new housing agreement. This is one reason why the Government believes that we should enter into a new housing agreement with the States. In addition to this reason - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. In default of a housing agreement, the States would presumably need to base their housing finance upon money borrowed at the full long-term bond rate rather than at a concession rate such as that provided under the present agreement. This would increase the cost of State housing. 1. If there is no agreement, some of the States at least will be likely to reduce their financial allocations to home builders, particularly through building societies. The building societies movement has great potential for further development and has been greatly encouraged by the evidence of Government support. We believe that it has an increasingly important part to play in the future of Australian housing. 2. A housing agreement provides a means by which 5 per cent. of the finance made available to State housing authorities is directed to the provisions of housing for servicemen. This is an aid to recruiting for the services. **Mr. Speaker,** the bill which is before the House includes a draft agreement which has been written in the form of amendments to the 1956 agreement. It has taken this form at the request of the States. The object is to allow the administrative arrangements under the old agreement to continue without a break and to reduce the cost of statistical recording and financial administration which would otherwise be incurred. The bill authorizes the execution on behalf of the Commonwealth of an agreement with the States substantially in accordance with the form of agreement set out in the schedule. The amendments which I shall now describe briefly below, do not involve any major change in the substance of the present agreement - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. The period of operation of the agreement is extended for a further five years from 30th June, 1961. 1. The provision applying for the last three years of the 1956 agreement whereby the States were obliged to allocate at least 30 per cent. of their total advances for the provision of finance to home builders, through building societies and other approved institutions, is continued. 2. The provision of the 1956 agreement whereby each State, on being requested by the Commonwealth Minister, should set aside up to 5 per cent. of the finance available to its housing authority for the purpose of providing dwellings for defence personnel, and that the Commonwealth would match this amount, is continued. In addition, it is provided that either the Commonwealth contribution to defence housing, or the provision made by the State from the finance available to its housing authority, or both, may be increased at the Commonwealth's request on condition that the State agrees. 3. It is provided that the Commonwealth shall advance money at an interest rate of 1 per cent. less than the current long-term bond rate. This is the same principle as applied to advances under the 1956 agreement. 4. The 1956 agreement required the approval of the Commonwealth Minister for the construction by the States from Commonwealth advances of flats more than three stories in height. Under the proposed amendment to sub-clause (2) of clause 11, the Commonwealth Minister's approval will only be required when the flats are to be built outside the inner metropolitan area, which will be defined in each case by agreement between the Commonwealth and the State Minister. 5. Under the provisions of clause 16 in the 1956 agreement, the States were able, through individual agreements entered into between the Ministers, to allocate portions of the advances which, under the agreement, were to be available for use by building societies, to other institutions for financing home ownership. Under this arrangement, funds have, in fact, been allocated to State banking institutions in the States of South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia. The agreements between the Commonwealth Minister for National Development and the State housing ministers also had considerable variations in respect of the detailed terms of allocation of home builders' finance. The amended agreement has been written with the object of obtaining greater uniformity between States on this matter. It provides that in any year the allocation of finance to other home-building institutions than building societies requires the specific approval of the Commonwealth Minister. In sub-clause (3b) it defines the basis upon which this approval will be given. Clause 3 in the proposed agreement has the effect that before that agreement comes into force, the Commonwealth may advance moneys under the agreement as amended, which shall be deemed to be subject to the conditions provided by the amended agreement. The last part of the suggested new agreement provides for amendment to the provisions of the housing agreement of 1945, which was requested by the States. Under the 1945 agreement, which was amended in 1955, the States were permitted to sell dwellings on terms. These terms, including minimum deposits payable and maximum advances to be made, were specified in the agreement. Under the 1956 agreement, however, States may sell houses built under the agreement on terms decided by them. The proposed amendments to clause 14 in the 1945-55 agreement have the effect of allowing the sale of houses built under the 1945 agreement on the same basis as the sale of those built under the 1956 agreement. At the present time we cannot say positively that all the States will accept the agreement. We believe, however, that they will do so. From the Commonwealth point of view, I believe that a new agreement is desirable to maintain Commonwealth assistance for the provision of low-cost housing, and to continue our support to building societies throughout Australia. I commend the bill to honorable members. Debate (on motion by **Mr. Barnard)** adjourned. {: .page-start } page 1829 {:#debate-33} ### STEVEDORING INDUSTRY BILL 1961 {:#subdebate-33-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed (vide page 1826.) {: #subdebate-33-0-s0 .speaker-KFZ} ##### Mr HALBERT:
Moore **.- Mr. Speaker,** the problem at this stage, in a debate of this nature is usually that there is not much left to say. On this occasion, the problem is the reverse, because one could say so much that one finds it difficult to break down the material and select what one will use. My problem is particularly great as I follow the honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley),** who, with his usual debating ability, dealt subtly with the strike on the waterfront at Fremantle in January of this year. I could take the whole of my time in refuting the implications contained in the honorable member's speech. I feel that I ought to devote some time to them and try to cover the remaining matters if I have enough time. The honorable member for Fremantle mentioned particularly that the Fremantle branch of the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia is unique. He implied that it has a unique industrial record. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: -- I was talking about the structure of the union. {: .speaker-KFZ} ##### Mr HALBERT: -- He said that the structure of the union there was unique. That is perfectly true, inasmuch as the Fremantle branch of the Waterside Workers Federation is the only union in Australia in which the foremen and the waterside workers are combined in the one organization. But we ought to ask: Why is this so? Why is the position in Western Australia different from that in the other States? The honorable member for Fremantle stated that because of this situation there was industrial peace at Fremantle and a better record there than elsewhere. I regret to say, **Mr. Speaker,** that that is entirely untrue. The industrial record at Fremantle is the worst in Australia, and the unique feature of the union branch there which has been mentioned by the honorable member is possibly the real cause of this bad record. I should like to give the House one small illustration. For many years, the working rate of the waterside workers in Fremantle has been consistently far below that of waterside workers at other Australian ports where, as the honorable member ably explained, the foremen have their own separate union organization. This difference in the working rate is indicated in the annual reports of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority. The bales of wool loaded at Fremantle are exactly the same as are the bales loaded at other ports, and therefore a comparison of woolloading rates affords a suitable basis for comparing working rates. The report of the authority for 1959-60, which is the latest report available, gives the loading rate for wool at Fremantle as 42 gross tons per gang per hour. The next lowest rate is at Adelaide, where the figure is 55. The figure is 54 for Melbourne, 51 for Sydney and 57 for Brisbane. So, we can see that the loading rate at Fremantle in respect of this item is at least 25 per cent, worse than the next lowest rate. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: -- I was talking about industrial stoppages. The honorable member is talking about a different matter altogether. {: .speaker-KFZ} ##### Mr HALBERT: -- The honorable member may have been talking about industrial stoppages. 1 have no doubt that what he wanted to imply was that only so many thousand hours of work have been lost at Fremantle, whereas many more thousands of hours have been lost at other ports. But, even if there have been fewer industrial stoppages in Western Australia, the people of that State have been well and truly paying for them because of the additional cost of shipping their wool. Costs are higher in Fremantle than in any other port, despite the fact, as I am reliably informed, that the facilities at Fremantle are at least as good as if not better than those in any other port in Australia. The honorable member for Fremantle almost got a cheer from his colleagues when he said that in order to prevent tremendous losses to primary producers in Western Australia the waterside workers offered to load perishables without payment. That is just like a highwayman holding up a person, robbing him of his money and taking his motor car, and then giving him a free ride home. {: .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: -- At least, the waterside workers did not want the primary producers to suffer during the strike. {: .speaker-KFZ} ##### Mr HALBERT: -- The honorable member may imply that, but I have expressed the situation as I see it. 1 wonder whether the people of Australia fully realize the tremendous importance and the influence for good or evil of the two bills which we are at present discussing and the effect they will have on the prosperity and living standards of our nation. 1 wonder whether the people fully realize the tremendous influence over our economy and living standards that is exercised by a comparatively few people who work on the waterfront. The sorry record of industrial strife in the stevedoring industry makes me sure that the men themselves do not realize it. They cannot possibly appreciate how they themselves have created conditions which have affected materially every family in Australia, including their own wives and children. This has been, of course, a major problem for governments, which have made many vain attempts to solve it. What is the record? Perhaps, fortunately, the public have short memories and temporarily forget their deep resentment over the waste caused by and the cost of these almost entirely unnecessary stoppages until the next one occurs. When 1 was speaking to a few of the waterside workers in King's Hall yesterday, they stated frankly that they did not believe in arbitration. They did not seem to realize that in saying that they were saying that they did not believe in the rule of law. This was quite amazing and illuminating to me. {: .speaker-K5L} ##### Mr Cope: -- How can the honorable member prove that statement? {: .speaker-KFZ} ##### Mr HALBERT: -- I do not need to prove it. {: .speaker-K5L} ##### Mr Cope: -- Why not? {: .speaker-KFZ} ##### Mr HALBERT: -- Anybody who heard what took place in King's Hall yesterday could have heard these things said by any of the waterside workers present. I firmly believe that, despite the evidence to the contrary, the great majority of the waterside workers are decent men of good character. Yet, what does the record show? I have before me a record of the major and minor stoppages that occurred in the last twelve months. It consists of three closely typed foolscap pages. A perusal of that record gives some indication of the shocking loss caused to the country by deliberate stoppages for no valid reason. For instance, at Port Kembla, the men walked off at 3 p.m. as a protest against the method of issuing wet weather clothing. At Devonport, the port was idle for 24 hours when the men refused to accept allocations. Burnie was also idle. At Townsville, men walked off at 3 p.m. after the president of their union had allegedly been threatened by a foreman, and work did not resume until 1 p.m. two days afterwards. Many of these stoppages were for political reasons, which proves conclusively that the leaders of the waterside workers realize the power they have to disrupt industry. It is true that these waterside workers, who make up only about one-half per cent, of the Australian workforce, can hold the 10,000,000 people of Australia to ransom. The honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** will admit that perhaps the most recent example of the cruel effects of unauthorized and unnecessary stoppages was that which occurred at Fremantle last January, and which affected the primary producers of Western Australia very seriously indeed. This stoppage was extremely senseless because all disputes are required to be settled by arbitration in any event. It arose out of a disagreement between two unions. Whatever the argument may be for the right to strike, not by the wildest stretch of the imagination could this one be classed as a stoppage which was justified. The Waterside Workers Federation clearly had the right to remedy the conditions about which it complained. It had the right to apply to the State Arbitration Court for redress, and had it done so, instead of persisting in its refusal to recognize the decision of that court, its application would have been properly determined. Instead of applying to the court, the Waterside Workers Federation resorted to direct action. Now, after having involved industry in huge costs, the federation says it will exercise its legal right. Let us now examine for a moment the effect that this unwarranted stoppage had on some of the goods which were awaiting export. First, crayfish to the value of £300,000 were lost. Meat to the value of something in excess of £60,000 could not be shipped. Leather goods to the value of £10,000 could not be shipped, nor could wool worth £350,000. The amount of wheat awaiting shipment was the maximum amount that could be stored at the port. I mention only a few of the items involved. In addition to that, of course, there were heavy cancellations of orders and requests to cancel orders for overseas markets, and there were huge losses of fruit and vegetables through deterioration. Further, the stoppage was the direct cause of bringing unemployment to 200 tally clerks, 1 00 or more timber workers, 200 flour millers, as well as many men engaged in the export meat industry, and so on. It is also possible that certain overseas markets were lost permanently. Tn my electorate, thousands of pounds worth of pears were left to rot in the orchards. Fruit that was meant for export was sent to local markets where it was sold at ruinous prices, whilst fruit that was intended for the local market just could not be sold. I could quote a long list of hardships caused by this unwarranted stoppage. During this unlawful stoppage, fourteen vessels sailed, leaving behind them 12,250 tons of cargo. The export of plums to Singapore was very seriously affected. Not only was a large quantity of plums condemned by inspectors in Fremantle, but 75 per cent, of the plums that did reach Singapore were condemned as unfit for use. Large quantities were sold to jam factories at 4s. a case when their real value as fresh fruit was 16s. a case. Because deliveries could not be obtained from Australia, thousands of cases of grapes were ordered by Singapore from South Africa. This market may be lost to the Western Australian growers for all time. Again, 1.274 bales of wool could not be shipped, thus involving the owners in heavy additional storage charges and causing an interference with wool markets and prices, the value of which cannot be calculated. Goods consigned to Western Australia were carried on to eastern States, which meant the payment of huge freight costs for their return. {: .speaker-KYS} ##### Mr Reynolds: -- 1 take it you want to do something for the waterside workers. {: .speaker-KFZ} ##### Mr HALBERT: -- The waterside workers are entitled to every right enjoyed by the people of a democratic nation. There is no doubt that acceptance as a member of the waterside workers' union is an occasion for great celebration. It is almost as great an occasion for celebration as when one's son qualifies in medicine, because, once the worker is accepted into the waterside workers' union he has security for life and a very good job. I do not deny him those things, for I think he is entitled to them, and good luck to him; but, in return for that privilege, he must be prepared to do the right thing by the community. I wonder how the waterside workers would feel if they saw the results of their whole year's work lost. And I emphasize that the producer's year is not one of so many weeks of 30 hours each. He works from 70 to 80 hours each week, and his working day is from daylight to dusk. Is it any wonder that the primary producers were in a revolutionary mood when that stoppage occurred? Is it any wonder that they wanted to man the waterfront themselves? Is it any wonder that they wanted the Army called out when they saw their products rotting on the ground? It was fortunate that the primary producers believe in the rule of law, not in the rule of anarchy. These stoppages were admittedly directed towards crushing a new foremen's union and, that being so, the action of the Waterside Workers Federation, besides being an offence against the laws of the State and of the Commonwealth, was also an offence against the principles of trade unionism in that a strong organization was attempting to destroy a weak one. How could such action be justified? I do not see honorable members opposite smiling. I have related these facts for the purpose of reminding the electors of Australia of the true position, and to remind honorable members opposite that the Western Australian waterfront has the worst record of any Australian waterfront. I am speaking now not of an industrial record, but of a record of high costs, a record that is so bad that the ship-owners avoid sending their vessels there whenever possible. I remind honorable members that the Government has a duty to do something about this situation. In an attempt to remedy the position, this bill offers further benefits in the form of long service leave to an industry in which the conditions of work and rates of pay compensate already for what is looked upon as the disability of not having any provision for long service leave. A great many people will ask why these extra benefits should be given when they are not justified by the past record of the waterfront employees. Primary producers in particular will be asking this question, because they bear the first and major cost of the waterfront industry. The only answer we can give is that the benefit is being conferred as a last stand hope that it will be the means of restoring sanity, reason and responsibility to the rank and file members of the Waterside Workers Federation. Several members of the Labour Party have argued that we should not impose penalties, but I emphasize that what is proposed are not penalties in the true sense if due consideration is given to the manner in which they will be applied. Certainly it will be hard to convince the primary producers that we are not doing the wrong thing in conferring these benefits. Again I say that they are being conferred in the hope that they will bring to the waterside workers some realization of their responsibilities. The Government, as it were, is holding out the olive branch and appealing to the decency of the rank and file members. I believe that this is the only way to break the control of the few militant leaders who have no real interest in the workers. Their only interest and object is to disrupt industry and cause anarchy for their own personal ambitions and for the ambitions of their masters who are not of this country and who do not want the Australian way of life to continue. lt must be a great disappointment to the average Australian to find that the once great Labour Party is opposing this measure. It is a great disappointment to me to hear the hollow arguments that have been advanced by the members of this disintegrated organization. They have stated with great pathos, for instance, that a man of 86 years of age will have to retire and be deprived of his livelihood. What nonsense is this? A man of 86 being forced to retire! That almost brings tears to my eyes. I believe that every man in Australia should be able to retire at a much earlier age than 86 years. To the average Australian the argument that has been advanced by the Labour Party merely indicates how easy many of the jobs on the waterfront must be for a man still to be an active member of the union at 86 years of age. But I want to be fair. Let us consider what happens in every other industry. Without exception, the employer has the right to retire an employee on reaching 65 years of age, so the fact that the waterside workers can continue at their employment beyond that age is another privilege that they enjoy and should honour. The Labour Party strongly supports the principle of retirement at 65 years of age. However, there are special conditions on the waterfront which allow the older men to work on an irregular basis. It must be recognized that they can be, and are, of great value to the industry. But why abuse this privilege? It is ridiculous to say that a man cannot be retired, whatever his age and whatever his ability to carry out the work allotted to him, as long as he remains a member of the Waterside Workers Federation. He may even continue working when he reaches 100, if he wishes to do so, because there is no restriction on him. Such an argument is without basis. Some Opposition members, including the honorable member for Hindmarsh, have stated that these men are being thrown on the scrap heap. What is actually happening is that the honorable members themselves are throwing open their party to ridicule. I sincerely hope that not very many people were listening to the broadcast of the proceedings of this House when the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith **(Mr. Curtin)** was speaking this afternoon. His address was a tirade of muddled abuse with no relation to this vital subject. Such a speech can only bring discredit on this honorable House. I never cease to be amazed that the honorable member, who is such a decent, happy man to meet in the parliamentary corridors, can be so utterly irresponsible politically. I sincerely hope, also, that the benefits of this legislation will not be abused, and that the predictions of Opposition members that the bill will strengthen the power of **Mr. Healy** and the Communist Party will prove to be false. The Government has no alternative but to legislate in the belief that the common sense of the rank and file members of the Waterside Workers Federation will prevail. I hope that they will accept as a right the privileges contained in the measure, and realize that the socalled strings are only just responsibilities upon them to maintain their privileges and their sense of responsiblity as decent Australians. I look for an improvement in the shocking record of the Australian waterfront in relation to the disruption that has taken place in the past with consequent high costs. If there is not an improvement one thing is certain: The Government will have to introduce promptly insurance legislation to protect the primary industries from such tremendous individual losses as were suffered, for example, by Western Australian producers this year. If there is anarchy and irresponsibility on the waterfront, the cost must be borne by the taxpayers as a whole, and they will know who is responsible for it. The primary industries, which play such an important part in maintaining our high standard of living, cannot bear the burden alone. I believe that the extreme, direct and individual losses will have to be covered in some way by a government insurance scheme such as the Export Payments Insurance Corporation, because the tragic losses in Western Aus tralia this year have to be observed to be believed. I optimistically support the bill. {: #subdebate-33-0-s1 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .- Members of the Labour Party have frequently made reference to the fact that this is a union-hating Government. If any one desires proof of the accuracy of that statement, he has only to read speeches that have been made during this debate by honorable members on the Government side. Let us consider some of the speeches and the background of the people who made them. The honorable member for Moreton **(Mr. Killen)** prior to coming into this Parliament, and while he was working as a rouseabout in Queensland, was known as " Killen the Com ". The honorable member for Griffith **(Mr. Chresby)** made a speech in this place recently in which he talked about the mystic five. As far as I can gather, no one here has ever been able to ascertain what he was talking about. But he can be depended upon always to malign the waterside workers. The Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** comes from a union-hating family. The honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** is known in this Parliament for the speeches that he makes continually attacking the trade union movement in this country. The honorable member for Moore **(Mr. Halbert)** who has just concluded his speech likened the waterside workers to highwaymen. Last night when I was listening to other honorable members taking part in this debate I heard the honorable member for Hume, by interjection, refer to waterside workers as traitors. I remind him that a big percentage of waterside workers are ex-servicemen, and it would be rather interesting to hear the honorable member repeat his statement outside this place. The statements that have been made are most provocative. Any one would imagine that the Government was trying to provoke industrial trouble on the waterfront because the speeches and the statements that have been made are the kind that provoke men into taking action. I have heard the Minister and the honorable member for Moore refer to these men as being a lawless and irresponsible group. This is rather strange. If they are the kind of people that Government members claim them to be, why is the Government acting in this way? One would think that the Government would want to benefit the waterside workers in every way by introducing legislation which would benefit them, such as granting them long service leave. By their speeches and statements Government members have exposed their methods which are designed not to help the waterside workers but to try, by these means, to obtain discipline, as they term it, on the waterfront. The honorable member for Moore talked about the perishable cargoes that had been lost in Western Australia as a result of an industrial stoppage, but not one word of criticism did he utter against the stevedoring company which refused to allow the waterside workers to discharge and load this perishable cargo without payment. He did not utter one word of criticism against the stevedoring company which refused to co-operate with the waterside workers. All the hate and the spleen of the Government members is directed against the men who perform the work on the waterfront. Let us have a look at the background of this situation. I recall that not so long ago when we were discussing here a report from one of the authorities established to investigate the stevedoring industry, the then Minister for Labour and National Service, the predecessor of the present Minister **(Mr. McMahon),** who is now Treasurer of the Commonwealth **(Mr. Harold Holt),** described the shipowners of this country as a most unscrupulous and unsatisfactory group of employers. That is the way in which he described them as a group, but in this debate not one word of criticism has been uttered by members of the Government against the shipowners in regard to their provocative acts. Why is the Government rushing this legislation? My colleague, the honorable member for Kingsford-Smith **(Mr. Curtin)** was taken to task during his speech to-day because it was said that he reflected on members of the judiciary. Is it not a fact that this Government, by an indirect method, is reflecting on the courts and on the judiciary, when its purpose in rushing this legislation is to get in first before the High Court of this country deals with the challenge to the validity of the long service leave legislation, which has been passed by the Government of Tasmania? Otherwise, why the haste? There was no mention of this legislation in the Administrator's Speech. There was no indication that this legislation was to be brought down and introduced to the Parliament in its dying days; because the Minister thinks he will be able to get in first and anticipate not only the decision of the High Court but also the legislation which some State governments propose to introduce in line with that passed by the Government of Tasmania. The Minister for Labour and National Service said that the stevedoring industry has an unhappy history of industrial turbulence. Any one would imagine that the unions themselves, the waterside workers, were solely responsible for the industrial turbulence that has existed in the industry. If one cares to read the reports that are available, one will discover there is a good deal of criticism levelled at the shipowners and the stevedoring companies for the state of affairs that exists on the waterfront. I have heard members of the Government attacking officials of the Waterside Workers Federation; and it might be interesting for me to quote one paragraph from the report of the committee of inquiry into the stevedoring industry, which was presented on 7th March, 1959. At page 82, under the heading " Disputes and Stoppages " that report stated - >The shipowners caused to be put in as exhibits the details of stoppages contained in the Board's records, and upon these a great deal of the statistical analysis in this report has been based, but when specifically invited to bring forward any further evidence on the subject their Counsel said that they did not wish to do so. Moreover, they did not take the opportunity of cross-examining **Mr. Healy** when he gave evidence for the Federation on the question of disputes and stoppages, nor did they cross-examine **Mr. Cullen** who presented the statistical information on behalf of the Board. However their Counsel in a final address on the subject reiterated the assertions made to the above effect at an earlier stage of the Inquiry, relying merely on the statistical evidence put before the Committee and the facts brought out in evidence as to some particular disputes and stoppages. So, whilst the shipowners were charging the organization with being responsible for these stoppages, and when they had the general secretary of the waterside workers' organization giving evidence at the inquiry and were invited to cross-examine him, their counsel refused to do so, just as he refused to cross-examine **Mr. Cullen,** who submitted the statistical information on behalf of the board. In just the same way members of this Government merely attack officers of the waterfront workers' unions and say that they are responsible for all the stoppages that occur, but when asked to produce evidence to show that the men were responsible for any specific stoppage they remain completely silent. I have heard members of the Government, during this debate, say - I believe the Minister also said it in his speech - that it is not the individual waterside worker who is responsible but that he must do what his Communist officials tell him to *do.