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Thursday, 30 November 1905


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable gentleman think that that is a reasonable proposal ? This is one of the most important measures that has ever been discussed in this Parliament.


Mr Isaacs - All these matters have been discussed for weeks.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We have not been permitted to discuss them. We have only been allowed to allude to them in the most incidental way, as Hansard will show. There has been very little debate on the subject. I suggest that we should discuss it at reasonable hours, and conclude the debate on Tuesday, or as early as possible next week.


Mr Isaacs - The honorable member knows that, with the press of business, we could not hope to do any reasonable work be- fore the close of the year if we assented to hat course. This matter has been constantly before the public for months past, and every shred of argument has been used.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then why did the Attorney-General speak for two hours to-day ?


Mr Isaacs - Because, hitherto, the debate has been confined to the honorable member's side.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Do I understand that this Bill is to be completed before we rise?


Mr Isaacs - Yes; we do not wish to restrict honorable members unduly, but we must finish this business.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Public business ought not to be conducted in this way. We have to submit to the views of tlie Government and their supporters, but I do not think that their tactics are reasonable. We made a reasonable offer to the Government which they might verv well have accepted. The point that struck me most forcibly in the Attorney-General's speech was that all his references were to America. He had nothing to say regarding the union label in Canada. " He did not tell us that this subject was discussed for five months ' in the" Dominion Parliament, and' that, notwithstanding that, the Bill did not succeed in passing.


Mr Isaacs - It passed the popular House, but the nominee House threw it out.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The country is in a state of alarm about the Bill. As a rule people engaged in commercial pursuits do not take alarm for nothing. They are hard-headed business men. They see in this measure a menace to their industrial occupations, and to the ramifications of business, and their alarm seems to be based upon the experience of this kind of legislation elsewhere. The Attorney-General told us of benefits which would accrue to the community from the adoption of the union label. He referred to its successful operation in America, and pointed' lout that from the highest moral stand-point there was every reason for adopting such legislation in Australia. If it be true that in the interests of morality these proposals should be passed - if they are necessary in the interests of the higher development of our industrial relationships - why has the Government been so careful to drop from the Bill any direct reference to trade unions? Judging from the way in which the Attorney-General has shorn down his amendments, one would think that he was ashamed of trade unions. Why has he eliminated every reference to trade unions, and at the same time preserved to them every privilege? If the union label has operated in the direction of increasing the morale of the workers as a whole, and of preventing sweating, why has every reference to trade unionism been omitted from the Bill ?


Mr Kelly - I beg to call attention to the state of the Committee. [Quorum formed.]


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We are told that one of the main purposes of these provisions is to prevent fraud and piracy - to prevent other people from taking advantage of the labels which will be owned by the trade organizations of Australia. Surely we do not play at legislation in this Parliament. We do not reel off so many Acts without some objective in view, other than to make the people outside believe that we are a grand lot of fellows, and that we are doing them- a lot of good by our statutes. I challenge the Attorney-General to show the necessity for legislation of this kind in Australia, to show that piracy is proceeding, or that fraud is taking place in regard to the sale oE union-made goods. I challenged the honorable member for Darling this afternoon on the same point, and he mentioned an incident which had occurred in his own expedience. He stated that he was setting up house, and was anxious to buy his furniture at a union shop, and he wanted to be saved the small trouble of making inquiries at the Trades Hall as to the place at which he could get what he required. Are we to pass a Bill of this kind in order to facilitate the honorable member's purchase of his furniture? Dees he pretend that a little incident of that kind affecting his likings and his pleasure is to furnish a basis for legislation of this kind? I ask honorable members to show the need for preventing piracy of union trade marks, or for preventing fraud in connexion with them.


Mr Isaacs - Does the honorable member mean to contend that no association of workers should adopt a label?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Not at all.


Mr Isaacs - If they do adopt a label, how will they be protected, except in the same way that the proprietors of ordinary trade marks are protected?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - These provisions are being introduced ostensibly to meet a pressing need, and the arguments used by the Attorney-General, and by the honorable member for Bland, and the honorable member for Darling, is that they are necessary to prevent fraud and piracy. I call upon them to show that fraud is being perpetrated, and that piracy exists, before we are called upon to pass these provisions. If they can show me that fraud is taking place, I shall do my best to assist them in preventing it, and punishing the tricksters.


Mr Isaacs - If there is no chance of fraud, these provisions will do no harm.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is that a reason for introducing legislation of this kind ?


