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Thursday, 16 November 1939

Sir HENRY GULLETT - The reply to the honorable gentleman's question is quite simple. The origin of the dispute was not, as stated by the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward), earlier in to-day's proceedings, due to wages.

Mr Ward - Oh yes it was !

Sir HENRY GULLETT - The dispute originated in the refusal of the men to proceed to sea because of war risks. However, the men were quite prepared to go to sea as passengers on a ship travelling over the same route, in order that they might return to their own country. There is in possession of the Government information which gives sound reason to believe that this dispute has been deliberately engineered 'by agencies hostile to the proper prosecution of the war by the Government.

Mr WARD (EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The men were receiving 27s. a month in wages.

Sir HENRY GULLETT - Wages did not enter into the origin of this dispute.

Mr Ward - They did.

Sir HENRY GULLETT - There is evidence to show that influences of a sinister kind are operating in this dispute which aim to bring about a hold-up of deep sea shipping upon the Australian waterfront, which would he adverse to the exportation of Australia's primary produce and calculated to bring about, if successful, a great deal of unemployment on the waterfront. The reports give the name of the ship and the name of its captain and also other information which has been under censorship since the outbreak of the war.

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