* Yet another member of the Government said that if **Mr. Healy** could have a strike on the waterfront every day he would have it. Both statements cannot be correct. According to one member of the Government, Healy has only to move his finger to cause a stoppage every day. That statement is too ridiculous. I worked in industry for a number of years before I came into this Parliament, and I repeat what my colleagues have said, that no responsible trade unionist in this country would deliberately go on strike if there is any other method by which he can have his grievances rectified; and anybody in industry knows that. Turning now to the question of lost manhours, when the Minister for Labour and National Service was dealing with this matter he merely dealt with industrial disputes but said nothing about the inefficiency on the Australian waterfront which causes the loss of an enormous number of manhours. Those are unproductive man-hours which are paid for. But the men are not responsible for that fact, because we find according to the records that in 1950, taking nine main ports in Australia - this is excluding smoko's - 24.7 per cent, of the total man-hours which were paid for were unproductive. In 1960, the figure had risen to 31 per cent. For the year ended 30th June, 1960, there were 598,245 man-hours wasted because the men were waiting for cargo to be delivered for loading, and 658,000 man-hours were wasted because of inefficiency in the placing of labour. One can see that well over 1,000,000 man-hours were lost as the result of those two items alone; but the Minister only quoted time lost as the result of industrial disputes. He said, in effect, that he could understand a dispute occurring on one vessel but could not understand how it spread to other ships that were in the port or to the whole port, as has occurred on some occasions. I will tell the Minister how that occurs. It is caused by deliberate provocation on the part of the stevedoring companies, aided in many cases by the stevedoring industry authority. There have been cases of a dispute on one ship when the Waterside Workers Federation has appealed to the stevedoring companies and the stevedoring authority to isolate the dispute on that ship and let the rest of the port go on working, but when the men have walked off that ship the authority has continually called on additional waterside workers, expecting them to take the jobs vacated by the men involved in the dispute. But the waterside workers are good unionists and they refuse to do that; they will not scab on their mates. As a result, the stevedoring companies and the stevedoring industry authority are in most cases responsible for the spread of the dispute. Let me turn, now to the question ot unauthorized strikes. Members of the Government have attempted to make a great deal out of what the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** said in this regard, but I do nor think he meant bv an unauthorized strike what members of the Government are now stating he meant; because, in my opinion, an unauthorized strike is one which is regarded as contrary to the decision of the union. The award provides for eight half-day stop-work meetings per year. In my eyes an unauthorized strike is one where the men on any particular ship act or go on strike against the decision of their union. That is an unauthorized strike. So far as I am concerned, any strike that is supported officially by the union is an authorized strike. Therefore, the trade unionists of this country - I am of the opinion that this is what the Leader of the Opposition meant - have not engaged in unauthorized strikes. As the Government will soon find out, the point is that the waterside workers are aware of what it is trying to do in regard to this legislation, although it talks about the benefits which the measure provides for elderly members of the union. They are to be given certain retiring rights. It is rather interesting to note that evidently the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority is anticipating the passage of this legislation, because my colleague the honorable member for Wilmot **(Mr. Duthie)** has just received a telephone message, and has taken down a copy of the communication which is already being circulated to waterside workers. This communication reads - >Dear **Sir,** > >You will be aware that the Federal Government has introduced amendments to the Stevedoring Industry Act to make provision for long service leave for waterside workers. The records of the Authority indicate that you are over the age of 65. Your immediate entitlement, if any, under the proposed legislation is at present being examined by the Authority and when I have further information I will again write to you. They are serving notice on the men aged 65 and over in the industry. According to the Minister the legislation contains no provision for compulsory retirement, but of course it does. I will show where the catch is. The legislation does not provide that these men will be compulsorily retired, but it does provide that they have to be, in the opinion of the stevedoring authority, physically capable of carrying out the job. What the Government proposes to do is to cut out of the industry the old men who have worked for many years in it, some of them for 40 or 50 years. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: -- The authority is beating the gun. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD: -- That is correct. As my colleague the Deputy Leader of the Opposition says, the authority is beating the gun. The authority is so arrogant, so certain of its position that, without listening to the argument advanced by the Opposition, without waiting for a vote in the Parliament, they have already proceeded to serve notice of dismissal on those older members in the industry. The Minister said that the Government was not asked for this legislation by the Waterside Workers Federation. Of course it was not asked for it by the Waterside Workers Federation. In actual fact, the people who asked for this legislation - and the Minister has not mentioned them - were the shipowners and the representatives of the stevedoring companies of this country. {: .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: -- They are in the Speaker's Gallery now. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD: -- As the Deputy Leader of the Opposition reminds me, representatives of the shipowners have been summoned here by the Government to listen to the debate. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- I ask, **Mr. Speaker,** that that statement be withdrawn. It is totally untrue. I also direct attention to the fact that it was the Deputy Leader of the Opposition who put the honorable member for East Sydney up to that lie. **Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay).Order!** The Minister claims that the statement is completely inaccurate, so the honorable member for East Sydney will withdraw it. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition need not prompt the honorable member for East Sydney, who is quite capable of looking after himself. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD: -- I withdraw it, **Mr. Speaker.** The penalties proposed in this legislation are to apply to all strikes unless the commission declares the strike was justified. Anybody who knows how the commission is constituted would not waste time attempting to prove to it that any strike was justified. It could not be justified in the eyes of Government supporters in this Parliament, or in the eyes of one who to-day presides over a court and who when he was a senator, and a Minister in the Government, expressed the same views as those of honorable members opposite - and I refer to the Chief Judge. In those circumstances, who would make an appeal, and ask that any strike should be declared to be justified? Here is the penalty which is being placed on the waterside workers - and I am pointing this out to the people opposite who regard the waterside workers as an irresponsible body of men. A waterside worker who went on strike would lose, first, £4 8s. 9d. a day in pay. For each day on strike he would lose four day's attendance money, which would mean the loss of another £4 16s. So for every one day on strike he would lose £9 5s. 8d. and one month of the period of service that qualifies him to receive long service leave. The Minister said that this was a similar provision to that which applies to the coalminers. Nothing of the kind! It is perfectly true that when a coal-miner goes on strike the period on strike does not count aspart of the period needed to qualify for long service leave, but the coal-miner loses the period for which he is on strike only. The Minister thought to himself: " That is not good enough for us. It is not good enough for the shipowners and the stevedores, so we will make the penalties more severe ". Let me turn now to the question of political strikes, because a great deal has been said about this matter. I do not know of any political strikes of recent date- {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- What nonsense! {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD: -- Government supporters refer to discussions by watersiders at their stop-work meetings of matters relating to the Peace Council or the question of banning the atom bomb, or criticism of the provisions of the Crimes Act, or discussion of the position in Cuba, as political strikes. Those people opposite want to deny the waterside workers the right that other Australian citizens possess and which we possess, to express an opinion on these matters, which are of great interest and great public concern. I believe that when waterside workers have their stop-work meetings, after they have discussed the industrial problems that they have been convened to discuss, they are as entitled as any other body of Australian citizens to discuss any other matter that they care to discuss. Let me turn again to the Minister's statements about strikes. He said: Is it any wonder that in the last four years nearly 4,500 waterside workers have lost their jobs? That is a complete distortion and misrepresentation. The Minister said that they had lost their jobs because strikes had chased business to the railways and to the roads. He did not make one reference to mechanization on the waterfront and how it has eliminated labour. Let me tell him, if he does not know it, that with the introduction of bulk loading of sugar in Queensland 1 ,000 fewer waterside workers are now employed in the industry there. Was that caused by industrial disputes? Does he not know that as a result the shipowners have saved £1.000,000 in wages, and that between 1954-55 and 1959-60 the membership of the Waterside Workers Federation has been reduced by 4,768. Let us have a look at another injustice suffered by the waterside worker who is left in the industry - not the man who has been squeezed out by mechanization and who has suffered complete loss of employment thereby, but the man still in the industry. Under the award the hourly rate of pay of the watersider is worked out on the assumption that he averages 30 hours' work each week. In 1950-51, waterside workers averaged 33.4 hours, and in 1959-60 they averaged only 26 hours a week. So they obviously got only 26 hours pay in such circumstances. That means that they actually suffered the loss of four hours' pay. I return to the question of mechanization. In the port of Mackay, whereas 450 waterside workers were formerly employed only 90 are now employed. The reduction was not caused by strikes, but was caused by the introduction of bulk loading of sugar. At Bowen, where 130 men were formerly employed, only 80 are now employed. At Cairns, the employment figure has dropped from 750 to 500. At Townsville, the reduction is the same. At the coal wharf in Newcastle, where previously 300 waterside workers were employed, only 150 are now employed. At Lucinda Point, where 95 were employed, none is now employed. The same thing applies to Innisfail, where the labour force has dropped from 85 to nil. In Melbourne, before the introduction of mechanical loading and unloading, a pig-iron ship with five hatches employed five gangs of nineteen waterside workers each - a total of 95. Now that magnets are being used to load and unload pig-iron ships the number of men employed per vessel has been reduced from 95 to five. So we can see exactly what is happening in the industry. The Waterside Workers Federation was encouraged to open its membership books. Honorable members will recall that, in this Parliament, the Waterside Workers Federation was criticized because it would not open its books, and it was claimed that there was a shortage of waterside workers. The federation subsequently opened the books and admitted large numbers of new members to the industry. But what is happening to-day? No retiring age is fixed under the award and when retrenchment of labour occurs the long-recognized practice is to apply the principle of first to come, last to go. But this principle, which has been accepted by the trade union movement, is now to be destroyed by the Government and the reason given is that it is offering some benefit to the older members of the Waterside Workers Federation. The federation, for some time past, with the approval of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, has had what is called a disability list. Men suffering from some illness or a physical disability, or men of advancing years who could not report each day for work were allowed to go on to the disability list. They attended and were called for work whenever they felt fit to undertake it. These men continued working on the basis that they could earn a little to supplement what they would receive from an age pension. But the Minister now sets out to force these men out of the industry. I would agree with the suggestion of the honorable member for Moore **(Mr. Halbert)** that a retiring age of 65 should be fixed, if a person in his working years were able to save sufficient for his retirement or if this Government were providing him with an allowance or a pension, if you care to term it such, to provide him with an income to permit him to live at a decent standard. In these circumstances, many of the older men would voluntarily retire. But like many workers in industry who have to struggle for an existence right through their working lives, they cannot afford to retire. What this Government intends to do at the behest of the shipping and stevedoring companies is to re-organize the labour force on the waterfront by casting out these old men who have given a lifetime of service in the industry, not in the interests of the men themselves, but in the interests of those wealthy persons who control our shipping and stevedoring companies. The Australian Labour Party has given an undertaking to the waterside workers. It is no good saying that the waterside workers are divided on this matter. I would issue this invitation to Government supporters: If they believe the waterside workers are divided on this matter, let them visit any port. We will arrange for the Waterside Workers Federation to call a mass meeting of the members. Honorable members themselves could discuss the merits or demerits of the legislation before the meeting and test the viewpoint of the nen. However, honorable members would no doubt say that the waterside workers had to do what their Communist officials wanted them to do. I point out that the executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, which is not regarded as an extremely militant body, is unanimously supporting the waterside workers in this matter. The Australian Labour Party is also supporting them. We would rather have this bill completely withdrawn, with the loss of the long service leave, than have the other provisions of the bill. The subject could then be left for a government that is prepared to bring in a worthwhile long service leave provision for the workers in this industry. Any such provision that we would introduce would provide benefits similar to those enjoyed by workers in other industries and the waterside workers would have long service leave without strings attached to it. This benefit should not be used as a means of applying discipline on the waterfront. I hope that the waterside workers, other trade unionists and the A.C.T.U. executive will succeed in their campaign against the Government. They have not long to wait. There will be a federal election either late this year or early next year. Already I believe that not only waterside workers but every other reasonable section of the Australian community are waiting for the opportunity to reject the Government. When Labour takes office, we will bring down legislation to deal with long service leave not merely for the waterfront industry but for industry right throughout Australia. Wherever a worker works, he will have the same right and the same entitlement to long service leave as all other workers have. I think the waterside workers would be wise to wait until they can get that type of legislation rather than accept this legislation which is loaded against the workers and the trade unions, and loaded against them in the interests of the stevedoring companies and the private shipowners. {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr Anderson: -- I wish to make a personal explanation. {: #subdebate-33-0-s2 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -Does the honorable member claim to have been misrepresented? {: .speaker-JLU} ##### Mr Anderson: -- Yes, **Mr. Speaker.** The honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** said that, by interjection yesterday, I stated that waterside workers were traitors. I did not say so, I do not believe it, but I reserve certain ideas about some of the leaders. {: #subdebate-33-0-s3 .speaker-3V4} ##### Mr CHIPP:
Higinbotham .- This debate has been remarkable so far for several reasons, not the least of which is the strong Labour opposition to the bill which is designed primarily to bestow an award on waterside workers for long service in their industry. Another remarkable feature of the debate was the speech of the Leader of the Opposition **(Mr. Calwell)** last night. As my colleague, the honorable member for Bruce **(Mr. Snedden)** said in his magnificent speech - . . we would have been justified in hoping that the Leader of the Opposition would have given us some constructive criticism of the bill. He has given us no such thing. It was not until only three minutes of his time were left that he mentioned any part of the bill at all. It was at that point that he said the Opposition objects to the provision relating to a port stoppage by 250 men or one-third of the men at the port. The speech of the Leader of the Opposition was remarkable for its irresponsibility. He failed to address his remarks to the bill in essence, but towards the conclusion of his speech he made a remark which I think borders on the classic. He said - >Whatever the Tasmanian Parliament has passed- He was referring to the long service leave legislation recently passed in that State - we want to improve upon, and we think the country is prosperous enough to pay for it. Coming from the Leader of the Opposition, that is the height of inconsistency. For many weeks we have listened to his prophesies of gloom. The debate became more remarkable during the speech of the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward),** who has just resumed his seat. Here we had a speech by another self-appointed champion of the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation. He gave an interpretation of the definition given by the Leader of the Opposition of an unauthorized strike. We on this side of the House have no difficulty in interpreting the remarks of the Leader of the Opposition and we know what the Leader of the Opposition said constituted an unauthorized strike. But the views of the honorable member for East Sydney seem to be quite different from those of his leader. The views of his leader are quite clear. His definition of an unauthorized strike is limited to a strike by men without the permission of their own union, despite the fact that it may be contrary to law or contrary to a decision of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The honorable member for East Sydney quoted from the report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority for 1957. In doing so, he tried to make the point that much of the strife on the waterfront was caused by the deliberate provocation of the shipowners. I had not intended to allow my speech to degenerate into a recital of particular incidents, but the honorable member has compelled me to quote from the 1958 report of the same authority. The passage I shall read concerns the case of John Krespi, which became quite notorious. This man had his registration as a waterside worker cancelled. In his judgment on the appeal, **Mr. Justice** Ashburner had this to say - >In the result, my findings of fact are that Krespdid practically no work during the two hours before his dismissal; that he drank and got drunk on the job; that he assaulted the foreman who dismised him; and that the alleged provocation is not proved. In addition, his record in the industry is bad. He was registered in April, 1955. > >In two and a half years he was twice fined by the union for misconduct; he was suspended for drinking on the job; and was given a final warning by the Local Representative that if he got into any further trouble his registration would be cancelled. He is a violent man who has more than one conviction for assault and a dishonest man on whose undertaking I could place no reliance. In the circumstances there is no room for any clemency and the appeal is dismissed. That is the end of the quotation from **Mr. Justice** Ashburner's judgment, and it would be tragic enough, but an accompanying footnote states - >This dispute involved some 3,850 men and cost the industry an estimated 400,000 man hours. Schedules of coastal and overseas vessels were seriously disorganised. Many vessels sailed without lifting their cargoes. Some vessels overcarried cargoes. In one case at least, cargo for the Sydney Christmas trade could not be unloaded and was returned to the United Kingdom. That is the answer to the charge by the honorable member for East Sydney that these stoppages are provoked by the shipowners. One has only to recall the recent stoppage in Melbourne that was held in sympathy with one Fidel Castro. It is difficult to find any possible justification for suggesting that that stoppage could possibly have been provoked by the shipowners. Instead of waiting for the union to act, the Government has taken the initiative and proposes to grant the privileges provided in this bill to the industry in which there are great complexities caused by the men working for different employers and at different places. The Government has overcome these problems and has granted these rewards before the union itself applied for them. The Communist-led Waterside Workers Federation could have applied to the Commonwealth Arbitration Commission for long service leave. Instead, it has chosen to overlook the needs of its members and adopted the devious tactics of using long service leave as a means of disruption, quite apart from the interests of the members of the federation. No waterside worker, as an individual, can, in all conscience, complain about what the Government is doing. This bill gives a standard leave in some cases better than elsewhere. For example, men over 65, registered in 1947, who have not yet served twenty years are entitled to benefits. The bill certainly gives the men concerned better long service leave sooner than their officials would, or could, have secured it, and the rate at which leave will be paid is, overall, a favorable provision. The Government is really legislating to give members of the Waterside Workers Federation a better basis of benefits than the federation officials have chosen to pursue. They prefer to cause losses of wages to individual men by making an industrial issue out of something that could have been legitimately pursued through the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, and indeed should have been sought in that way. I must say that I cannot follow the Labour Party's line of argument on this bill. Here we see the members of the Labour Party, the supposed champions of the working man and the avowed opponents of all forms of private enterprise, opposing a bill v/hich bestows extremely generous benefits on workers on the waterfront. During the time I have been in this House members of the Opposition have made no secret of their socialist-inspired intentions of bringing about the complete destruction of free enterprise, believing in their quaint way that this destruction will benefit the working-man. The Government parties, on the other hand, believe in the maximum freedom of the individual. The Government designs its policies so that all sections of the community can share in the prosperity which this nation has enjoyed during the last twelve years and which assuredly will be our fortune in the future. A classic example of this Government's desire to spread its legislative programme so that all sections of the community can benefit is this bill which gives in a very practical way a benefit to waterside workers which I know they will appreciate after twenty years of service to their industry despite the Labour Party's attempts to frustrate it. In trying to assess this strange attitude of the Labour Party, one can only assume that it has been influenced by the Communist-led Waterside Workers Federation to oppose this bill. This union has had ample opportunity to apply to the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Commission for these benefits, but it has not done so; and now that the Government has taken the initiative, the federation has used its good offices with the Labour Party to block it. I could not help wondering to-day, when the Treasurer **(Mr. Harold Holt)** remarked on the left-wing dominance of the Labour Party to-day, whether the Labour Party of fifteen years ago could have brought itself to succumb to the pleadings of a Communist-led union and oppose a bill to give a well-earned reward to the men on the waterfront. Now, **Mr. Speaker,** let me come to the specific provisions of the bill. It gives three months' long service leave after twenty years' qualifying service, and a further six and a half weeks' leave for each subsequent ten years of service. It will set up an irregulars' register in each continuous and seasonal port in which will be listed those waterside workers now on the irregulars' roster, all over 70. those over 65 who wish to go on, and those who, on medical examination, are found not fit for regular work. Men on the irregular's register will not be required to attend for duty. They may, however, be called on by the authority and in such a case will get a benefit of attendance money if they respond to the call and work is not available. For regular men registered prior to 1947 who have since served throughout at continuous ports and seasonal ports during the season and have ten years qualifying service, special provisions will apply. Those over 70 will be eligible for pay immediately for the equivalent of three months' leave, even if they have not had twenty years' qualifying service. Those over 65 or who reach 65 will get the same benefit if they elect to have their registration cancelled or elect to go on the irregulars' register. Other men will be eligible to qualify for pro rata payments if they are over 70, or as they reach 65, and in the latter case elect to have their *registration* cancelled or elect to go on the irregulars' register. A new concession will enable an individual who successfully appeals against his suspension to be awarded compensation for loss of wages during suspension. **Mr. Speaker,** I cannot see how the Government could have been more generous. In granting these rewards for service, it has provided that certain conditions must be met. These conditions, which are no more than a reasonable body of men could be expected to carry out, are: If there is a port stoppage involving 250 men or one-third of the men, whichever is the less, for every day of the stoppage, attendance money will not be paid on four subsequent occasions on which it would have been paid. The entitlement for long service leave will be deferred for a period not exceeding 30 days as the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission determines. These are penalties, and they are reasonable penalties when related to the generous benefits extended by the bill and also to the appalling record of the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation in failing to play the game according to the rules of arbitration. Let me now say something about the Australian conciliation and arbitration system. I can say with truth that it is the envy of many countries in the free world to-day. Indeed, I believe it is something that is cherished by all decent trade unionists in Australia. It is a system which provides for an independent arbiter objectively and dispassionately to hear argument from both sides in a dispute and deliver an independent and objective judgment. The record shows with unmistakable clarity the enormous gains and privileges which the trade union movement has received under this system. The record shows with no less clarity, however, that the leaders of one particular union, the Waterside Workers Federation, will ' gladly accept the favorable decisions after giving all sorts of assurances not to break the rules in future but immediately after receiving a favorable judgment will, with a studied air of gay nonchalance and reckless abandon and with complete contempt of law and society, abrogate completely the principles which it guaranteed. I shall cite one example of such action. In 1960, **Mr. Justice** Ashburner made an award entitling waterside workers under certain conditions to hold up to four stop-work meetings of four hours' duration each six months. During the hearing the advocate for the union, **Mr. Docker,** gave the commission an assurance that if the federation's claims were granted in substance, the federation would discourage to the utmost of its ability any tendency on the part of branches to conduct unauthorized stop-work meetings. Since obtaining the benefit of permission to hold eight authorized stop-work meetings a year, branches of the Waterside Workers Federation in numerous ports have either held meetings in excess of this number or have held unauthorized meetings without notice. Many of the stoppages have been of 24-hour duration. When shipowners have become aware that unauthorized stop-work meetings were to be held they have, on occasions, sent telegrams to the federal office of the federation asking, in effect, that the undertaking given to the commission, to which I have just referred, be honoured. Practically without exception, the unauthorized meetings have proceeded as planned. As the Minister said in his speech, no fewer than 806,000 man-hours were lost on the Australian waterfront in 1959-60, and in the first nine months of the current year the number of man-hours lost has been more than 1,000,000. The Leader of the Opposition has, of course, been prevailed upon to object to the penalties provided in this legislation. I have noticed that the honorable gentleman takes a commendable interest in the wonderful game of Australian Rules football in Melbourne - although I am bound to say that his football judgment, as shown by his choice of a team to follow, is no sounder than the political judgment he dis- plays in this place. Could I ask him whether he would not be filled with disgust if his team accepted the favorable decisions of the umpire and, at the first unfavorable decision, walked off the field en masse? Is it unreasonable, then, to expect a fair pattern of behaviour from the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation? Is it unreasonable to demand fair play on the waterfront, where every stop-work meeting and every strike adds to the cost of consumer products to all Australians? ls it unreasonable to legislate - if I may use the term employed by the Leader of the Opposition - for a fair go from the leaders of the federation in the attempt that all industry is making to boost our export trade, because in this connexion also every stoppage at the wharfs adds to the unit cost and the sale price overseas of our products? Is it unreasonable to try to prevent Australia from being priced out of overseas markets by the capricious behaviour of the Communist leaders of the federation? Finally, **Sir, is** it unreasonable for this Parliament, consisting of Australian citizens dedicated by oath to act in the best interests of the Australian people, to refuse to be held to ransom by the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation, who acknowledge a sovereign other than our beloved Queen? {: #subdebate-33-0-s4 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT:
Wills .- The temporary member for Higinbotham **(Mr. Chipp)** has rapidly adapted himself to the uncritical, subservient atmosphere that prevails amongst honorable members who grace the Government benches. He has, of course, simply repeated the platitudes that we are accustomed to hearing from honorable members on the opposite side of this House when they speak on subjects about which they appear to know nothing. The honorable member is. of course, a man of obvious talents, and I wish that his colleagues could turn those talents to some better purpose than reinforcing the hostility that they themselves continually display towards the trade union movement. When I make these comments I am speaking on behalf of the trade union movement, which has chosen to endorse my membership of this Parliament, a movement which is endorsed by a great proportion of Australian workers, and which is one of the strongest, best organized and best disciplined trade union movements in the world. The honorable member for Higinbotham has chosen, as, indeed, have other honorable members opposite, to be laudatory in his comments on the provisions of this bill. Let me say, however, that the provisions of the legislation are in no way designed to give a reward for service; they represent an act of initimidation directed against a particular group of people to keep them toeing the line. This bill does not follow the principle of free enterprise, about which Government supporters are often talking; it is aimed at the regimentation of Australian working people. It is not an example of liberalism; it is an example of fascism, as I will shortly demonstrate by quoting extracts from the speech of the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** and from the writings of Benito Mussolini. This is not an industrial matter at all, but an ethical matter. The Government has chosen to bring to this House a piece of legislation not relating to industrial organization, and not based on any desire to reward workers for lone and faithful service, but directed towards bringing the waterside workers to heel and making them subservient to the needs of the nation. We on this side of the Parliament realize that there are times when the ordinary individual's rights must be made subservient to the needs of the nation. We say. however, that in time of peace there is no justification for demanding that a particular group of citizens sacrifice their individual rights, while allowing the remainder of the community to retain those rights. This bill is a classical example of the way in which the Government picks out a particular group of workers who, because of the nature of their employment, are important to the continued prosperity of the nation, and applies itself, not to making their lot a little better industrially, but to cracking the whip so that they will toe the industrial line. Our opposition to this measure is based on strong Labour principles. We are not engaging in any sham fight about this bill. The Waterside Workers Federation is one of the most disciplined organizations in the community. {: .speaker-4U4} ##### Mr Killen: -- Whose discipline? {: .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT: -- I will explain the meaning of the word for the benefit of the honorable member for Moreton, if honorable members opposite will give me a chance to do so. I point out to those honorable members that my great friend, the honorable member for Reid **(Mr. Uren),** has returned to the chamber after having been ejected from it for making far less noise than is now coming from honorable gentlemen on the Government benches. This bill contains provisions which are completely inadequate so far as the provision of long service leave is concerned. In addition, the penal provisions of the legislation are absolutely abhorrent to the Labour Party, the Labour movement and, I believe, the people of Australia. The long service leave provisions are inadequate, first, because they will provide no benefit before 1964. Only persons retiring in particular circumstances will receive any benefits from this legislation during the lifetime of not only this but also the next Parliament. There is no adequate provision for elderly workers, and the choice of 1942 as a starting year for the qualifying period is, of course, quite inadequate. A much earlier year should have been chosen. As it stands the legislation will impose a penalty upon people who have given long and loyal service in the industrial work of the Australian community. Let me remind honorable members that the industrial work of this country did not start in recent years. The people who laid the foundations of Australia's industrial movement are just as entitled to consideration, even though they are in their 70's or 80's now, as are those who will be retiring in the future. I say, therefore, that as regards the simple provision of ordinary industrial rights the legislation is inadequate, and there are sound grounds for our opposition to it. However, this is not, of course, an industrial bill, lt is a bill of pains and penalties. It is a bill which is designed to bring the workers on the waterfront into line. It is designed to make them subservient to the needs of the community. As I said earlier, there are many occasions on which ordinary citizens will surrender their rights for the benefit of the community. The provisions of this measure, however, are not applied to any other person in the community, and are simply directed towards disciplining this one group. Honorable members opposite talk about free enterprise. What do they mean by free enterprise? If, to-morrow, we were faced with a situation in which every ship sailing to Australia was withdrawn and transferred to a more profitable trade, say with China or some other Asian country, honorable members opposite would defend the rights of the shipowners and directors of shipping lines to take such action. But if the 20,000 waterside workers in Australia decided to-morrow morning that they had sufficient reason to withdraw their labour from the waterfront, and did so, there are pains and penalties in this bill and in existing legislation that could be inflicted upon them in an endeavour to dissuade them from exercising the rights of free enterprise that they should be allowed to enjoy. No matter in what light this subject is examined, you can find contradictions in the platitudes expressed by honorable members opposite, particularly when you consider their attitude to their own friends. The Opposition says that this is a proposal which ought to be abhorrent to every Australian citizen. There is no justification in a free and democratic community for getting out the whip to drive people to work. This is the simple tenor of the Minister's speech: He has been unable to find any way in which he can get the waterside workers, most of whom are good, straight forward, loyal Australians, to continue at work. Why is this? What would be the logical, direct way in which any other person would approach this problem? Surely any reasonable person would ask " How can we give the waterside workers better working conditions and make their lives more secure? How can we give them more dignity in their work? " But the Minister does not say that. There has not been a single endeavour by the Government in the last twelve years to do these things. On every occasion, it has attempted to achieve by disciplinary measures what it ought to do by improving working conditions. It is no good honorable members opposite ranting and raving about Communist domination. I hope to be able to describe the democratic nature of the structure of the Waterside Workers Federation later on. I know that what I am saying is foreign to the nature of honorable members opposite. They live in a dictatorial party and they toe the line as soon as the great white father lays it down. Therefore, the idea of a truly democratic organization is foreign to their understanding. Many honorable members opposite are ordinary, understanding, tolerant human beings in their private affairs. It is time that they applied tolerance and understanding to the waterside workers. They have allowed themselves to be trapped into an emotional attitude to the waterside workers - men who may live in the same streets as they do; men who may have served in the same units as they did during the war and men who may barrack for the same football teams. But not a word have I heard from the other side to indicate that members opposite believe that the waterside workers are fellow Australians. While I have any resources at my disposal I will continue to support the waterside workers in this cause. What is their cause? On the one side, we have the employers represented, as the honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** pointed out this afternoon, by impersonal bodies that may be denned as dinosaurs. We have the shipping companies, the stevedoring companies, the stevedoring authority and the Government. So we have these great and powerful organizations, ranging from the Government to the shipping companies, the head-quarters of which are mostly on the other side of the world, arrayed against 20,000 ordinary working Australians. The Government has, with some pride, introduced this bill of the manacle, the handcuff and the whip. These are the traditional weapons with which the people on the opposite side of politics from us keep the workers in line. In these days, of course, they cannot use physical violence, so they use the weapon of the law. They speak platitudes about law and order and community service. We on this side of the House say that this is an unequal battle. There is only one way in which the waterside workers can stand up against the forces arrayed against them and that is by preserving their solidarity and loyalty. ' They have demonstrated to all Australia what solidarity, unity and internal discipline can accomplish inside an organization. As I have said the waterside workers have arrayed against them great and powerful forces in cluding the shipping companies for which honorable members opposite have so much sympathy. The activities of most of these companies are directed from overseas. Some of the biggest shipping companies in the world are trading to Australia. Where are their head-quarters? Where does our loyalty lie? Do we owe it to the workers or to the shipowners overseas who draw extravagant profits from the Australian trade? {: .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr Erwin: -- Don't be silly. {: .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT: -- The honorable member for Ballaarat **(Mr. Erwin)** is always loud in his praise of the great combines such as General Motors. I have a list of shipping profits here. The honorable member for Ballaarat may go to the Library and find them for himself. In 1956 Burns Philp made a profit of £2,424,000; in 1957 it was £2,508,000, and in 1958 it was £3,067,000. Those were the gross profits. The disclosed profits for the last couple of years were £1,500,000 in 1959 and £1,100,000 in 1960. {: .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr Erwin: -- What is their capital? {: .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT: -- Their reserves are shown as £1 1,000,000. The honorable member for Ballaarat, the honorable member for Wannon **(Mr. Malcolm Fraser)** and the honorable member for Higginbotham **(Mr. Chipp)** chose to aline themselves, not with the ordinary working people, but with these mammoth financial combines with reserves which could almost pay the waterside workers' salaries for one year. Possibly, those honorable members are shareholders in the shipping companies, as an honorable member on this side suggests. One of the mammoth shipping concerns which operate on the Australian coast is the Peninsular and Orient Line. In 1956 its profits amounted to £1,733,000 and in 1957 they amounted to £2,543,000. These are fabulous sums. Yet Government supporters will fight to the last ditch to deprive waterside workers of four days' attendance money at £1 4s. a day for each day of a waterfront stoppage! The Minister for Labour and National Service who would not think £1 4s. worth stooping down to pick up is proud to come here and advocate depriving waterside workers of four times £1 4s. if they choose to stop work for a day. On any count, this legislation ought to be thrown out. Its penalties are aimed at waterside workers who are ordinary decent Australian citizens, living in the same streets as the rest of us, paying rates like the rest of us, and with an average income of between £800 and £1,000 a "year. A great proportion of them have families to keep. The bill will penalize them if they exercise their right to strike - a right which is supported from this side of the House as the honorable member for East Sydney has emphasized. On this side of the House we regard this legislation as beneath contempt. It is a miserable piece of legislation. Under it, waterside workers will lose four days' attendance money for stopping work on one day. That penalty will be held in suspense until there is free time on the wharfs. They may also have their long service leave reduced by up to 30 days. Here we have a challenge to choose between the material requirements of the shipping industry and the ordinary human requirements of the people who work in it. The Minister for Labour and National Service was keen to point out the duty of waterside workers to the community. He said - >The stevedoring industry is a key one. It is vital to both our commerce and defence. What happens on the waterfront affects not only our trade, in the sense of the movement of cargoes to and from overseas and around our shores, but also every other aspect of our lives. What happens in this industry bears on the returns we get from our exports and on the prices we pay for goods in Australia. What happens on the waterfront, in short, materially affects each and every one of us. He said - . . the bill includes several provisions designed to discourage waterside workers from engaging in irresponsible and avoidable port stoppages . . . This bill, far from conferring privileges on the waterside workers, imposes duties on them which are not imposed on other members of the community. If you read "The Doctrine of Fascism " by Benito Mussolini you find phrases and sentiments expressed which are similar to those used by Government supporters. It states - . . the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests co-incide with those of the State. Is that not the principle implicit in this bill - that the interest of the individual must be subservient to that of the State? This book, " The Doctrine of Fascism ", could well repay study by honorable members opposite who customarily speak in platitudes on these matters. It may well be that if they turn to their philosophy they will see where they are going. We have found continually in this place that the doctrine that the individual has a duty to the State is adopted when the individual in question is a humble worker, and we have found that a person who is the owner of great industrial concerns is given absolute freedom. We say that this is a doctrine of contradiction. When the Minister is approached on the question of pensions for the waterside workers, he says, " Why should we confer special privileges on them? Why should one section of industry have this privilege? " We say: If waterside workers are not to have any special privileges conferred on them, why should they have any special duties imposed on them? This is discrimination against one section of the work-force. As the honorable member for Fremantle **(Mr. Beazley)** said earlier, the Government should set out to create for the waterside workers working conditions in which they can work with dignity. These are simple propositions. First of all, the ordinary wage is meagre in the extreme in a day and age in which prices are rising, rents and transport costs are high and the costs of maintaining a family are extraordinarily high. In these conditions, the average wage of the waterside worker is inadequate for the maintenance of himself and his family in the way in which this community ought to support him. With respect to the long service leave provisions, we say, first of all, that there should be no particular difficulty about conferring as of now the right to long service leave. There should be no particular difficulty about providing that any waterside worker who has been in the industry for a life-time, upon that fact being proved, shall qualify immediately. Why pick 1942 as the year of qualification just because, by an accident of legislation, that was the time at which men were registered? Why could we not create some system under which waterside workers could establish eligibility for long service leave from service dating back long before 1942? As the Minister himself admitted, there are old men working in the industry now who are hanging on and hoping against hope that they will get a decent pension and receive long service leave benefits. It would be a simple matter for the community, in respect of an industry such as this in which the profits are high and the employers are powerful in a financial sense, to make these simple gestures to a very small proportion of the work-force. The figures that I have indicate that only a little more than 1,800 workers in the industry are over 60. The retirement of these men would not be a serious financial problem in an industry as great as is this one. There should be no difficulty whatsoever in establishing eligibility if a man is going out of the industry now. Many of the men I know who live in the suburban streets in my electorate have been working in the industry since before World War I. Why should not they be eligible for the longservice leave which is their just entitlement? We say that these are simple matters administratively. We find no difficulty in providing schemes of this kind for the Public Service. We have found no difficulty about these things, as a general principle, in moving along the road towards better working conditions and more security. Why cannot we do these things for the waterside workers? We on this side of the House oppose the bill on these grounds. It makes no general attempt to solve these problems of the improvement of industrial conditions. Why cannot the waterside workers have conditions the same as those of workers in the railways, the airlines and the trucking industry. Why must the men on the waterfront stand about and get only 24s. a day while they are waiting for some shipowner to direct his ship to the port? Why do we allow this sort of thing to go on, with ordinary human beings waiting about at the behest of the shipowners and receiving rates of pay lower than the normal rates? Why must we continue with this outmoded and archaic principle? I cannot see any reason why the waterside workers of Australia should not be in full employment at fulltime wages the same as are other people. Thousands of railway employees wait about for trains to arrive and thousands of airline employees wait for planes to come in, and they all receive their normal rates of pay while they are waiting. Why must a waterside worker receive only 24s. a day - a lower rate of pay than his normal rate - while he is waiting for a ship to come in? The principles involved are simple ones which any man who has any human decency can understand. There is no need to bring into question the ideologies of one side or the other, as is continually done by some people who, to their great discredit, continually mouth these sentiments. We say that there are contradictions in this bill that we cannot support. When is a dispute to be justified under the terms of this measure? We know perfectly well that in the eyes of honorable members opposite no stoppage is ever justified. The honorable member for Hume **(Mr. Anderson)** may well say, " I am in favour of strikes ". But we know perfectly well that so far in our history we have not produced one example of which he would approve. We say that the history of industrial arbitration and conciliation in all ils ramifications in this country affords no indication that a trade union would be justified in putting its absolute and unqualified faith in this system. The trade unions must, in the end, fight for their own rights. The final question is: Why has this Government, as an act of death-bed repentance, as it were, brought in this measure? As I pointed out earlier, no man now in his middle years will get any long service leave even during the life of the next Parliament. The Government has brought in this bill in order to undo the good works of the Tasmanian Government and to forestall the promised good works of the Labour Government in New South Wales. Generally, on principle, this Government refuses to act whenever any creative or positive step needs to be taken. If any constructive or creative action is required, the Government says that the necessary action is not its constitutional duty and that the matter is a State matter. But, if the Government can say that a disciplinary operation against some part of the work force is needed, it feels that it has a duty to step in and undertake that operation, and it does not hesitate to remove benefits given by State governments which press on in ameliorating and improving working conditions for the people. I regard it as an affront to the people of Tasmania for this Government to step in as it has done and deprive Tasmanian waterside workers of working conditions which the Tasmanian Government has seen fit to bestow on them. It is an affront to the people of New South Wales that the Government has taken action to ensure that legislation foreshadowed in New South Wales will not benefit workers in that State. Government supporters may rest assured that we on this side of the House are not just indulging in a sham fight against this bill. It offends every principle of Australian democracy and of industrial organization in this country. Honorable members opposite may rest assured that in this instance the Waterside Workers Federation of Australia has the unqualified support of the political side of the Labour movement and the unqualified support of the trade union movement as a whole. And these are powerful forces. Their influence may well be reflected in the return to industry after the next general election of about thirteen members at present on the opposite side of the House. {: #subdebate-33-0-s5 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN:
Reid **.- Mr. Deputy Speaker,** I join with my colleague, the honorable member for Wills **(Mr. Bryant),** in opposing this obnoxious legislation that the Government has brought in on what I describe as the four-flushing excuse of providing long service leave for the waterside workers of Australia. People generally in political circles well know that the Government wishes to force this legislation through in the late stages of this parliamentary session. Indeed, the Government intended to rush these measures through in one day, but the Australian Labour Party took a stand and said that it would use the forms of this House to prevent these bills from being forced through in such an undemocratic way. As a result, we shall now return to Canberra again next week instead of completing the session to-night, as the Government had intended. We shall thresh out the provisions of this legislation, not only at this stage, but also at the committee stage, and expose it. The Government says that this legislation will be for the benefit of the waterside workers, but all the workers on the waterfront of Australia are opposed to it, and they have the full support of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. They have the full support of the Australian Labour Party, of all trade unionists and <of all rank-and-file members of the Labour movement in their opposition to the obnoxious penal provisions that the Government has included in this legislation. We stand as a united body in opposing (these measures. I was interested to see that nobody on the Government benches rose to speak after the honorable member for Wills finished. But there are -many honorable members on this side of the House yet to speak, because we know the hardships that will be caused to the waterside workers. We know what penal powers mean, and we intend, after the next federal general election, to repeal the obnoxious provisions with respect to long service leave. 'We will give the waterside workers of Australia long service leave in accordance with the principle enunciated -in the Tasmanian act with the full support of the trade union movement generally. The shipowners, in cahoots with the Commonwealth .Government, have tried to forestall the Tasmanian Government's action, which they have challenged in the High Court of Australia. The Government knows that the "Labour Government in New South Wales, too, 'has foreshadowed the introduction of long service leave for waterside workers in that State. That is why this legislation is being rushed through. But now there is being added to the obnoxious penal provisions of section 109 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act under which a union may be fined, a vicious weapon in the shape of power to inflict penalties on individual members of unions. This fact must be exposed to the people. We must emphasize to the people of Australia just how miserable is the Goverment's attitude towards granting long service leave to waterside workers.. It was interesting to -notice that representatives of the shipping companies were treated as distinguished visitors earlier to-night .and admitted to the Speaker's gallery. Yet, when the honorable member for Parkes **(Mr. Haylen)** and other members of the Opposition requested from **Mr. Speaker** tickets to permit the leaders of the trade union movement to sit in the Speaker's gallery, they were refused. {: #subdebate-33-0-s6 .speaker-KDS} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Failes:
LAWSON, NEW SOUTH WALES -- Order! The honorable member will not proceed along those lines. That is a matter for **Mr. Speaker** to decide. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN: -- I am merely pointing out how democracy works in this country. I am pointing out that under our democracy the representatives of the workers are denied entry to the Speaker's gallery. {: #subdebate-33-0-s7 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- It sounds as though your suggestion is accurate, anyway. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN: -- I was suspended from the service of the House for 24 hours {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! I remind the honorable member that he has no right to reflect on any decision of this House. I suggest that he confine his remarks to the question before the House. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN: -- I am not reflecting on the Chair. I am merely saying that I was suspended from the service of this House for 24 hours. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! Let me make it quite clear to the honorable member that he is not entitled to reflect on any decision of this House. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr Cairns: -- I rise to order. I submit that the honorable member for Reid is not in any way reflecting on **Mr. Speaker.** He is merely stating the fact that he was suspended from the service of this House for 24 hour . Is that a reflection on **Mr. Speaker?** I submit that no reflection whatever is involved. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- Order! I remind honorable members that there is a Standing Order which prohibits any honorable member from reflecting on any vote of the House. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Jones: -- What is the number? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: -- It is Standing Order No. 75. The honorable member may proceed, but I draw his attention to the fac that he will be transgressing the Standing Orders if he proceeds along those lines. {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN: -- I respect your ruling, and I respect the Standing Orders of this House, but during the discussion of this legislation honorable members on the Government side, and even the Minister who introduced the bill, have implied that in effect this is an anti-Communist bill. Smears and innuendos have been hurled at the leaders of the waterside workers. Similar red baiting has been cast, not by the Minister, but by Government back benchers, at the Australian Council of Trade Unions. Only last night the honorable member for Bruce **(Mr. Snedden)** said that there were five Communist members on the interstate executive of the A.C.T.U. When the honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison)** said, " That is a lie ", the honorable member for Bruce said there were at least four Communist members on the interstate executive of the A.C.T.U. Up to that time, nobody had named them, and I challenge him to do so. I asked the honorable member to name the four persons whom he said were Communist members of the A.C.T.U. interstate executive. The honorable member for Bruce had every opportunity to stand up in this House and name them, but they have yet to be named. There is complete disagreement between the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** and the honorable member for Bruce concerning the leaders of the A.C.T.U. On the one hand, the Minister said - >I have the utmost confidence in the leadership of the A.C.T.U. and the A.C.T.U. interstate executive. On the other hand, the honorable member for Bruce makes certain innuendos. We of the Labour Party say that we will not interfere with the internal affairs of any trade union. We uphold the principle that the members of the union shall choose their leaders. When leaders are elected, they are the choice of their members. The decision certainly is not made by us. The Waterside Workers Federation is affiliated with the Australian Labour Party and I have the utmost respect for the waterside workers. They are a fine body of men. But the Minister is most critical of the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation. He implies that they are yes men. He says that whenever Jim Healy directs, the waterside workers will toe the line. So that the Minister may understand just who the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation are I remind him that they were in King's Hall yesterday. Among them are members of the Australian Labour Party and even members of the Democratic Labour Party. Does he not know that the president of the Melbourne branch of the Waterside Workers Federation, **Mr. Jim** Cummings, a prominent member of the D.L.P., was in Canberra opposing this bill with every breath in his body? Does he not know that amongst those leaders are men who do not belong to any political party? I refer to such men as Jack Beitz, the federal president of the Waterside Workers Federation, and Dutchie Young, president of the Sydney branch of that body. They are not members of any political party. They were both members of the Australian Labour Party but are now prevented by the rules of the party from remaining members. Despite the fact that they no longer belong to the party, they are still active loyal supporters of it. I know Jack Beitz very well personally. I went overseas with him, and I have the utmost respect for him. He is a staunch supporter of the Labour Party. As for Dutchie Young, there are very few Labour men who are his equal. He has been a wonderful worker for the Labour Party and I, as a member of Parliament, have nothing but "the utmost respect for such leaders. They are old men but they have been participants in the Labour struggle for a lifetime. They have not dipped their lids, nor have they been worried by any of the Government's innuendos. Men such as those two cannot be coerced. They make their own decisions and will not be led around by the nose by anybody. The Government is merely using this legislation as an opportunity to smear certain persons as Communists. Of course, it is getting near election time once again and the Government still thinks that if it can roll out the old bogy of communism it will be on an election winner. My frank opinion is that this old bogy was worn out long ago. It is completely out of date. Let us get down to facts and examine some of the things the Minister has said. He said - >There is one thing of which we can be sure - what occurs on the waterfront occurs because the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation want it to happen. Does that not emphasize my assertion that a Minister of the Crown believes that these so-called militant leaders can be led by the nose. The Minister went on to say - >I can understand problems arising on particular ships. Safety issues may arise; tempers may flare; and a ship or a gang might stop. I understand this. What I cannot understand and what trade union officials in other industries cannot understand, is why the whole port or large numbers of waterside workers are pulled out when something of the sort I have mentioned occurs. There is another aspect. Honorable members will notice that the Minister is using this issue to play off one section of the trade union movement against another. His statement on this occasion is far from the truth. The honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison),** who was sitting in on all the discussions of the A.C.T.U. on this matter, reported to the Parliamentary Labour Party Caucus that the A.C.T.U. interstate executive, which is representative of all sections of the trade union movement, is completely united on this issue. The Minister should stop playing union against union. He is one of those who would like to see a system of tame-cat unions. **Mr. Chifley** said that we should never let unions become tame-cat unions. That is what this Government is trying to do by saying that one union is good and another is not. The trade union movement is united. The workers will win their struggle only when a Labour government is in office. After the next election when the Labour Party is returned to the treasury bench we shall make sure that the workers of Australia receive justice. The Minister continued - >This sort of thing does not go on in other sections of industry. If there is a dispute in one section of a factory, the whole industry, of which that factory is a part, does not stop working. In most cases not even the whole factory stops work; the dispute is confined to the place where it occurs. I ask the Minister this question: Did the Waterside Workers Federation not ask him, and the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, to direct that when a dispute occurs on a ship that dispute should be isolated and that other men should not be sent to work the ship? When a dispute occurs the men wait for a decision. But what does the authority do? It continues to send men to the ship to replace the others who have walked off. What happens then? The men who are sent to the ship to replace the others do what any honest trade unionist would do - they refuse to work where their workmates have refused to work. They abide by principles which are the principles of the trade union movement and not only of the Waterside Workers Federation,. Irrespective of whether a dispute occurs in a factory, in a railway workshop or anywhere else, the principle stands. I ask the Minister a second question.: Is it not a fact that **Mr. Jack** Beitz, President of the Waterside Workers Federation, asked him only last week to consider a request to isolate a ship on which a dispute has occurred, and by that means to avoid embroiling the rest of the industry or the. rest of the port? Of course, that is a fact but the Government, in its hypocrisy, continues, to misrepresent the position and to, mislead the people by stating that it is peculiar to the waterfront that; when an issue arises a whole port is embroiled. If the Minister, the Government and the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority were not so stupid and if they followed the advice of the Waterside Workers Federation, disputes could: be isolated. It is interesting to note. the great interest that the Liberal Party is displaying in this bill. I see the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)** and a couple of his colleagues, asleep in the chamber. Where are the rest of them? They are not here. Let me now return to the Minister's second-reading speech, in which he stated - >In truth, the leaders of the Waterside Workers Federation have been engaged in a prostitution of the very purposes of trade unionism. Fancy the Minister and Government supporters talking about prostitution of trade unionism! Why, the Liberals are the representatives of big business! The Minister referred to meetings, of the waterside workers to discuss peace, the banning of the A bomb, the Crimes Act and Fidel Castro's Cuba. How dare the Waterside Workers Federation discuss such important matters as world peace and disarmament! Apparently it- should not enlighten its members about these things. The Minister claims that the federation is prostituting its principles. It is a pity that more trade unionists do not take part in the struggle to obtain a basic understanding of the peace movement and world disarmament because the wider the knowledge that trade unionists have, the greater will the trade union movement become, *i* have spoken to members not only of the Waterside Workers Federation but also of other unions throughout Australia on the issue of world peace, and I state quite frankly that I am honestly proud of the Waterside Workers Federation for- the role it is playing and the lead that it is giving in the struggle for- world peace in the movement, for the banning of the atomic bomb, and in ensuring protection for the people from the terrible threat of atomic fall-out. Is it not a pity that the Government does not get out and: educate the people about these atrocities? I do not want to labour the subject of the Crimes Act. It was debated at length in this House and I am sure that every thinking Australian- knows just how obnoxious it is. I assure the Minister that when we become the Government after the next election w.e shall withdraw the obnoxious clauses of the Crimes Act As for Castro's Cuba, I say this: I agree with a statement that was made by the honorable, member for Yarra. **(Mr. Cairns)** during his television appearance in Sydney, to the effect that Castro is a democratic, socialist. Castro is a great socialist, and he is leading the Cuban people out of bondage. Mk McMahon. - Is that the definition, of " communism " ? {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN: -- The Minister is mumbling something about democratic socialism being the definition of " communism ". He should learn something of- the. struggle of the working people, throughout the world.. The Labour Party is a socialist party. When we come to office we shall re-distribute the wealth of this country on a socialist basis, and we shall abide by the socialist, way of life. The fact is that Castro did a remarkable job, and all people with freedom of thought will support him in his great struggle against tyranny and in his efforts- to lift the uneducated people of Cuba out of the mire of illiteracy. I support the Waterside Workers Federation in its demonstrations on such issues. I heard the honorable member for East Sydney **(Mr. Ward)** make a similar statement during his speech and I commend him for it. It is only from such people that we will get a basic understanding of the struggle of the working people, not onlyto Australia but all over the world. I have travelled in other countries and I have seen the exploitation' that is going on. The problem will be solved only if the socialist system is adopted. Unfortunately, time flies, but I want to fake the Minister to task with reference to something he said towards the end of his. second-reading speech. He stated that in the last four years 4,500 waterside workers had lost their jobs. His actual words were - >Is. *it any* wonder that in the last four years nearly 4,500 waterside workers have lost their fobs? Cargoes that should have gone by sea have been moved by other forms of transport, because consignors and consignees have not been prepared to putup with waterfront delays and stoppages and the- additional costs. Nearly 4,500 men have lost their jobs. More will do so unless there is a change of heart and the men themselves realize that the action of some of their leaders is in fact continually reducing the number of jobs available. What a distortion of the truth. The reason for the consignors and consignees using road transport as against sea transport was not strike action by the Waterside Workers Federation but door-to-door delivery by road at a far cheaper rate than the shipowners were prepared to give because they put profits before service. The real reason for the depletion of the number of employees in the industry is mainly mechanization and the instability of the industry. One has only to instance the position in the waterfront industry in Queensland. At the gEeat sugar ports of Queensland, particularly Mackay, where I and other members of the Opposition have inspected the wharf installations for loading bulk sugar, the number of waterside employees has been reduced. At Mackay 450 people were employed on the wharf but now only 90 are employed there. At Bowen the number of waterside workers has been reduced from, 130 to 80. At Innisfail the number has been reduced from 80 to nil. At Cairns the number has decreased from 800 to 500 and at Newcastle, at the coal loading wharf, the number of waterside workers has been reduced from 300 to 150. We know the reasons why the work-force on the waterfront has been reduced. As an illustration of what has occurred as a result of mechanization at Port Melbourne, a ship loaded with pig iron used to arrive at Port Melbourne and there would be nineteen men employed on it in each gang. They would work three shifts - a day shift, a twilight shift and a night shift - and it took them approximately ten days to unload the vessel; and hard and laborious labour it was. To-day, due to the use of magnetic cranes, the same ship, with the same amount of cargo, is worked with a labour force comprising approximately eleven waterside workers and the ship is turned round in less than 24 hours. In other words, it is turned round in from one to three shifts. Imagine nineteen men working three shifts per day and taking ten days to turn the ship round compared with eleven waterside workers now turning it round in one day in from one to three shifts.. Is not that a great saving of labour on the waterfront? The waterside workers and the Labour Party are not opposed to mechanization. We are in favour of it, but we make itclear that in mechanization the machine should be the servant of the man, and not his master as is the case now under this capitalist Government. That is one of the reasons why there has been a reduction of 4,500in the number of men employed on the waterfront in the last four years. I hope the Minister will take cognizance of what I have said about his distorting the truth. Another reason for the decrease in the number of men in the industry is that members of the work-force are getting older and have gone on the age pension, not because they wished to accept the inadequate pension but because they were no longer able to stand up to the laborious work in the waterfront industry. Those are some of the problems of the waterfront and some of the reasons for the reduction of the number of employees on the waterfront by 4,500 in the last four years. We hope that the Government will give some thought to the position and take note of the example of the Tasmanian legislation and introduce long service leave without strings attached which will give justice to the workers on the waterfront. I hope that in the future the Government will extend long service leave to all casual workers without penal clauses. {: #subdebate-33-0-s8 .speaker-KSC} ##### Mr SPEAKER (Hon John McLeay: Order! The honorable member's time has expired. {: #subdebate-33-0-s9 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES:
Newcastle .- In rising to oppose this bill I would say that judging by the absence of many supporters of the Government from the chamber they are no interested in the bill. They are rarely interested in the proceedings of this House. Recently, when a decentralization resolution proposed by a Country Party member was being discussed, the greatest number of Liberal members in the House was four at any particular time, and at one stage only one Liberal member was present. Such absences from the House indicate the general approach of honorable members opposite to the business of the Parliament. I want to deal with a few provisions of the bill, because time is running out and the Government proposes to gag the debate. 1 wish to deal first with the following remarks of the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** in the early part of his speech: - >I have no doubt, too, that the Government's decision to grant long service leave to waterside workers was received with pleasure by the tradeunion movement. In normal circumstances the trade union movement would welcome with open arms any Government decision to introduce long service leave. Over the years we have seen great progress made by the trade-union movement in its achievements in winning sick leave, annual leave, an increase in annual leave from one week to two weeks, payment for public holidays, increases in compensation and the like, and in recent years the introduction of long service leave in many industries. This is one of the last industries in the Commonwealth to receive the benefits of long service leave, and in this instance the Minister can boast of having introduced what is absolutely the worst long service leave bill to be presented in any parliament. **His** boast that the trade-union movement welcomes this bill is typical of the distortions which we hear from time to time from the Government side of this chamber. I say without fear of contradiction that the interstate executive of the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the whole of the tradeunion movement has risen up as one body in opposition to this bill, because they know that if it becomes law and the Government can force the waterside workers to accept it, similar action will be taken in other fields against other trade unions, such as the Sea men's Union which, I am sorry to say, has no long service leave. The Government might be able to direct similar legislation against the unions in the mining industry and the steel industry and, as the honorable member for Gellibrand **(Mr. Mclvor)** reminds me in the building industry where there are militant unions that are prepared to fight for fair conditions. The trade union movement as a whole rejects it, just as we of the Labour Party reject it, because it is a retrograde step. The bill will mean that trade unionists have lost the principles of long service leave that should apply to unionists. What does long service leave mean? It means leave after long service in a particular industry. But under this bill, all a man has to do is to participate in twelve one-day stoppages in a year and he will lose completely the long service leave benefit that would accrue to him otherwise in respect of that year. He might work on 260 or 270 days in that year, but if he has stopped work for twelve days he will lose his long service leave entitlement in respect of that year. We say that if a man participates in a stoppage or attends a stop-work meeting called by his union, then, as in other awards to which there is no grave objection in this respect, he should have to make up that extra day in the qualifying period for long service leave. I remember that when I finished up before I came here, I had to make up the best part of about seventeen weeks as a result of stoppages and lost time as a trade union official. I have been reading the report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority for the year ended 30th June, 1960. I have had a look at the reasons for some of the stoppages which frequently occur and are of the kind that will cost the workers in the industry 30 days of qualifying service for long service leave, as well as four days' attendance money, for every day that they stop work. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- It is not a case of 30 days being taken away from them. They have to work an extra 30 days. It is not taking it away from them. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES: -- That is the same thing. It they stop work on twelve days in any one year, it will mean that instead of getting entitlement to long service leave in respect of that year, they will have to work an extra year to get their entitlement. The Minister can distort it how he likes, but he cannot get away from the fact that if a man participates in stoppages for twelve days, then, instead of having to work a total of twenty years to entitle him to his long service leave, he will have to work a total of 21 years, because he will have earned no long service leave entitlement in the year in which the stoppages for twelve days occurred. As I was saying before, I have taken the trouble to look at some of the stoppages that have occurred and at some of the frivolous grounds for criticizing them. {: .speaker-QS4} ##### Mr Malcolm Fraser:
WANNON, VICTORIA · LP -- Pep it up a little. You are slowing down. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES: -- I am doing all right. Great trade union principles are involved in the stoppages. Referring to stoppages, the report states - >At Sydney, refusals to transfer between hatches and to other ships occurred on 25th January, 18th February, 11th and 28th March, causing a loss of 1,412 man hours. On the 9th February, waterside workers at Devonport refused to transfer to Burnie because of a dispute at that port, 576 man hours were lost in consequence. Did the Government want these men to go there and scab? I know that members of this Government would love to see scabs in the trade union movement. The Government objects to men not being willing to scab. It says that it is wrong that men should not be willing to work when other men are on strike, but we support without any fear of contradiction the action of these men who refused to do work normally performed by other men who were on strike. There is a good old trade union name for men who do the work of men on strike. People who worked during the great railway strike in 1917 in New South Wales have never lived it down. The trade unions never forget people who scab. This Government wants to create dissention and disharmony in the trade union movement as a result of work being done by scabs. I am certain that neither in the Waterside Workers Federation nor in other unions will the Government achieve its ends. Excess heat is given in the report as another cause of strikes. The report states - >At Melbourne (Cargo Section), on 7th, 15th, 16th and 17th January, Newcastle (Cargo Sec tion) from 26th to 28th January, Port Kembla on 28th January, and Sydney from 25th to 28th January, stoppages because of excessive heat . . . I do not know how many Government members and supporters have worked in the hold of a ship, but when I was working at my trade I have worked in a ship's hold and I know the conditions under which waterside workers have to work. Do honorable members opposite think it is humanly possible to work in the hold of a ship 20 feet, 30 feet or 40 feet below deck level, with not a breath of air and with the sun beating down on the side and deck of the ship. It is like working in an oven. Yet this report has the audacity to condemn and criticize the waterside workers. The Minister ignores the human facts of these stoppages and he says that for every day the men stop work they will lose attendance money for four days and will have to work an additional 30 days to make up their entitlement for long service leave. Those are the penalties to which the trade union movement in general and the Waterside Workers Federation in particular object, and we wholeheartedly support their objections. The report deals with other stoppages. In most of those cases, too, it is clear that the men's requests should have been agreed to. The Minister should consider not only the number of man-hours lost as a result of action by the watersiders, but also the number of man-hours lost as a result of action on the part of the employers. This report refers to delays in stevedoring operations attributable to the employers. What is the Minister going to do to the employers? Does he intend to compensate the men for time lost on the waterfront as a result of the actions of the employers? Does he intend to do anything to make up the lost earnings of the men which resulted from action by the employers? Are penalties to be imposed on the employers? We do not agree with penalties for one moment, and I am only trying to point out the one.sidedness of the bill. The penalty of loss of four days' attendance money and of long service leave rights is imposed on the men for every day they stop work, but what action is the Government going to take when it is the employers who produce the stoppage? Why has not the Minister included in this bill some provision for a definite penalty against employers, or a provision whereby when the employers are responsible for a stoppage of work on the waterfront the men affected will have to work only ten or eleven months in that year in order to get a full year's qualification for long service leave? If the Minister was dinkum he would have done something like that, but I do not think that he is dinkum. Many other points have been brought to my attention by members of the Waterside Workers Federation in regard to trouble on the waterfront. The trouble is not all caused by one side. The position is that here we have a casual industry, an industry in which when a man comes to work in the morning he is rostered to a particular ship which he has perhaps never seen before. He does not know the conditions under which he will work on that ship, and he may be working under a new foreman. Everything is starting from scratch, in effect, every day. After work has started problems about conditions may arise and have to be settled The Minister knows that this is a turbulent industry, because he has said so. Why does he not take cognizance of the fact that this is a turbulent industry? Instead of bringing in this repressive legislation there should be greater attempts to bring about co-operation and less of the bludgeoning that the Minister is attempting to use. There should be more co-operation in an attempt to improve the standard of living of the people employed in the industry.. One of the Government supporters referred to the take-home wages of waterside workers. The honorable member for Fawkner **(Mr. Howson)** said that waterside workers averaged £21 19s. lOd. for a 30- hour week. What he did not tell the House was that these men still have to eat, and feed and clothe their families. The industry is a fluctuating one and the men must be available for work whenever they are required. After all, if a baker is not using his horse from 4 p.m. until 6 a.m., he must still feed it. He cannot decide that he will not feed the horse simply because he is not using it. But that is the attitude of the honorable member for Fawkner. He believes that when waterside workers are not required for work they should eat grass or find a job somewhere else. He objects to the amount that they are paid. One of the problems of the industry arises from the fact that it is a casual industry. The men must be paid a fair and reasonable wage for the time they work. If the industry cannot provide them with 40 hours work a week, it should at least give them a wage that would equal the wage they would earn in 40 hours of work. But the honorable member for Fawkner objects to that. This generally shows his attitude and it is the attitude adopted by the Minister, who says that his union has a stoppage for any reason, even over Cuba or the Crimes Act. But does not the Crimes Act affect the trade union movement? Are the officials and members of unions not vitally affected by the oppressive provisions of the Crimes Act that this Government introduced? Are they not entitled to express their opinions? Are they not entitled to say what they think about the penal provisions of the conciliation and arbitration legislation? Are they not entitled to give support to other unions that have been penalized? The report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority shows that on a number of occasions unions have stopped work in sympathy with other unions that have been fined £500. My union has been fined time and time again, and on many occasions when it has been fined, the men on the job have downed tools and walked off. We have shown our contempt for these penal provisions in no uncertain manner, and when the court is prepared to use suppressive legislation, the unions have shown their contempt for it. The Labour movement as a whole shows its contempt and opposition to this Government when it introduces legislation of this type, loaded with penal clauses to such an extent that the trade union movement as a whole is prepared to reject it. As I have mentioned, the matter of causing trouble and stoppages on the waterfront is not one-sided. I have spoken to men on the waterfront, and I have a lot of mates who work on the waterfront. Some of them were here the other day, and if I may say so, **Mr. Speaker,** I took great exception to their being refused permission to sit in your gallery. They were members of the Waterside Workers Federation. There were five of them - four were members of the Australian Labour Party and one was an alderman of the Newcastle City Council. But apparently they were not distinguished and reputable visitors to Canberra and therefore they were not permitted to sit in your gallery. I take great exception to that {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- Who gave the ruling? {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES: -- The lady told me she could not give me a ticket to permit these men to sit in the gallery. She was carrying out her instructions and I take no objection to what she said. But it is totally wrong that they should be refused permission to sit in the gallery. It does not matter whether they are waterside workers; that gallery should be made available to them if any member of the Parliament makes a request that they be allowed to sit there. I made the request on behalf of the honorable members for Shortland **(Mr. Griffiths)** and Hunter **(Mr. James)** and myself. I asked that we be given tickets to permit these five people to sit in the gallery. {: .speaker-L1I} ##### Mr Lindsay: -- How long before they wanted to sit in the gallery did you make your request? {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES: -- Hullo, you are awake now, are you? That very same day, I made a request for four seats for members of another delegation. This time it was for an Australian council of school organizations. Once again I was put through the third degree. I was asked whether these people were waterside workers and whether they were here on a deputation. I said they were members of a deputation; but what a difference there was!. The position is this, Mr; Speaker: As far as I am concerned, you either ban all deputations, including those from the Chamber of Manufactures, the Chamber of Commerce- {: .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr Uren: -- And the shipowners! {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES: -- Yes, and the shipowners and stevedoring authorities, the whole box and dice, or yow let them aFT in. I feel, **Sir, that** you should give further consideration to* this policy which has been introduced and give some n-w instructions to the young fady who, is responsible for the distribution of the tickets. The present policy in itself would create further hostility and resentment by the trade unionists towards this Government and' the Parliament. The causing of stoppages and trouble- on the waterfront is not a one-sided affair. It is something in which every one has a part. I have a few instances here of stoppages that have been caused by provocation of waterside workers in Newcastle and Port Kembla. The first relates to foremen stevedores. What are the arrangements for the loading of wheat? On the first day there are nine waterside workers, five foremen and one supervisor. In the break-up, there are two men and one foreman. Then there is a charge foreman and a supervisor. So in all there are nine men, five foremen and one supervisor. This gradually builds up to 28 men, five foremen and one supervisor. That is not a bad effort - two slaves, one overseer, another overseer to see that the first overseer is overseeing as he should and then a supervisor. It is really a matter of more generals than there are in the Chinese army. That in itself creates a good deal of resentment amongst the men. In another instance, a foreman came in drunk, stood on top of a hatch and in no uncertain terms challenged the men to " come up till I sack the lot of you ". He was suspended for three months. If he had been a waterside worker, what would have happened to him? Honorable members need only read the report of the stevedoring authority to find out. He would have been suspended from the waterfront completely. On another occasion, a gang was sacked for insufficient effort. The union proved to the company that 22 tons of pig iron had been loaded in an hour. The company agreed, but insisted that the men go home. They were all sacked but the next day the company paid them. Under the provisions of this bill, the men in this gang would1 have been suspended for four attendance days and their long service leave could have been put back for another 30 days. On a further occasion, 150 men walked off a ship. The ship was badly infested with flies. The previous, day, a board of reference had ordered that the ship be sprayed and cleaned before the cargo was handled. On the day the men walked off the ship, they found that nothing had been done to carry out the directions of the board of reference. L do not propose to use the exact words of the foreman, but he said something to this effect, " Thank blank,, the next war will be an atomic one and we will not have to rely on blank tike you to fight" The result was that the' men walked off the ship and remained off for an hour and a half. The foreman ultimately apologized and the men then returned to the job. If the positions had been reversed and the men had spoken as the foreman did, many of them would have been suspended. This happened on an occasion when a man gave a foreman a horse laugh. He was immediately sacked. On another occasion a man gave the foreman a contemptuous look and was sacked. These are facts that can be found in the records of the stevedoring authority. I have another case which is really a beauty, but I cannot give it. This year two delegates were dispensed with and the port stopped work on two occasions. All the men were suspended. Under this legislation, they would have lost four attendance days and their leave would have been put back for 30 days on two occasions. The delegates were paid for the time lost but the men received nothing. The honorable member for Hughes **(Mr. L. R. Johnson)** was unable to take part in this debate because of limited time but he has brought one or two cases to my notice. The vessel " Tento " was at No. 6 jetty, Port Kembla, at 8.37 a.m. on Tuesday, 2nd May, when a member of the Waterside Workers Federation fell down a hatch. Later he died on admission to hospital. At 10.30 a.m., when the news reached No. 6 jetty, the men on the " Tento " stopped work and so also did the members of the federation on another ship close by, the " Iron Knight ", as a mark of sympathy with the relatives of the dead man. As a result they were suspended and they lost the public holiday which was given the day before because they did not work the day before the holiday and the day after. This Parliament always goes into recess when there is a public holiday. At Easter, honorable members have a nice little break of two weeks. When a Member of the Parliament dies, the House adjourns as a mark of respect to him. The example I have quoted is typical of the attitude of the authority concerned towards members of the Waterside Workers Federation. The attitude of the Government and its supporters is also exemplified by this legislation. I should like to deal with several other points concerning Newcastle, but I can refer to them only briefly. The bill makes provision for older men to get a job, but because of the large enrolment at Newcastle very few men will have an opportunity to secure registration as irregular waterside workers. There will be very little work for them. I agree that something should be done for the men who are over 65 years of age, but those who come into the industry in the years ahead will find that at 65 years of age, they will automatically lose their employment because of the enrolment in Newcastle. I would like the Minister for Labour and National Service to give some consideration to the averaging out of men's wages if and when they do get long service leave. Proposed new section 45k., paragraph (3.) states - >In determining the amount of those average weekly earnings, the Authority shall not have regard to any sums paid - > >by way of attendance money; > >in respect of absence on account of illness or injury; or > >for any day that was a holiday for waterside workers under an award of the Commission. The position is that attendance money plays a most important part in the working out of the weekly wage of the men. It equals about one-seventh of their pay. My interpretation of this part of the bill is that men who go on long service leave will not be credited for attendance money or for the times they have received sick pay and have been paid for public holidays. All that should be taken into consideration when the wages of the men on long service leave are computed. Enough penalties are provided without this reduction in their wages. I hope the Minister will give further consideration to the bill. It is an obnoxious piece of legislation. It has not the support of the trade union movement. It is opposed by the Waterside Workers Federation, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Labour Party as a whole because it is the thin edge of the wedge in the introduction of further penalties in association with long service leave provisions. {: #subdebate-33-0-s10 .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr WENTWORTH:
Mackellar -- I can only assume that honorable members on the Opposition side who hav< spoken have not read the bill or art deliberately misinterpreting it. I do not think they realize that this does not open up the field they have been speaking about at all. If they look at clause 20 of the bill and its details they will see that all that is proposed is that where there is an unjustified stoppage, certain privileges - very small privileges - should in fact be lost. It is provided in sub-clause 7 that an appeal may be made to the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, and if the commission finds that the port stoppage, having regard to all the circumstances, was excusable, then no penalty whatever will be exacted. You can see that this is not arbitrary action. This is only an action to provide a little order on the waterfront, and having regard to the history of the Australian waterfront, this is a very moderate and salutary provision. I think honorable members will realize that there must be some discipline and there must be some reward for good work, because this is a vital industry. It is not a case only of the people who just stop work. The fact is that by stopping work, they stop the work of other people and they stop the development of the whole community. They stop all the trade of the community. It is not just that they walk out; they walk out and nobody else walks in. This is something which requires at least some means of correction. The Government wants to do this with the very least interference with the rights of the individual. These are small penalties. Every totalitarian power achieves this end by providing big penalties. I was interested to hear the remarks of the honorable member for Reid **(Mr. Uren)** who praised **Dr. Fidel** Castro for his democratic socialism in Cuba which, he said, was Labour policy. I find that on 18th January, Castro had executed the staff of the power station at Havana which broke down, alleging that the staff had been negligent. He had them put before a firing squad. I see that one of his aides in Cuba since 1961 named Nunez is to be executed. {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- I rise to a point of order. What section of the bill applies to Castro? {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! There is no substance in the point of order. {: .speaker-DB6} ##### Mr WENTWORTH: -- The honorable member for Reid wants the kind of discipline that is enforced in Cuba. He wants shooting as the means of obtaining discipline. That is what he is pressing for and what he wants. We do not want to do that sort of thing. We want to provide free discipline and that is something which is only in line with the ordinary forms of justice. The bill provides for an appeal to the courts following disciplinary action, but the Opposition has conveniently glossed that fact. The sinister thing is that honorable members opposite have come to what they believe to be the defence of the members of the Waterside Workers Federation, but actually they are not defending but harming them. Those honorable members know perfectly well that the federation is under a substantial measure of Communist control, and has been under it for a long time. Apparently they do not realize what this means, that the waterside workers' union has been used by Communists for Communist purposes, purposes which have no industrial connexion whatsoever. Let me direct the minds of honorable members opposite to something that happened in 1940 and 1941, when Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany were in alliance. At that time the Waterside Workers Federation conducted a pro-Nazi campaign designed to sabotage our war effort. I do not believe the members of the federation knew what they were being used for, but the facts are established. The leaders of the federation were able to line up the members in alliance with the Nazis. That is what happened; those are the facts, and they stand established. Nowadays those events may seem well in the past, but the point is that the individuals who at that time, in the interests of the Communists, used the Waterside Workers Federation for Nazi purposes are still in control of the federation. The traitors are still there. It is true that they have been elected by union vote, but this, I think, simply shows that the members of the Waterside Workers Federation do not know what they are doing, because I do not believe for one moment that the average member of the federation is a traitor. I do believe, however, that the waterside workers have elected traitors to lead them, people who should themselves be capable even of aligning themselves, in the Communist interest, with Nazi Germany at the worst period of the war, at the time of the Battle of Britain, These are the people who still control the federation. These Communists are doing two things. First, they are demanding that employees on the waterfront should have a right to indulge in anarchy. At the same time, they support what they call the strongest measures of socialist discipline in the Russia from which they take their orders and in the interests of which they are ultimately working. If honorable members will look at the Soviet constitution they will find that Section 130 prescribes labour discipline for all :Soviet citizens. That discipline is enforced with the very strongest weapons, the kind of shooting weapons the use of which the honorable member for Reid applauds in Castro's Cuba. This is the kind of enforcement the honorable member would like to impose on the Australian waterfront. He wants to incite there the kind of insurrection and anarchy that can be controlled only by these strong-arm methods. We do not want those methods. We do not believe that they are in the best interests of Australia or of the workers. We do not think that they are what the workers want. We believe the workers do want a certain amount of reasonable order and that they do not want to indulge in the kind of anarchy that is advocated by their Communist leaders. We think they will be very grateful to be afforded some kind of protection against it. It is much better to have these moderate .and sensible and .democratic controls, with the safeguard of normal appeal processes to the courts, than the controls of the firing squad. Let me give honorable members some information, which I suggest they might veil take to heart, -which I have gleaned from page 524 of **Mr. Vishincky's** book. There are special courts established in Russia for crimes against labour discipline in the railroads and in water .communications. Those courts have power which they exercise, not only to award sentences of hard labour, but also to describe a particular :rime as sabotage, for which the penalty is death A very sinister paragraph appeared n a newspaper only last week, to the effect hat for industrial crimes the Soviet Union is re-introducing the death penalty. It is establishing again the kind of indeterminate situation in which a person may be declared an enemy of the people on some ground or other, without any specific crime being proved, and can then be liable to a sentence of death or of deportation for life. This notification appeared in the press only last week or the week before. This is the kind of discipline enforcement that honorable members opposite advocate and that this Government wishes to avoid. The Government wants to have in Australia a reasonable measure of discipline with the usual and proper appeal to the court available to workers involved. It does not want to enforce this discipline with ferocious tyranny, but simply by the removal of certain privileges. Nothing could be more reasonable. No procedure could be more suitable, having regard to the history of the industry. Once again let me make it clear that I am not endeavouring in any sense to lay charges against the rank and file worker on the waterfront. I do not believe he knows what he is being used for. I do not believe he knows what he is doing. I know that he has not emerged very well out of industrial matters over die last 20 years, but this is because he has allowed himself to become the pawn of Communist leaders. He has been a mug - collectively speaking - and unfortunately has had to pay for having acted foolishly. He is paying for it now because his industry is withering. Sea transport is going out. His employment opportunities are diminishing. He has cut the ground from under his own feet. These are the fruits of listening to his Communist leaders. If he will take a long-term view and say to himself - as he will say, I think, quite justifiably - " I have not done as well over the last twenty years as most Australian workers," then he must also say, I suggest, "The reason for this is that I have foolishly allowed the Communist leaders to delude me into sabotaging my own industry." I say again that the leaders of the federation .are men with most disgraceful personal records. They have the stain con their record of having supported Hitler at the time when we were in a jam and Russia was Hitler's ally. These very people are still endeavouring to manipulate the poor, simple wharf labourers, for their own purposes. I hope the Government will protect the waterside workers against their leaders. I hope it will do something to shield them from the consequences of anarchy, and I hope that we shall never be forced in this country to adopt the methods of social discipline that are characteristic of Soviet Russia and are so dear, apparently, to the hearts of the honorable member for Reid and other people in the chamber, who are praising their friend, **Dr. Castro,** for the ferocious methods by which he enforces discipline upon his own workers. Sirring suspended from 11 to 11.30 p.m. {: #subdebate-33-0-s11 .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr HAYLEN:
Parkes **.- Mr. Speaker,** because this bill has been traversed by honorable members on both sides of the House, 1 shall merely sum up, at this time of the flight, some of the conclusions reached by Opposition speakers, and then make a brief contribution of my own. The thing that is borne upon rae is the desire amongst Opposition members to nail the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** on his statistical inaccuracies. They have been apparent in all the speeches made from the Government side of the chamber and some of these things have to be answered. When the Minister said that 4,500 men had left the industry because of strikes - that they were strike-happy- that was the boner of the week. The Minister must know it was the boner of the week. As has been explained by Opposition members, the mechanization of the industry partly accounted for the loss of those numbers. Other well known causes are insufficient leave, undera emloyment, lack of amenities, the casual nature Of the industry, and the indecision of the waterside worker, caused by the owners' lack of efficiency in the control of shifts and jobs, and the merciless and senseless hammering of the Waterside worker. What could one expect from the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)?** He read us a chapter from the "Memoirs of a Psychopath". It had nothing to do with this bill arid I will not waste my time on it. But I cannot leave this point without protest against the merciless and senseless hammering of a group of workers. No wonder we rise and want to speak, even at this hour of the night, because this is an injustice which has never been rectified. It is only being increased by this bill. That is not the way to get the full production for which the Minister cries. Yet despite the losses of man-power and the lack of amenties, production has increased by 38 per cent, per man-hour, according to the Minister's statistics. That is a notable achievement when you bash the worker who produces these results. Despite the loss of -4,500 men through the years, there has been a yearly increase Of 1,000,000 tons in cargo handled. In 1957-58, 23,000,000 tons were handled, in 1958-59-, 24.000,000 tons arid in 1959-60, 25,000,000 tons-. Will the Minister comment on that instead of ranting about what the Waterside workers are doing to the community? A cold analysis of statistics shows that the waterside worker is doing a very good job for the community. There has been & 38 per cent, increase in production per man-hour and an increase of 1,000,000 tons in cargo handled during each of two years. That is a pretty formidable record. But still the Minister moans at the bar concerning the sins of the waterside worker because he cannot defend the bill on any other basis. The inaccuracies in the Minister's own statistics are remarkable. He said that 45 per cent, of man-hours were lost. Admittedly, that seems a high aggregate until you break it down. All statistics have to be broken down to find the nigger in the woodpile because statistics can be made to tell any story by the elimination of figures. Breaking down the figure supplied by the Minister into three component parts, we find that unproductive time was 37.2 per cent., time lost through rain was 4.8 per cent., and time lost through industrial action was an insignificant 2.7 per cent. The loss through rain was nearly twice as great as the amount lost by the so-called wretched actions of the waterside workers-. Is the Minister to have us believe that the Government's troubles come from red clouds in the sunset - that the sun, sinking at night, precipitates red rain? How is the Unproductive time, constituting 37.2 per cent., made up? On ah analysis Of the Minister's own figures it may be seen that it is made up of such things as preparation foi work, the rigging of gear, waiting for cargo and the preparation and allocation of gangs. Surely that is not the fault of the men. Stand-by time and other things are taken into consideration. Perhaps, by time and motion studies, a lot of this loss of time could be avoided but such methods do not work on the waterfront because of the well known inefficiency of the owners. As one honorable member mentioned to-night, the Treasurer **(Mr. Harold Holt)** himself has referred to the ragged inefficiency of the owners. Why load the blame for this on to the worker? In the rat race for profit, the owner does not care if the obloquy and the write-up is against the waterside worker. If the owner keeps them waiting for jobs, if the shifts are not right or if the rigging is not right, it does not worry the owner. Nobody will say that it is his fault. Some psychopath, frothing at the mouth, will talk about the commos on the waterfront. Some chair-borne warrior in the " Sydney Morning Herald " will write a leisurely leader about the waterfront and then go home to his dahlias in Lindfield. Why not look at the facts? Judged upon the facts, there is no case against the waterside workers so far as production is concerned. The Minister went into a flat spin about discipline. On the basis of his own figures, he has no case whatsoever. Let us look at the overall figures, shorn of padding. The waterside force is about 22,045 according to the figures that I have extracted. Discipline has been applied to 140 men. I am talking about discipline arising out of industrial action. Other actions of unruliness and drunkenness are exterior to the factors of production. That is not a bad figure. The increase in production per manhour is very much in favour of the waterside worker. The waterside worker has become the victim of every moaning critic and every person who thinks that he can push him down further. Young members of this House are infected with the same malady. When they have been here long enough to absorb logic and be less affected by party politics they will realize that they are painting an utterly wrong picture of the man on the waterfront. The honorable member for Mackellar, in another way, has his phobias about Com munists and he cannot see straight. Normally, he is a reasonable person. Taken away from his hobby, he may listen to statistics and realize that the Government is slamming somebody who is doing a damn good job so far as can be proved by statistics and the records. As a reward for that, what do they get? This obnoxious penalty clause is imposed on them in connexion with their long service leave. Let us consider the case history of a waterside worker who might be named Bill Jones. He lives in Dulwich Hill in my electorate and has been a waterside worker for many years. Let us see what he gets out of this much-vaunted privilege of long service leave. Bill is a good unionist and gets involved in illegal stoppages because he believes in solidarity and sticking with his mates. When he is involved in a stoppage because of his loyalty and solidarity his long service leave is deferred by six months. Over twenty years, on the same figures, he would get his long service leave up to ten years after it was due to him. That is on the basis of being involved in six illegal stoppages. How does that work out in hard cash? If Bill Jones were involved in six stoppages and was penalized at the rate of £1. 4s. a day attendance money, he would lose £28. 16s. a year in attendance money alone. But here is the fantastic consequence of this completely stupid bill. As somebody has said, this is a turbulent industry and if Bill continued for twenty years in the service to qualify for long service leave and was engaged in six so-called illegal stoppages a year in that period, he would lose twenty times £28. 16s. or £576, nearly twice as much as he paid. Here is a democratic government - a so-called Liberal government which intends to make a man pay by fines and tributes for his own long service leave. The Government cannot get away from the sum of £576. The waterside worker could, and he probably will, pay by penalty for his long service leave twice over. What fantastic cruelty. What sort of a job does the Government expect to get from Australians when it does that? The Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** must know by now that penalties are useless. On the question of penalties, let us examine again the case history of Bill Jones. If he is stood down for a day, he must take out his punishment when the port is working. Because of that, Jones may not work for four or five days. Let me illustrate this injustice by giving a parliamentary illustration which will bring it much nearer to home. Last evening, a parliamentary colleague and a comrade of mine was removed from this House. Normally, he would have come back this evening, which he did. And we were pleased to welcome him. But if he were a waterside worker, it would not have been so easy for him. If, to-night, you, **Mr. Speaker,** put me out of the House for some misdemeanor - I hope it will not happen - and to-morrow night another member of the Australian Labour Party were put out, on the principle applied to the waterside workers the recurring penalty would keep the honorable member for Reid **(Mr. Uren),** who, with his consent, is the subject of this illustration, out of the House for five sitting days. This is the sort of thing that will happen to the waterside worker if the bill that the Government is now trying to pass becomes part of the law of this country. Yet the waterside worker is asked to accept it. How can the Minister support this? It is indecent, tyrannical, unjust and humiliating. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- That is quite wrong. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr HAYLEN: -- It is not wrong. The Minister wonders why the waterside worker turns and fights that sort of thing. He need not keep chattering, because I have twenty minutes in which to floor both his statistics and his arguments. The waterside worker is hemmed in with spears. He is cornered by propaganda and penalties imposed by his Government and he is derided in every newspaper. What does the Government expect to get out of this? I think it has got more than it deserves. Let us look at the way in which the law works against the waterside worker in other respects. There have been hundreds and hundreds of cases against them, many of them, as the honorable member for Newcastle **(Mr. Jones)** has shown, for trifling reasons, and some of them for more serious things. In delving through the musty files downstairs, I have found that over the same period there have been only three cases in which the employers were stood up. The honorable member's think that that in balance is not the result of preju dice? Of course it shows prejudice - prejudice against taking on the big fellow. But the little fellow is punished as long as possible. As I have said, in the period in question, there were only three breaches proved against the employers. A notable feature pointed out by the honorable member for Newcastle is that the foremen and supervisors are not subject to penalties imposed by the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, yet they blackguard the workers day after day safe in the assumption that nobody can get at them. It is no wonder that the waterside workers, being human and Australians, hit back under conditions like these. How can the waterside worker get justice in these matters? The Minister speaks of hold-ups and danger to the economy. He suggests that this key industry is sabotaging the nation. That is an old fiction. This industry is not sabotaging the nation and it is not sabotaging the shipowner. Let us forget for the moment all this propaganda and have a look at the shipowners' squeal that hold-ups, stoppages and lack of discipline are driving them out of business. Who has not heard their whines about the competition of road and rail transport? How true are their claims? I shall give the House an illustration to show how well the shipowners are doing. Honorable members will certainly recall the time when H. C. Sleigh Limited electrified the financial groups in the cities of this country by declaring that by hook or by crook it was going to take over the Adelaide Steamship Company Limited. When the waterside workers complained of little pinch-penny penalties imposed on them, the big shipowners showed their true colours. H. C. Sleigh Limited offered £9,000,000 as a first bid to take over the Adelaide Steamship Company Limited. I remember one of the reports by the directors of that shipping company which would almost have led one to believe that the company was sinking by the stern. But nothing of the sort was happening. As the tug of war went on, the bids went higher and higher, until H. C. Sleigh Limited, at £12,500,000, had to bail out. The ante was too high for it. What was the curious result of all this? The Minister, who knows many of the big shipowners, knows that the shareholders of the Adelaide Steamship Company Limited said to their directors: " We did not know that the company was having it so good. You were telling us lies about the sabotage on the waterfront and about the way the waterside workers were working. We thought the company was broke." They then lined up, as the honorable member for Melbourne Ports **(Mr. Crean)** will tell you, for an increase in their dividends'. They said, " You have been telling this story about how difficult it is to make any profit on the waterfront, but we have at last been able to see1 the balance-sheets and' learn' of the unrevealed and undisclosed profits that you have been making, arid we' want an increase in our dividends." And they got if. The dividend was raised from 7 per cent, to- 9' per cent. So much for the lies of the poor stricken shipowners. Their case is completely false, of course, as this one simple illustration shows. Mb. Wheeler. - The shares of the Adelaide Steamship Company Limited are under par now. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr HAYLEN: -- The shareholders of the company are now getting the real profits for the first time. So there are no penalties there. In- the short time left to me, I want to say something about the character of the waterside Workers-. It- ill behoves members elected to this House to stand up one section of the community and blackguard it. It ill behoves the professed patriots - the bemedalled boys opposite - to talk about 75' per cent, of the waterside workers being returned soldiers. Do Government supporters think that" nobody is any good unless he sits with them? Is it that they do not like the wharfies arid want a whipping Horse? Do they want to pull another big rabbit out of the hat before the elections and do they think that a damned big blowup about the waterfront will help them? And there are constant cries on the side of " Commo. Commo, Commo ". There is no worse offender in these matters than is the honorable member for Moreton **(Mr. Killen),** who now interjects. There has not been in this Parliament a cockatoo that chants the word so persistently and so monotonously as he does. I say that with some sorrow, because the honorable mem ber is a relative of mine, but, nevertheless, what I have said is perfectly true- Here are some statistics about the waterside workers. Seventy-five per cent, of them are returned soldiers. Let any honorable member ask anybody from any blood bank in New South Wales - the State from which I come - who are the best contributors to the blood' bank. The answer will be that the wharfies are. It may be that at some time - I hope it never happens - the Minister will need a blood transfusion. He may be sure that there will be a bottle of blood from the wharfies waiting for him, and he will' be all the better for having it. But we shall leave that to circumstances and time. As I have said, 1 hope the Minister never finds himself in need of a transfusion. When collections are made on the streets for charities, the collectors start on the waterfront, as does the blood bank. The wharfies will give money for their mates. They will give money freely. They are open-handed. They are volunteer workers. They retain their old- men in the industry. They organize a militant union - a strong leftist union. They may have Communist leaders,, but the majority of them are Labourites. The' wharfies' contribute in various ways to their own amenities. We would not have heard some magnificent music in this country had it not been for a subsidy contributed by waterside workers. The Minister may not know anything about this, but in their own theatre we have seen plays that we would not have seen in this country to lift us and let us know what dramas there are and what other cultural activities are taking place elsewhere in the world. They pay for these things out of their union fees. Yet Government supporters talk about them as if they were great untouchables. This sort of attitude is too stupid for words. T know" it is late and that the Government wants W get on to deal in committee with the clauses of the bill, which we will fight one by one; so 1 must hurry on. Do not think that the wharf labourer lacks knowledge arid sagacity. We have learned from the pioneers to be close in touch with poverty, the earth and the problems of the land in which we live. This is a young country. Here are two points that the Minister cannot by-pass in regard to wharfies or the workers of this country generally who have saved the country from two egregious blunders. One was the notorious pig-iron incident when the gentleman who was at the time Prime Minister of this country, and who is still Prime Minister, was taught a lesson, in common sense and patriotism over the sending of some pig iron to Japan. I went to Japan after the war and saw the bins labelled " Australia ", " United States of America " and so on, and ours was still full. How can you, how dare you, talk about the blind allegiance of the waterside workers to something that does not belong to this country. I am reminded of the time when Indonesia was wrenched with anxiety over its future, when the colonial Dutch had given their hand away and we were foolishly and stupidly, as usual, loading arms for Indonesia. The intelligence of the wharf labourers led them to warn the Australian Labour Party, which, in turn, warned the Government. What happened. As a result of our friendly attitude, we were said to be breaking our neutrality. But this country was not being neutral; it was a shipper of illegal arms. We were going to do then what America did in relation to Cuba, and we were stopped by the intelligence of the waterside workers of this country. Finally, we got on the path to the United Nations organization when the greatest authority on foreign affairs in this country, **Dr. H.** V. Evatt, who is now Chief Justice of N.S.W., was able *to* institute a good neighbour policy with Indonesia and by that means bring peace to that country and set it in the way of a republic, which it is still pursuing. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr Hamilton: -- That is not true. {: .speaker-KGX} ##### Mr HAYLEN: -- It is true. So far as statistical matters are concerned, the Minister has given us a farrago of flapdoodle. There is no weight or guts in what he says and he has not been able to substantiate any of the statistics which I have challenged. They are here for him to read again and for him to answer, but in no case has he got an answer. The second point I make is that the penalties in this instance are so terrible, so incongruous and so wicked that any democrat, whether he be a Liberal or a Labour man or whether he be just an ordinary citizen sitting, by his television or radio tonight would feel revolted in his soul at the thought that this Government should try to crush a strong, powerful and aggressive union by making its members pay for long service leave or by granting long service leave under a measure in which leg irons are attached to every clause. The next point I make relates to the fair-mindedness of the people in relation to waterside workers. We members of Parliament who have responsibility should not get into the game of name-calling and cat-calling a group of workers. We should not demean ourselves in that way. Whether an honorable member be a Country Party member, a Liberal Party member, a Labour Party member, or whether he has no definite political convictions, he should not fall for the meanest and most contemptible trap in public affairs, that of miscalling a group of people who have done a good job for this country, as I hope I have been able to prove by statistics in the short time at my disposal. They have done a good job in watching our interests on the waterfront; they have done a good job in foreign affairs by having the fore-knowledge to see what the people on this side of the House, when they were the government, were walking into, during World War II. - pig iron and Java - two illustrious examples of the common sense shown by waterside workers. Yet these people are spoken of in this House as if they were so much contemptible rubbish just to be kicked about from place to place. The Minister has fallen for that trap by bringing into this House a most reprehensible piece of legislation which places leg-iron penalties and various degrees of impositions on the unionists. The net result of this will be plenty of trouble; and I would not blame the waterside workers if they did cause trouble because they are as strong to-day as ever they were in the past. When they think they are right they are an irresistible body of men who enjoy the support of public opinion in the long run. Even at this late hour, the Minister would do better - he is looking rather timid now - to withdraw the bill and introduce something nearer to what the Australian people think is a fair deal for the unionist, whether he is a leftist or a rightist. So long as he works for his living, the Government should make sure that it does not do anything to send such a man back to the chain gang and the era of convictism in Australia. This measure is a blot on the rather scrubby record of this Government; indeed, it is the greatest blot on its record, and it can only be wiped out at the next election when Labour will take its revenge on this Government for its scandalous conduct towards the waterside workers. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The honorable member's time has expired. Question put - >That the bill be now read a second time. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 51 NOES: 37 Majority . . . . 14 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time. Friday, 12 May 1961 In committee: Clauses 1 to 4 - by leave - taken together, and agreed to. Clause 5 (Continuous ports and seasonal ports). {: #debate-33-s0 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
Blaxland -- The Opposition opposes this clause because it is the first in the bill to provide for preferential treatment in assessing the long service leave of waterside workers. We need not labour this question. This clause divides ports into seasonal and permanent ports in relation to work opportunities. We believe that while a waterside worker is registered and is attached to the industry, it is an injustice to split up ports into the categories that I have mentioned. I know that the Minister has said that it is possible for the men to obtain other work, but he must know that in towns such as Rockhampton it is not possible today to obtain work because of automation and mechanization on the waterfront. If a waterside worker is required to do seasonal work he should not be thrown to the wolves in respect of long service leave because the industry cannot provide full time employment for him. Surely in this year 1961 we should be approaching this problem on the basis that if a waterside worker is required to do seasonal work at some port, and then is found employment in another avenue, the right should remain with him to gather unto himself long service leave at the end of twenty years. Surely that period is long enough for any employee to have to work to obtain from any employer the long service leave that the Government claims to provide by this bill. We on this side of the chamber believe that the Government has a responsibility to avoid discrimination. We shall not tolerate discrimination between sections of the waterside workers in the assessment of leave due to them. Question put - >That the clause be agreed to. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 49 NOES: 36 Majority . 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Clauses 6 and 7 - by leave - taken together. {: #debate-33-s1 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
Blaxland -- Clause 6 of the bill amends section 16 of the principal act only because the Government believes that the need exists to alter the powers of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority in relation to land. We do not offer any objection to this clause, but I want to say something with regard to the functions of the authority as laid down in clause 7 of the bill which amends section 17 of the principal act. Clause 7 clothes the authority with the power to grant long service leave. In case there is any doubt in the mind of any one, whether inside or outside this place, as to where the Australian Labour Party stands in relation to long service leave for waterside workers, I state here and now that when we come to office we shall use this method of granting long service leave to waterside workers but there will not be any tags to it. Had the Government introduced a measure providing for long service leave for waterside workers based on this principle of raising the. necessary funds, it would have received the same acclamation as the Labour Government received when it introduced legislation to provide the finance for long service leave for workers in the coal-mining industry. To make our position abundantly clear, we support the proposed amendment to that section of the act which deals with the functions of the authority. Motion (by **Mr. Stewart)** put - >That the Temporary Chairman do report progress and ask .leave to sit again. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 36 NOES: 49 Majority 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved :in the negative. {: #debate-33-s2 .speaker-KJO} ##### Mr JAMES:
Newcastle .Subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (d) of section 1.7 as proposed to be amended by clause '7 reads - >To require waterside workers registered at a port to offer for and accept employment on a daily basis at another port, being a port situated within reasonable travelling distance, by surface transport, from the port at which they are registered; I would like to know whether this is a form of industrial conscription to compel waterside workers to travel from one port to another in the event of there 'being a scarcity of work at their home port. For example, can waterside workers at Newcastle be compelled to travel to Sydney, or Coffs Harbour or Port Kembla, and if they refuse to do so will they forfeit attendance money? Is this a form of industrial conscription, or is my interpretation of it in' correct? {: #debate-33-s3 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service · Lowe · LP -- This section has only one purpose, and that is to define the functions of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority. It has nothing to do with the problem raised by the honorable gentleman. {: #debate-33-s4 .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES:
Newcastle .Mr. Temporary Chairman- {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- If this goes on- THE TEMPORARY **CHAIRMAN (Mr. Wight).** - Order! The Minister is out of order. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr JONES: -- I do not want to take up the time of the committee, but I have asked questions about the implications of clause 7 which I think are reasonable. Under that clause, can men at Newcastle be compelled to go to Sydney, or Port Kembla or Coffs Harbour to work? {: #debate-33-s5 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service · Lowe · LP -- Paragraph (d) consists of two parts which, as I have said, are intended to improve the functioning of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority. The first part is to ensure that there are sufficient waterside workers to do the job. That is the purpose and where, in the opinion of the authority, it is expedient to do so, it can facilitate waterside workers registered at one port becoming registered at another; and, secondly, it can require waterside workers registered at a port to offer for and accept employment on a daily basis at another port. That is the simple purpose of it. If, as in the case of northern Tasmania, it requires waterside workers to transfer between Devonport and Burnie, it can get them to transfer. If they refuse to do so, the Authority can impose the penalties which are contained within the act. No change is effected under this measure in the powers of the authority. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Jones: -- Will waterside workers be paid travelling time from one port to another, or will they have to travel in their own time? {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- They will be paid travelling time. {: #debate-33-s6 .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr STEWART:
Lang .The Minister for Labour and National Service was particular to leave out one portion of the clause when he was reading it. I refer to paragraph (d) which says - to ensure that ... the labour of waterside workers is used to the best advantage. He stressed the point that sufficient waterside workers should be available for stevedoring operations. Who is to judge in whose interests the best advantage is to lie, and why is it necessary to put in this clause that the labour of waterside workers will be used to the best advantage? I think that the honorable member for Newcastle **(Mr. Jones)** has a point in saying that the authority will use this provision in order to direct waterside workers to go to particular ports. Sub-paragraph (ii) of paragraph (d) of section 17 (1.) as proposed to be amended reads in part - to require waterside workers registered at a port to offer for and accept employment on a daily basis at another port ... There is no doubt that the honorable member for Newcastle is correct in saying that this provision will empower the authority to direct waterside workers as to the ports to which they will be expected to go. {: #debate-33-s7 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN:
Reid .- I want the Minister to define the phrase " reasonable travelling distance." Is it 10, 20, 30, 50 or 100 miles? The term seems far too vague. Will the Minister clarify it? {: #debate-33-s8 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY:
Grayndler .The first thing I should like to know is why the Minister, in the face of an agreement made to the contrary, insists on debating this matter at twenty past twelve at night. If he persists, I do not mind being in it, but I think that the proceedings will be reasonably lively. I ask why, at this hour, we are debating clause 7. which reads - >Section seventeen of the Principal Act is amended by omitting paragraphs (c) and (d) of sub-section (1.) and inserting in their stead the following paragraphs: - It then proceeds to a rather complicated set of new provisions to be inserted in the act. Why does the Minister wish to put this clause through now, at this time of the night? No decision has yet been made as to the date of proclamation of the act. There has been no announcement of the Government's intentions as to when effect will be given to the act. Although the Government is assembling the Parliament again next week in order to debate this measure, it is insisting that we sit here until all hours of the night. Why is the Government ashamed to debate this clause in the light of day? Why is it brought on in the. middle of the night? {: #debate-33-s9 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! The honorable member for Grayndler will take note that the subject for debate is not whether or not we will debate the clauses at this hour of the night. The subject for debate is clauses 6 and 7, and unless the honorable member can restrict his remarks to those clauses he must remain silent. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY: -- In view of what you say, **Mr. Temporary Chairman,** I move - >That the Temporary Chairman do now leave the chair. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: Order! The motion is completely out of order. Under the Standing Orders no such motion may be put twice within fifteen minutes. As it is less than that time since the motion moved by the honorable member for Lang was negatived, the honorable gentleman's motion is out of order. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: -- I wish to take a point of order on your ruling, **Mr. Temporary Chairman.** I quote Standing Order No. 287 which reads - >A Motion "That the Chairman do now leave the Chair", which question shall be put forthwith and decided without amendment or debate, will, if carried, supersede the proceedings of a Committee; but the Committee may, on Motion with notice, be revised for a future day. I have moved accordingly. Question put - >That the Temporary Chairman do now leave the chair. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 36 NOES: 49 Majority . . . . 13 AYES NOES The question is, "That clauses 6 and 7 be agreed to." **Mr. Jones.** - **Mr. Temporary** Chairman! {: #debate-33-s10 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! The honorable member for Newcastle has already spoken twice. He is not entitled to another call. {: #debate-33-s11 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS:
Yarra .This provision reveals how artificial the whole situation is. The Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority is given most extensive powers to move from one port to another members of the Waterside Workers Federation who are registered as wharf labourers. Standing behind that, somewhere in the distance, are stevedoring companies and shipowners who have no responsibility whatever in this respect. The authority, which has these extensive powers, is completely responsible for obtaining the labour to ensure that sufficient workers are available for operations at each port, and presumably in the course of doing so can direct workers at one port to move to another port within a reasonable travelling distance. The honorable member for Newcastle **(Mr. Jones)** was quite right in requiring an answer from the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** on this point, but he has not yet obtained an answer. What does " a reasonable travelling distance " mean? These provisions are very severe for the workers. If they are directed by the authority to move from one port to another and do not do so, they commit an offence, and if they commit an offence they are subject to quite a number of penalties. One of the penalties is that for every day of a stoppage at that port they lose 30 days from the qualifying period for their long service leave. They also lose attendance money at the rate of 24s. a day. Is there implicit in proposed new paragraphs (d) (ii) machinery for an attempt to break a strike? If there is a strike at a particular port and labour is not available there, what does the Government intend to do? Perhaps I should ask what the departmental officers who drafted the bill intend to do, because obviously the Minister knows very little about it. {: .speaker-K8B} ##### Mr Curtin: -- You must not cast any reflection on departmental officers. {: .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS: -- That is not a reflection; it is a great compliment for a bill to be completely in the hands of departmental officers, as this one is. I have been a member of the Parliament for quite a number of years now, but I have never before known a Minister to show as openly as this that he does not know what a bill means or to move so openly across to his officers to learn the answer to a question asked by an honorable member. The Minister is lacking in a good deal of discretion, and having acted in this way he will within the next 24 hours, be asked to explain himself. We know the attitude of the Prime Minister **(Mr. Menzies)** on this sort of thing. If there is a strike at a particular port and labour is not available at that port, it is the intention of the Government to use proposed new paragraph (d) (ii) to compel workers to move from one port to another and to try to compel them to take the jobs of other men who may be on strike? If these workers do not comply with this direction, do they commit an offence? Would they suffer a penalty in relation to their pay and would they lose 30 days from the qualifying period for long service leave? This completely illustrates the fact that the authority take all the responsibility that should fall upon the stevedoring and shipping companies. If the authority is to be placed in this position, then logically we can get rid of the stevedoring companies altogether and permit the authority to employ the labour directly. I have illustrated the extent of the power and I think we are entitled to know from the Minister the meaning of the provision relating to a reasonable travelling distance over which workers at one port may be required to move to work at another port. {: #debate-33-s12 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr MCMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service · Lowe · LP -- I understood that these clauses were not to be debated. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- Why did you understand that? {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- I had been given a notice of what were regarded as the essential features of the bill to which it was thought objection should be taken. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr £ James Harrison: -- The notice says that these clauses are to be debated, though. Be fair! {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- I will be perfectly fair to you. I should direct attention to the fact that clause 7 of the bill relates to two different sets of circumstances. So far as the payment of funds is concerned, it relates in a new section of the act, to the payment of attendance money to irregular workers who attend the bureau on a day on which they are called upon to do so but for whom there is no work. In other words, we have put a totally new provision in the act and if an irregular worker is called upon to attend and there is no work for him, he will receive payment. This clause is inserted for that purpose. It also includes the provision for payment referred to in the existing paragraph (ii). Further, and this is very important, it includes payment by way of compensation when suspensions are set aside on appeal. This is included at the request of the Waterside Workers Federation. At present if a suspended waterside worker appeals against the suspension and the appeal is upheld, he does not receive any compensation. We are providing in this bill for the commission to permit him to have compensation. This is a totally new provision and is inserted to help the man. It will give him something when the commission, on appeal, has decided that his suspension should be lifted. I personally believe that these provisions are for the benefit of the waterside workers. The second part of the question deals with inter-port transfers. Already the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority transfers people between adjacent ports. The new paragraph expands the existing paragraph so as to place beyond doubt the validity of arrangements made by the authority relating to the transfer of waterside workers between ports. A distinction is drawn between voluntary transfers and compulsory transfers. The latter will be required only on a daily basis between adjacent ports such as Geelong and Melbourne, Burnie and Devonport, and Beauty Point and Bell Bay, at which ports orders requiring transfers have been made by the authority. I think the honorable gentleman can take it as clear that this transfer would take place only between adjacent ports. The provision, in effect, validates the existing practice of the authority and is for no other purpose. {: #debate-33-s13 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Proposed paragraph (c), which is embodied in clause 7 gives the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority additional powers *to pay* money. I think that is a very good provision, and I accept the explanation given by the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon).** I have been told by waterside workers that on one occasion in Melbourne, a waterside worker was suspended for seven days because he sold a raffle ticket. When the seven days suspension was concluded and he had lost seven days pay, an appeal was made to the authority that handled the case and he was told, " We think the penalty was a bit severe; it should have been two days ". But it would not have mattered if the authority had. said there should be no penalty, because he got no compensation and could not get compensation for the fact that he had already suffered seven days suspension. We must admit that this proposal is a good one to meet a situation like that. But the Minister has not answered the questions thai have been thrown at him by the honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** and other honorable members as to whether proposed paragraph (d) in clause 7 will have certain effects. That proposed paragraph provides that the authority may be given power to require a waterside worker registered at one port to offer for and accept employment on a daily basis at another port Does this give the authority power to require a waterside worker to work at one port where there is a strike? Let us suppose there is a strike at Geelong which affects cargo of vital importance. Can the authority say, "There is a strike at Geelong. The cargo is perishable. It is o£ vital importance that we get this cargo shifted. We will transfer from Melbourne sufficient waterside workers to ensure that the strike-bound port of Geelong can be set moving again ". Will this provision! give the authority power to- transfer waterside workers from. Melbourne to- Geelong to act as strike breakers? The Minister shakes his head. I would like him to say in so many words that this provision cannot be used by the authority in any circumstances to make waterside workers in Melbourne act as strike breakers against their mates at Geelong. {: #debate-33-s14 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service · Lowe · LP -- First, I should' make it abundantly clear to the committee that clause 7 is designed to repose a power in the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority which is an independent authority and which we do not influence as a Government. All it is intended to do is to put into legislative form what is the existing practice because a doubt has been thrown on that practice and the provisions of the law by a decision of the Attorney-General's Department. It is intended for no other purpose, and I am sure the authority itself intends it to be used for only the one purpose and that is to ensure that ports are effectively and efficiently worked. It is not intended as a strike breaking method. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- Could it be used for that purpose? {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- You are trying to put on it an interpretation that is unrealistic. It is to ensure that sufficient waterside workers are available for stevedoring operations at each port, and that the labour of the waterside workers is used to the best advantage. That is the sole purpose of it. It is not intended that it should be used for other than this particular purpose. Again I stress the fact that this provision gives this power to the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority; it is not a power that is given to the Government or one that would enable the Government to turn round and say to the authority, " We want this power used for the purpose of breaking a strike ". {: #debate-33-s15 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT:
Wills .I remain unconvinced, not because I doubt the intentions and the integrity of the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** or his department, but because it is clearcut from decisions of courts in the past that a statement of intention by the Minister or even by the Parliament is of no validity when it comes to deciding whether an action taken under an act of Parliament is valid. If the Minister is concerned about this point, he should write into the hill a clause to cover the objection raised by the Opposition. If those concerned are only going to employ waterside workers for adjacent ports, why not use the word " adjacent "? There are not so many ports in Australia, so why not put a schedule in the bill? The Minister expects the Parliament to agree to provisions which leave a power wide open to the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority. Nobody can tell me that the authority will not be influenced by the Government. There are few instrumentalities that this Government does not attempt to influence; and so far as I am concerned, it influences them effectively. The Minister cannot tell me that the Government a., some time would not be able to use the authority to bend waterside workers to its will. So far as we are concerned, these things must be made clear in the act of Parliament and not merely in the intentions of the Minister or the Parliament, which would have no validity in courts of law anyway. {: #debate-33-s16 .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON:
Canning -- The discussion of these two clauses began when the honorable member for Newcastle **(Mr. Jones)** asked the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** to give a definition of clause 7, proposed section 17 (d) (ii). The honorable member wanted to know whether it was possible for the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority to transfer a person from one port to another. Having been told that that was possible, the honorable member asked whether the person transferred would be paid a travelling allowance. He was told that it would be paid. I direct attention to the fact that this clause of the bill provides that in so transferring an employee, the transfer is on a daily basis. The Opposition endeavoured to widen the discussion by bringing in a scare proposition that the Government or the authority would use this provision as a strike breaker. Honorable members opposite know as well as we do that no sensible Australian would do that, and that generally both sides of politics appoint level-headed men to positions of this kind. The authority will not transfer men from one port to another in an endeavour to break a strike. {: .speaker-KDV} ##### Mr Jones: -- Read the report. {: .speaker-KGC} ##### Mr HAMILTON: -- The only people I know - and I have had a few years' experience in these matters - who have used powers of this kind to break a strike were the Labour Party supporters when they were in office. This is proof positive of what is going on to-night. Members of the Oppositon are using this clause to stonewall and delay the committee. They know the answer. They have seen such provisions in operation before. It is possible for the authority to transfer people on a daily basis from one port to another, and rather than sit here till the early hours of the morning on scare matters put forward by members of the Opposition, it would be better if the Minister moved that the question be put. {: #debate-33-s17 .speaker-JSU} ##### Mr BRYANT:
Wills .- The effect of the use of this power for transfers can be seen from the 1960 report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority which states at page 102 - >At Sydney, refusals lo transfer between hatches and to other ships occurred on 25th January, 18th February, 11th and 28th March causing a loss of 1412 man-hours. On the 9th February, waterside workers at Devonport refused to transfer to Burnie because of a dispute at that port; 576 manhours were lost in consequence. Why were they transferred? Is not this incident mentioned in the report an example of the use of the power to break a stoppage? ls it not also a complete denial of the statement that the Minister has given, on the advice of his department, and also of the liberal interpretation that has been made by the honorable member for Canning **(Mr. Hamilton)?** How can the Government possibly expect us to support such a provision as this, when the report issued by the Minister's own department is completely opposed to the statements and protestations made by the Minister this evening? {: #debate-33-s18 .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP The Minister has not answered the questions that I put to him. I ask him again: Can the authority, under the proposed new section, order a waterside worker from Melbourne to go to Geelong and act as a strike-breaker against his mates at Geelong? The Minister, who is a lawyer, was very cunning in not answering the question. He sought to get around it by saying, "It is definitely not the intention." I did not ask what the intention was. I asked whether it could be done. Once a provision is written into the law to the effect that a certain thing can be done, it may be done. It may be the Government's intention not to do this kind of thing, but a succeeding government may have a different intention. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- It is the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority that has the power. {: .speaker-2V4} ##### Mr Clyde Cameron:
HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA · ALP -- That is so, and it could say, "We are not bound by what the Minister said in the Parliament. He said that we did not intend to use this power, but there has been a change in the mind of the authority since then, and it is now our intention to use it." Compare the provision in the principal act with the proposal in this bill. There is a vast difference between them. Section 17 (1.) (d) of the principal act includes among the functions of the authority - to ensure that sufficient waterside workers are available for stevedoring operations at each port and that their labour is used to the best advantage; Clause 7 of the bill proposes an amendment to this provision. The words of the principal act are retained, but certain other words are added. The provision would then read - to ensure that sufficient waterside workers are available for stevedoring operations at each port and that the labour of waterside workers is used to the best advantage and, for those purposes, where, in the opinion of the Authority . . . The opinion of the authority is absolutely final. There is a subjective rather than an objective test. The authority simply has to say that in its opinion it is necessary. The provision continues - it is expedient to do so - {: type="i" start="i"} 0. to facilitate waterside workers registered at one port becoming registered at another port for limited periods, and 1. to require waterside workers registered at a port to offer for and accept employment on a daily basis at another port, being a port situated within reasonable travelling distance, by surface transport, from the port at which they are registered; I think that something has been allowed to creep into this section that the Minister did not intend. I refer to the power to use waterside workers registered in Melbourne, for instance, to act as strike-breakers against their mates in Geelong. If the legislation gives the authority the right to do so, then that is enough, in my opinion, to condemn the clause. If the power is available and on a future occasion the authority decided to exercise it, and the waterside workers at Melbourne refused to scab on their mates at Geelong, then those workers could suffer the full rigour of the law, and their union could be fined, under the provisions of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act, £500 a day for a refusal to comply with the law. I would like the Minister to give a simple answer to this question: Can it be done or can it not be done? {: #debate-33-s19 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service · Lowe · LP -- I should first say that the honorable member should consider the composition of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, which consists of a chairman, a representative drawn from the trade union movement and a representative drawn from the employers. It would be reasonable to assume that the union man would not permit the provision to be administered so that it could be used for the purposes of strikebreaking. {: .speaker-KFG} ##### Mr Griffiths: -- He could be out-voted two to one. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON: -- This provision is not intended to be used for the purposes of strike-breaking. It is merely included in order to resolve in legislative form a doubt that was expressed by the Crown law authorities as to whether there was a right to make these inter-port transfers and whether, when they had been made, disciplinary powers could be exercised. {: #debate-33-s20 .speaker-EE4} ##### Mr UREN:
Reid .- I again ask the Minister the simple question I asked him previously concerning proposed paragraph (d) (ii) of section 17 (1.). What is a reasonable travelling distance? Is it 10 miles, 20 miles, 30, 50 or 100 miles? It is vaguely set out in this provision, and I would like to know from the Minister what is considered a reasonable travelling distance. {: #debate-33-s21 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service · Lowe · LP -- We are concerned here with an administrative authority, and it is not possible to express in so many miles what a reasonable distance should be for every occasion. We have provided, therefore, that the ports involved should be situated within reasonable travelling distance. As I have said, the intention is to cover adjacent ports, such as Geelong and Melbourne, Burnie and Devonport, Beauty Point and Bell Bay. The administration must be given reasonable flexibility, and I would not be able to define a reasonable travelling distance in terms of miles or even of inches. When we legislate we must expect that the authorities to whom we give responsibility will act in a reasonable way. {: #debate-33-s22 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
Blaxland -- The report of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority for the year ended 30th June, 1960, says, at page 102 - >On the 9th February- That would be 1960- waterside workers at Devonport refused to transfer to Burnie because of a dispute at that port, 576 man hours were lost in consequence. Honorable members on this side have asked: Can the Minister - and it is obvious from what he has said that he cannot - give an assurance that this provision is not designed deliberately to give the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority legislative power to force men to transfer in conditions such as those which applied when the men at Devonport refused to transfer to Burnie because of a dispute at that port? It seemed to me, as I have indicated, that the Opposition *would* have *no objection to* this clause, but the analysis that I have now undertaken makes the position more clear. The future powers and functions of the authority are now clearer. There is also the fact that those who were concerned in the Burnie incident in February, 1960, instead of losing only the day for which they were suspended, would be subject under similar conditions to the penal provisions of this bill for failing to report at the point at which they were required. That puts us in the position of having to decide whether the benefits bestowed under Clause 7 outweigh the disadvantages. I do not want to vote against a provision that is sound - the provision for long service leave. Whilst the Opposition will not call for a division on this clause, we have the strongest objection to any strengthening of the authority in relation to the subject matter of the report, and in relation to transfer arrangements. I say to the Minister that, whilst we are not opposing this proposition by vote, he should not come into this Chamber at any future time and condemn waterside workers if they take the same action in 1961-62 as they took in 1960 at Burnie. {: #debate-33-s23 .speaker-DQF} ##### Mr SNEDDEN:
Bruce .- A number of objections have been made to paragraph (c) of clause 7 but the Minister for Labour and National Service must have put everybody's mind at rest because this is consequential on other amendments to the act which the Opposition supports. As the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** has pointed out, the the words of proposed new paragraph (d) are the same as those of the old paragraph down to the words " advantage and, for those purposes,". So the complaint made, I think, by the honorable member for Lang **(Mr. Stewart)** who asked who would say what the "best advantage" was, is cancelled out. The provision is already in the old act. Those words therefore are not a change. The next point raised concerns travelling. The distance stipulated is a " reasonable travelling distance ". The honorable member for Yarra **(Mr. Cairns)** objected very strongly to this provision and suggested that there would be a loss of long service leave and so on. Obviously, he has not read the act, because long service leave will not apply to the disciplinary measures taken in relation to this. The disciplinary measures will be taken under section 36, under which there is no power in relation to long service leave. Then under section 37, a person who is disciplined can appeal to a commissioner who will determine what is a reasonable distance. It is not possible, in a bill such as this, to specify a particular distance or particular port because circumstances must vary. The provision that the authority may require waterside workers to go from port to port is a power which the authority ought to possess. Consequently, this provision ought to stay in the bill and I see no objection to it. {: #debate-33-s24 .speaker-K97} ##### Mr GALVIN:
Kingston .I rise to support the argument put by my colleague the honorable member for Hindmarsh **(Mr. Clyde Cameron)** on the question of whether the bill gives power to use waterside workers as strike-breakers. The Minister for Labour and National Service has dodged the real issue. He said that this is not the intention of the bill but he has not assured the committee that it will not be used in that way. We are therefore entitled to believe that it will be used as I have suggested. We know that the Minister does not understand the bill because he has worn a path from his place at the table to where his advisers sit. He has now gone outside to look for more information. Surely, if it is not the intention of the Government to use this clause for strike-breaking, the Minister could give an assurance to that effect. The honorable member for Hindmarsh has quoted the case of Geelong and Melbourne. We can cite also Burnie and Devonport. We are entitled to be suspicious of this clause. Unless the Minister is prepared to assure us that this provision has not been sneaked into the bill, a great suspicion will be attached not only to this clause but to the whole bill. {: #debate-33-s25 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr WARD:
East Sydney .Mr. Temporary Chairman, I want to ask if you could have certain Government supporters examined. I am worried about their condition. There is the honorable member for Mackellar **(Mr. Wentworth)-** {: #debate-33-s26 .speaker-L0V} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Wight:
LILLEY, QUEENSLAND -- Order! The honorable member will resume his seat. **Mr. DALY** (Grayndler [1.9 a.m.].Like the honorable member for Kingston **(Mr. Galvin)** I was impressed by the argument of the honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. E. James Harrison)** and other honorable members on this side of the chamber, particularly in regard to clause 7. However, I was not at all impressed by the honorable member for Bruce **(Mr. Snedden).** Whilst he showed knowledge of the legal side of the provision, he did not, to my mind, get down to the fundamentals as the honorable member for Blaxland did. The farcical stage that we have reached in this debate can be seen from the fact that we have at the table the Minister for Primary Industry **(Mr. Adermann)** in charge of the Stevedoring Industry Bill. The Minister for Labour and National Service has taken off. He has probably gone home to bed while we have to sit here. He is not a bit interested in what is being said and seems to know nothing about the bill. Motion (by **Mr. Adermann)** put - >That the question be now put. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 49 NOES: 36 Majority 13 AYES NOES Question- so resolved in the affirmative. Clauses agreed to. Clauses 8 to 12 - by leave - taken together. {: #debate-33-s27 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
Blaxland : - **Mr TemporaryChairman,** We are taking clauses 8 to 12 together largely because clause 8 and clause: 12 are related. Clause 8 provides for. the amendment of section 26 of the principal act with respect to port quotas. Clause 9 will amend section 27 of the principalact with respect to registration. Clause 10 will amend section 28 ofthe act with respect to the registration of employers, and that is a clause which we would not normally oppose. I want to couple clause 8 with clause 12. Clause: 8 is the first provision relating to the change in employ menf of what are known as irregulars., I want to deal particularly with paragraph (b) of sub-section (4.) of proposed new section 31a of the act, which appears in clause. 12. This is the provision to whichI have already objected so strongly. It. strikes at the heart of the system under which irregulars have been employed over a long period. The Minister knows that there are; about 792 irregulars in the industry at' the present time. They work the equivalent of about half-time. They are not all aged men. Some of them are only, 40, 45 or perhaps 50 - men who have suffered some injury and have a disability which makes them unable to work full-time owing to the arduous nature of the industry. However, in the. normal course, they are able to work: on jobs) that have beensuitable to them, and, up to now, to the stevedores and to the union. As.I have said, for many years, they have worked about half-time. This bill will put into the section of workers known as the irregulars, which is now about; 792 strong, an additionalgroup of about the same number. I think the Minister said that there will' be about 1,800 men on this irregulars roster. The paragraph to whichI refer will prevent the stevedoring authorities from employingone of them while a regular waterside worker is available for work. It. will cut right across the principle that has operated in this industry throughout its entire history. This principle has always been known in the industry. Asa matter of fact, in the railways and in all other industries, men who have suffered disabilities are carried by being provided with suitable jobs. I am surprised at this provision which I am discussing. The Minister has made it clear that it will mean the end of the old system for any waterside worker who is in the category of irregulars after the date prescribed. At 5 o'clock this afternoon, **Mr. Monk,** the president of the Australian Council of Trades Unions, rang me and asked me to protest most vigorously on his behalf against the Stevedoring Industry Authority sending out a letter which anticipated the provisions of this legislation with respecttomen who are over 65 years of age. That letter reads - >You aware that the Federal Government has introduced amendments to the Stevedoring. Industry Act to make provision for longserviceleave for waterside workers. > >The records of the authority indicate that you are over the age of 65 years and your entitlement, if any, under the proposed legislation is at present being examined by the authority, and when I have further informationIwill again write to you. That letter was dated 10th May, coinciding almost to the veryhour at which theMihister brought this measure before the Parliament. Although' the bill makes provision, with regard to practices existing as at 1st May, 1961, the fact is that all those men who are 65 years of age and over and who are going on to the irregular list will be denied even one day's work under this bill so long as there is a regular man available for employment. Whether the job available be that of winch driver or another job of a menial character, a waterside worker who is 65 years of age and has been injured at his employment applies to join the casual: group in order to obtain it, he will be. denied any opportunity of: employment so long as there is a regular waterside worker- available. The power proposed to be vested in the authority under these clauses does not do justice to the workers in the industry, and for that reason we oppose all four of them most strenuously and will vote against them. {: #debate-33-s28 .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr STEWART:
Lang **- Mr. Temporary Chairman--** Motion (by **Mr. McMahon)** put - >That the question be now put. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 46 NOES: 34 Majority . . 12 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Question put - That the clauses be agreed to. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 47 NOES: 34 Majority . . 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Progress reported. Declaration of Urgency. {: #debate-33-s29 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service · Lowe · LP -- I declare that the Stevedoring Industry Bill 1961 is an urgent bill. Question put - >That the bill be considered an urgent bill. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 48 NOES: 34 Majority . . 14 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Allotment of Time. {: #debate-33-s30 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
Minister for Labour and National Service and Acting Attorney-General · Lowe · LP -- I move That the time allotted in connexion with the bill be as follows: - For the committee stage, until 2.20 a.m., Friday, 12th May; For the remaining stages, until 2.30 a.m., Friday, 12th May. {: #debate-33-s31 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
Blaxland -- The portion of this bill remaining to be dealt with consists of clauses 13 to 20, one which consists of paragraphs (a) to (f). The proposal of the Government to rush through nineteen pages of a bill of this kind in less than one hour is not in keeping with democratic procedure. It is not in keeping with what we might expect on an important measure. This bill was regarded as so important that the trade union movement itself spent much more time on it than the Government is allowing for the Parliament to deal with the problems which confront the trade unions and the workers as the result of it. Neither I nor other members on this side of the House propose to spend much time protesting against the guillotine. We realize the menace of the clauses yet to be discussed. There are no fewer than seven clauses in the bill which warrant the closest scrutiny. The Minister has two amendments to move whilst another amendment is to be moved by an honorable member on the Government side of the House. Yet we are expected to dispose of the bill in less than an hour. I enter the strongest possible protest against what is being done and will vote against the motion now before the House. {: #debate-33-s32 .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr STEWART:
Lang -- I protest most strongly against the action taken by the Minister for Labour and National Service **(Mr. McMahon)** in moving the guillotine. If it had not been for the fact that there was a rebellion in the Liberal Party room we would have sat all last night and all through to-night; but because of that fact, plus pressure on the part of the Labour Party, the Government has decided to sit again next week. It brought this legislation down and we had not a copy of the bill in caucus yesterday to discuss it. The provisions of this bill are unique in the experience of the Parliament of this country, yet we are not given an opportunity to discuss it fully. We are expected to discuss it in the early hours of the morning because the Government wants to push it through. The Stevedoring Industry Authority is already sending out letters pointing out what will happen when the legislation becomes law. The Government has completely negated every principle of parliamentary democracy and has shown its disrespect to every member of this House. The numbers on the Government side -.are now .down to '44 because many Government -members have walked home an disgust at the Government's action in endeavouring ito , ram .this .measure down -the throats of not -only ;its own members .but also .members of 'the 'Opposition. The Opposition is here to see that legislation, particularly ^industrial legislation, lis given -due .consideration. We have already picked the Minister mp on .clauses '6 .and .7, which contain provisions similar ito those which have been used in the old .act for strike-breaking purposes. The new provisions give the Australian Stevedoring (Industry Authority even,more power than it has. at the present time. The Government -shows no consideration at -all Tor members -of the " Hansard " staff who have -to work here continually and work on -for two or three hours after the "House rises. It shows no consideration at all for 'the 'Officers -and staff of the House, members 'of the press gallery or any df the 'women and men employed in 'the refreshment -rooms. Tt - considers nobody at all; yet it expects that members of the 'Opposition 'will -sit 'here like a lot df dumb clucks and allow ;it -to steamroller 'us. This procedure is a complete negation of what the British parliamentary system stands for, and it deserves to be condemned. I am utterly disgusted with the Government which not only uses" legislation to keep down the industrial movement outside, but also uses the forms of this -House to silence 'the Opposition. The - Opposition -had -no intention of shadow-sparring on this legislation. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- You. led it. {: .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr STEWART: -- There -was no shadow sparring. This is one of the -rare occasions in this House when I have really become aroused an'd have made up my mind that I am not going to 'be-stood upon by members df the Government. {: .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon: -- By your own party. {: .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr STEWART: -.- 3My own leader has nothing to do with' the -forms of the:House. The Government "has the numbers, and -even though "the Minister -entered into -an agreement, which "he announced, he -is now ignoring it and applying the guillotine. He announced, a few 'minutes ago, that he 'had received information 'from the honorable member for Blaxland **(Mr. "E. James Harrison)** advising him of the clauses that we of the Opposition wanted to debate and oppose, but he takes no notice of those things, and completely disregards the agreement .entered into. I protest hotly again at the attitude adopted by the Treasurer **(Mr. -Harold Holt)** and the Minister for Labour and National Service, who are supposed to believe in .the principles of democracy, justice and fair play. The Minister refuses to allow the -Opposition to voice its disapproval of clauses which we have already indicated we desire to oppose. I am disgusted at the action of the 'Government. I .strongly oppose the motion. {: #debate-33-s33 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr DALY:
Grayndler **.Mr. Speaker-** Motion (by **.Mr. McMahon)** put - That the question 'be now put. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker- -Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 47 NOES: 34 Majority 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Question put - That the motion (vide page 1877) be agreed to. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 47 NOES: 34 Majority . . 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. In committee: Consideration resumed. Clause 13 (Medical examination of registered waterside workers.) {: #debate-33-s34 .speaker-L0V} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Wight: -- The question is, " That the clause be agreed to." {: #debate-33-s35 .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
Monaro · EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- **Mr. Temporary Chairman,** I repeat my opinion, which I expressed in division, that the Minister for Labour and National Service is a particularly odious fascist. {: #debate-33-s36 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! I shall name the honorable member for Eden-Monaro. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- You cannot name him. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! I ask the honorable member for Eden-Monaro to withdraw that statement. {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- No. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: You refuse to withdraw, do you? {: .speaker-JWU} ##### Mr Allan Fraser:
EDEN-MONARO, NEW SOUTH WALES · ALP -- Yes. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I name the honorable member for EdenMonaro. {: .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: -- I desire to take a point of order, **Mr. Temporary Chairman.** {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! There is no point of order to be raised. In the House: {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- **Mr. Speaker,** I beg to report that I have named the honorable member for EdenMonaro. Motion (by **Mr. McMahon)** proposed - >That the honorable member for Eden-Monaro be suspended from the service of the House. {: #debate-33-s37 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Is a division required? Opposition members. - Yes. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- The House will divide. Ring the bells. (The bells being rung) - {: .speaker-KUX} ##### Mr Stewart: -- **Mr. Speaker,** I direct your attention to Standing Order No. 84 which reads in part - >Any Member may require the Question or matter in discussion to be read by the Speaker or Chairman at any time during the debate . . . I ask you to inform the House, please, what we are voting on, and the statement that was made by the honorable member for Eden-Monaro. {: .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Order! The forms of the House have been complied with. The Temporary Chairman of Committees has reported to the House, and the procedure is in order. I ask the House to come to order. Question put. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 47 NOES: 34 Majority . . 13 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. In committee: Consideration resumed. That strangers be ordered to withdraw. Question put. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 32 NOES: 47 Majority 15 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the negative. The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order! May I suggest to honorable members that this is the National Parliament. One would expect honorable members not to behave like a bunch of schoolboys. I ask honorable members to allow the business of the committee to proceed. I call the honorable member for Blaxland. {: #debate-33-s38 .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON:
Blaxland -- I particularly wish to address the committee in relation to clause 13. Opposition Members. - What about the point of order? The point of order! {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! The honorable member for Blaxland will resume his seat. There has been a deliberate attempt to obstruct the honorable member for Blaxland and prevent him from making his speech on clause 13. I ask honorable members to allow the honorable member to state his case on clause 13. I call the honorable member for Blaxland. {: .speaker-KNM} ##### Mr E JAMES HARRISON: -- In the few minutes left to me I could not state the Opposition's attitude to clause 13. In the circumstances, there is only one thing to do with the bill at this stage, and that is to report progress. Accordingly, I move - That progress be reported. {: .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! Only two minutes remain before progress must be reported in accordance with the time allotted for this stage of the bill. Question put - >That the Temporary Chairman do report progress and ask leave to sit again. The committe divided. (The Temporary Chairman - **Mr. B.** M. Wight.) Ayes . . . . . . 33 Noes . . . . 47 Majority . . . . 14 Question so resolved in the negative. Clause 19. After Part III. of the Principal Act the following Part is inserted: - " Part IIIa. - Long Service Leave. " 45a. In this Part, ' Commonwealth stevedoring legislation ' means - " 45c- (1.) Subject to section fifty-two a of this Act, the period of qualifying service of a person for the purposes of this Part is the period during which that person has been continuously registered as a waterside worker under Commonwealth stevedoring legislation (whether at the same port or not), less any periods required by sub-section (4.) of this section to be deducted from that period. " (4.) In ascertaining the period of qualifying service of a' person for the purposes of this Part, the following periods shall be deducted from the period during which he has been continuously registered as a waterside worker under Commonwealth stevedoring legislation within the meaning of this section: - (a)..... {: type="a" start="i"} 0. any period during which he was unavailable for employment, whether with or without the permission of the Authority or any Board or Commission constituted under Commonwealth stevedoring legislation, not being - (i) {: type="i" start="ii"} 0. .... " 45e. - (1.) This section applies to a person who - (a)..... 1. was, immediately before the commencement of this Part, registered as a waterside worker under this Act at a port specified in the First Schedule or the Second Schedule to this Act; and Circulated amendments of the Government. Amendment No. 1 - >At the end of paragraph (i) of sub-section (4.) of proposed section 45c add the following subparagraph: - " (iii) a period in relation to which the next succeeding sub-section applies.". Amendment No. 2 - >In paragraph (c) of sub-section (1.) of proposed section 45e. omit "immediately before the commencement of this Part ", insert " as at the first day of May, One thousand nine hundred and sixty-one". Amendment No. 3 - >Omit the Schedules. Proposed new clause - " 21. The Principal Act is amended by adding at the end thereof the following heading and Schedules: - {: .page-start } page 1883 {:#debate-34} ### QUESTION {:#subdebate-34-0} #### THE SCHEDULES {: #subdebate-34-0-s0 .speaker-10000} ##### The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN: -- Order! The time allotted for the committee stage having expired, the question now is - >That clause 13, the remainder of the bill, and the amendments and new clause circulated by the Government be agreed to, and that the bill be reported with amendments. Question put. The committee divided. (The Temporary Chairman - Mr. B. M. Wight.) AYES: 47 NOES: 33 Majority 14 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Bill reported with amendments. Question put - That the report be adopted and the bill be now read a third time. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 48 NOES: 33 Majority . . 15 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a third time. {: .page-start } page 1884 {:#debate-35} ### CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION BILL 1961 {:#subdebate-35-0} #### Second Reading Debate resumed from 10th May (vide page 1703), on motion by **Mr. McMahon** - >That the bill be now read a second time. Declaration of Urgency. **Mr. McMAHON** (Lowe - Minister for Labour and National Service and Acting Attorney-General) [2.36 a.m.]. - I declare that the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill 1961 is an urgent bill. Question put - >That the bill be considered an urgent bill. (The bells being rung) - {: #debate-35-s0 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMAHON:
LP -- In these circumstances, **Mr. Speaker,** I ask for leave to withdraw the declaration of urgency. If this is agreed to, the division will not be necessary. **Mr. SPEAKER (Hon. John McLeay).Is** leave granted? **Mr. Whitlam.-** Yes. Declaration of urgency - by leave - withdrawn. {: .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: -- **Mr. Speaker,** is it in order for a motion to be withdrawn after the bells have commenced to ring? {: #debate-35-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Yes, it is quite in order. Question resolved in the affirmative. Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted. Bill - by leave - read a third time. {: .page-start } page 1885 {:#debate-36} ### BILLS RETURNED FROM THE SENATE The following bills were returned from the Senate without amendment: - Commonwealth Electoral Bill 1961. Income Tax and Social Services Contribution Assessment Bill (No. 2) 1961. Pay-roll Tax Assessment Bill 1961. {: .page-start } page 1885 {:#debate-37} ### PRINTING COMMITTEE {: #debate-37-s0 .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr ERWIN: -- I present the first report of the Printing Committee. Report read by the Clerk. {: .speaker-KDO} ##### Mr ERWIN: -- I ask for leave to move that the report be agreed to. {: #debate-37-s1 .speaker-10000} ##### Mr SPEAKER: -- Is leave granted? {:#subdebate-37-0} #### Opposition Members - No Leave not granted. {: .page-start } page 1885 {:#debate-38} ### ADJOURNMENT Motion (by **Mr. McMahon)** proposed - >That the House do now adjourn. {: #debate-38-s0 .speaker-1V4} ##### Mr CAIRNS:
Yarra **.- Mr. Speaker--** Motion (by **Mr. McMahon)** put - >That the question be now put. The House divided. (Mr. Speaker - Hon. John McLeay.) AYES: 47 NOES: 33 Majority . . . . 14 AYES NOES Question so resolved in the affirmative. Original question resolved in the affirmative. House adjourned at 2.48 a.m. (Friday). {: .page-start } page 1885 {:#debate-39} ### ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS The following answers to questions were circulated - {:#subdebate-39-0} #### Papua and New Guinea - Elimination of Malaria {: #subdebate-39-0-s0 .speaker-JF7} ##### Mr Beazley: y asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Have the Australian authorities in the Territory of Papua and New Guinea caused a study to be made in the Territory of any development of the tendency, feared by the World Health Organizations, that certain mosquitoes carrying malaria have become resistant to residual insecticides such as D.D.T.? 1. Do the authorities in the Territory accept the total elimination of malaria as a feasible objective? 2. If not, for what reasons are other objectives adopted? {: #subdebate-39-0-s1 .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. Yes. So far there is no evidence of resistance developing. 1. and 3. In measures relating to malaria there are differences of opinion whather the objective should be eradication or control. The difference of opinion arises from expert and technical studies of the problem in particular places. The Administration of Papua and New Guinea accepts eradication as the objective and is carrying out a programme of elimination by residual spraying as practised in all other parts of the world. Whether this programme will in fact lead to eradication or control can only be judged on observation of results and particularly on the resting habits of the mosquitoes. The evidence to date suggests that eradication may not be achieved but some years of spraying followed by a period of surveillance will be required to obtain the answer. In the meantime in seeking the objective of eradication the Administration is achieving an increasing measure of control. {:#subdebate-39-1} #### Rice {: #subdebate-39-1-s0 .speaker-KVR} ##### Mr Swartz:
DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND z asked the Minister for Territories, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. What acreage of rice was planted during the recent season in the Northern Territory by (a) private enterprise and (b) Government authorities? 1. What proportions of this acreage were for (a-) commercial purposes and (b) experimentation? 2. What is the present position regarding the harvesting of the crop and will all the nulling operations be carried out in the Territory? {: #subdebate-39-1-s1 .speaker-ZL6} ##### Mr Hasluck:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="3"} 0. Harvesting of some experimental crops has commenced and the harvesting of the commercial crops will start probably in the week commencing 14th May. All rice to be milled will be milled in the Territory. {:#subdebate-39-2} #### Australian Military Forces {: #subdebate-39-2-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Minister for the Army, upon notice - >How many (a) officers, (b) non-commissioned officers, and (c) men are at present in the Australian Military Forces? {: #subdebate-39-2-s1 .speaker-K7J} ##### Mr Cramer:
Minister for the Army · BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES · LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >The present strength of the Australian Military Forces is shown in the table below. {:#subdebate-39-3} #### Restrictive Trade Practices {: #subdebate-39-3-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Acting AttorneyGeneral, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Was the Attorney-General satisfied at the time he announced the Government's intention to introduce legislation to deal with monopolies and restrictive trade practices, that the Commonwealth possessed ample constitutional powers to give effect to its proposal? 1. Has he now changed his attitude regarding the extent of the Commonwealth's constitutional powers? 2. Does the Attorney-General anticipate that the States can reach agreement among themselves and with the Commonwealth for the passing of uniform and complementary legislation, which, in practice, will prove effective in dealing with this problem? {: #subdebate-39-3-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows: - >Within the limits permitted by the Standing Orders, there is nothing I can usefully add at this stage to what the Attorney-General himself has said in reply to questions in the House on 14th March, 1961 (Hansard, Page 149) and 13th April, 1961, (Hansard, pages 801 and 802). {:#subdebate-39-4} #### Crimes Act {: #subdebate-39-4-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Acting AttorneyGeneral, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Have any prosecutions been launched, or are any prosecutions pending for breaches of the Crimes Act, as amended some months ago? 1. If not, why did the Government late last year restrict debate on the bill to amend the Crimes Act on the ground that the amendments were urgent? {: #subdebate-39-4-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Yes. 1. Does not arise. {:#subdebate-39-5} #### Bankruptcy Act {: #subdebate-39-5-s0 .speaker-6U4} ##### Mr Whitlam: m asked the Acting AttorneyGeneral, upon notice - , {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Which State judges and officers receive payments for their services under the Bankruptcy Act? 1. What payment does each judge and officer receive? {: #subdebate-39-5-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's question are as follows: - >The Commonwealth makes no payment to State Judges or State officers in respect of duties performed under the Bankruptcy Act. Under arrangements between the Commonwealth and the States, certain duties under the Bankruptcy Act are performed by State officers and in some States by State judges. Payments are made to several of the States in compensation for the time of the judges and officers, but the Commonwealth is not concerned with the manner in which the States allocate the amounts received. {:#subdebate-39-6} #### Constitutional Review Committee {: #subdebate-39-6-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Acting AttorneyGeneral, upon notice - >What was the total of all expenditure incurred in connection with the Joint Committee on Constitutional Review? {: #subdebate-39-6-s1 .speaker-009MA} ##### Mr McMahon:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >The committee in question was a Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament and little of the expenditure in connection with the Committee was incurred by the Attorney-General's Department. However, I have obtained the following figures of expenditure: - {:#subdebate-39-7} #### Dental Health {: #subdebate-39-7-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Minister for Health, upon notice - >Has his department, or any other recognized authority, made a survey of the condition of the teeth of the Australian people; if so, what was the result of this survey? {: #subdebate-39-7-s1 .speaker-JU8} ##### Dr Donald Cameron:
OXLEY, QUEENSLAND · LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >The National Health and Medical Research Council financed a dental survey of State school children in New South Wales in 19S4-SS. The result of the survey has been published in a report of about seventy pages in the National Health and Medical Research Council's Special Report Series as No. 8, Canberra, 1956. This is the only comprehensive dental survey which has been conducted in Australia. {:#subdebate-39-8} #### Census and Statistics Act {: #subdebate-39-8-s0 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Treasurer, upon notice - >What are the details of charges against persons, to be prosecuted for contravention of section 17 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905-1949, listed on page 1508 of Commonwealth Gazette No. 33 or 20th April, 1961? {: #subdebate-39-8-s1 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Harold Holt:
LP -- The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows: - >Section 17 of the Census and Statistics Act 1905-1949 provides that- the Statistician may require a person to fill up and supply, in accordance with the instructions contained in or accompanying a form supplied to that person by the Statistician, the particulars specified in that form, and that person shall, to the best of his knowledge, comply with the require* ments. Penalty: Ten Pounds. > >Of the ten persons listed on page 1508 of Commonwealth Gazette No. 33 of 20th April, 1961, nine are listed for prosecution in respect of failure to supply factory statistics returns for the year ended 30th June, 1960 and one in respect of failure to supply a return of Hire Purchase and Other Instalment Credit Statistics for the three months ended 31st December, 1960. However it should be pointed out that two have failed to supply the last two or three annual factory returns required, seven have failed to supply the last four or more annual factory returns required, and the other has failed to supply the last four quarterly returns of Hire Purchase and Other Instalment Credit required by tha Statistician, despite continual reminders and Notices of Requirement. > >One of these persons has submitted a return since the gazettal and no further action will be taken in this case. > >Because of the high level of co-operation given to the Statistician by the public, prosecutions of this nature are relatively few. In exceptional cases such as these the Statistician has no option but to proceed in this way to ensure that the efforts of those who have honoured their legal obligations are not vitiated through the noncooperation of a few. {:#subdebate-39-9} #### Banking {: #subdebate-39-9-s0 .speaker-KX7} ##### Mr Ward: d asked the Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Have the private trading banks always given effect to directives received from the Reserve Bank of Australia? 1. If not, have the private trading banks suffered any penalty for not complying with the directives? 2. What powers are possessed by the Government to compel private trading banks to comply with directives given by the Reserve Bank? {: #subdebate-39-9-s1 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Harold Holt:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. & 2. I have not been informed by the Reserve Bank of Australia, which is in the best position to form a view on such a matter, that the private trading banks have not given effect to the directives of the Reserve Bank. 1. Attention is invited to the provisions of the Banking Act 1959, in particular to section 65. {:#subdebate-39-10} #### Taxation {: #subdebate-39-10-s0 .speaker-KET} ##### Mr King: g asked the Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Under what circumstances are sporting organizations, including racing clubs, subject to, or exempt from, income tax? 1. At what rate is tax levied? 2. Is there any provision for a club or organization to carry forward a loss in the same manner as the averaging system is applied to the assessments of certain individual taxpayers? {: #subdebate-39-10-s1 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Harold Holt:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. A sporting organization, including a racing club, is subject to income tax unless it is a society, association or club - {: type="a" start="a"} 0. which is not carried on for the purposes of profit or gain to its individual members; and 1. is established for the encouragement or promotion of an athletic game or athletic sport, in which human beings are the sole participants. If tests (a) and (b) are satisfied the income of tie organization is exempt from tax. Where, although not satisfying tests (a) and (b), an organization qualifies as a "non-profit company ", income tax is not payable unless the taxable income of the organization exceeds £104. For this purpose " non-profit company " is defined as a company which is not carried on for the purposes of profit or gain toits individual members and is, by the terms of the memorandum or articles of association, rules or other document constituting the company or governing its activities, prohibited from making any distribution, whether in money property or otherwise, to its members. {: type="1" start="2"} 0. In the case of an organization which qualifies as a " non-profit company ", the rates of tax declared for the current financial year 1960-61 are 6/- in the £1 on the first £5;000 of taxable income and 8/- in the £1 on the balance of the taxable income. Where the taxable income is more than £104 and less than £260, the amount of the tax is limited to one-half of the excess of taxable income over £104. In the case of an organization which does not so qualify, the current rates of tax are7/- in the £1 on the first £5,000 of taxable income and8/- in the £1 on the balance of the taxable income. {: type="1" start="3"} 0. A loss incurred by a racing club in the course of earning assessable income may be recouped for income tax purposes from the income of a subsequent year or years. Such a loss may be carried forward for a period of up to 7 years. The averaging of incomes to ascertain the rate of tax payable does not operatein such cases. Chairman of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation. {: #subdebate-39-10-s2 .speaker-6V4} ##### Mr Daly: y asked the Treasurer, upon notice - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. Ishe able to say whether **Mr. Warren** McDonald, chairman of the Commonwealth Bank ing Corporation, has been appointed to the board of Imperial Chemical Industries Limited? 1. Does **Mr. McDonald** receive a salary of £6,500 per annum as chairman of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation? 2. Is this high salary paid in order to obviate the necessity for the occupant of the position to participate in private business activities outside the chairmanship of the Banking Corporation? 3. If not, is any restriction placed upon the ability of **Mr. McDonald** to engage in private industry or is he free to accept directorships or appointments with any organization he chooses? 4. If **Mr. McDonald** is permitted to accept directorships in private industry is there a likelihood that a conflict of interests will arise between his obligations to the Commonwealth Banking Corporation and his private interests? 5. If **Mr. McDonald's** private business interests are not restricted, does the Government intend to extend similar opportunities to senior public servants and heads of other Commonwealth instrumentalities? {: #subdebate-39-10-s3 .speaker-009MC} ##### Mr Harold Holt:
LP -- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: - {: type="1" start="1"} 0. **Mr. McDonald** has accepted an appointment to the board of directors of Imperial Chemical Industries of Australia and New Zealand Ltd. Before accepting the appointment, **Mr. McDonald** paid me the courtesy of informing me that it had been offered to him, and after learning the circumstances I indicated that I could see no objection to his acceptance. 1. No. A remuneration of £2,500 per annum is payable to the holder of the position of Chairman of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation Board. 2. No. The position is a part-time one (as are also those other positions on the board to which appointments are made by the Governor-General). The whole purpose is to include on the board persons with a wide range of business experience. 3. The circumstances under which a member of the Commonwealth Banking Corporation Board is disqualified from continuing to act as a member ofthe board, and the circumstances 'under which he is required to vacate hisoffice, are set out in sections 16 and 17 respectively of the Commonwealth Banks Act '1959. 4. See section 24 of the Commonwealth Banks Act 1959 relating to disclosure by a member of the board of interest in contracts. 5. The performance by an officer of the Commonwealth service of work outside the service is governed by the provisions of section 91 of the Public Service Act 1922-1958. In the case of the holders of statutory positions with Commonwealth authorities and of officers employed by those authorities, the extent to Which they may engage in other paid employment is governed by the provisions of the acts under which the authorities are established.

Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 11 May 1961, viewed 22 October 2017, <>.