Mr Isaacs - No; but it is an answer to the honorable member.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is an answer to the Attorney-General. Is that the sole ground upon which he bases his proposals ?


Mr Isaacs - No.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I venture to say that a great proportion of. the legislation that has been introduced by the present Government, and by some of its predecessors, is not capable of being justified on any other ground than that it will not hurt.


Mr Isaacs - So long as the honorable member admits that the provisions will do no harmthey must be good.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not admitting it.


Mr Isaacs - The honorable member is admitting it now.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am doing nothing of the kind. I am showing how hard up the Attorney-General must be for arguments when he asks if his proposals will do any harm. I am heartily in agreement with all the excellent moral precepts to which the Attorney-General gave utterance this afternoon. His statements would have done credit to a professor of moral philosophy at one of our universities. I agree with him that fraud ought to be punished wherever it may be found. I concur with him. also, that it is one of the meanest of acts for one man to perpetrate a fraud upon another by appropriating his life's work, and that we should severely punish such offences. I do not believe, however, that we should legislate upon the off chance that something of that kind may occur at some time or other. We should not go to the trouble of introducing drastic legislation merely because fraud has occurred somewhere else under conditions which are entirely different from ours. If all that is desired is that goods shall be described truly to name, and that the individuals who produce the goods shall derive the full benefit of the conditions under which they are manufactured, those ends can be achieved by adopting the amendments proposed by the honorable and learned member for Corinella. The AttorneyGeneral will be met at every point, so far as his high moral view of the question is concerned.


Mr Cameron - I call attention to the state of the Committee. [Quorum formed.]


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If all that the Attorney-General desires to do is to apply a high moral standard to the industrial concerns of the Commonwealth, we shall all be with him to the fullest possible extent. I am afraid, however, that that is not all that is being sought for in the Bill. . I challenge the honorable member for Bland to show that fraud and piracy in connexion with union labels exist to any great extent in Australia.


Mr Watson - Does that apply to other trade marks as well ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member is begging the question.


Mr Watson - Will the honorable member point out the necessity for the Bill at all?

MrJOSEPH COOK. - I say that the union label is not a trade mark.


Mr WATSON (BLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Now the honorable member is begging the question. According to his reasoning, the whole Bill is unnecessary.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Not at all. In connexion with trade marks there is plenty of evidence that fraud could take place; but no testimony has been adduced to show that any fraudor piracy is carried on in connexion with the improper use of union labels. . The only case that could be cited was that mentioned by the honorable member for Darling, who told us that he had to go to the Trades Hall to find out where he could buy union-made furniture.


Mr Spence - I didnot say anything about furniture.


Mr Isaacs - I asked the honorable member whether he would refuse to give the unions the right to mark goods made bythem with a label.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I said "No."


Mr Isaacs - I then asked the honorable member how else he would prevent fraud than 6y making provision such as that now proposed.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I say there is nothing to prevent the unions from using labels now ; in fact, we are told that some of them do use them.


Mr Spence - I could cite cases in which union labels are being pirated.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is what I have been asking for. If it can be shown that there is any general system of piracy going on, I shall be one of the first to assist honorable members in stamping it out.


Mr Watson - Can these provisions do any harm?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is precisely the question that is asked by the Attorney-General. It is apparently being proposed to legislate in anticipation of evil.


Mr Watson - All that is now proposed is to punish persons who falsely use a trade union label. If there is no fraud, the provision will not apply


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But there is no reason why we should pass a measure of this kind in anticipation of fraud.


Mr Watson - All our criminal laws are passed for the purpose of preventing fraud and crime.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But our criminal laws are intended to meet an urgent condition of affairs.


Mr Watson - Our criminal laws are all of a preventive character.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - And also punitive.


Mr Watson - So are the provisions now under discussion.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Some of the unions now use labels, which are not the subject of any grave frauds. There may be incidental cases of that character, but I deny that any urgent need exists fbr preventive legislation. The AttorneyGeneral said that if persons wished to purchase union-made goods, they should not be subject to being deceived by pirates. That is pretty strong language to use.


Mr Spence - That is the whole point.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I want the honorable member to point out the pirates, to show that the public are being deceived to any great extent when they wish to purchase union goods.


Mr Spence - If the public are being deceived to any extent, surely the honorable member would put down the fraud?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I say that we have no right to introduce legislation of this kind, unless there is pressing need for it. We ought to occupy our time with) matters which are vital to the interests of the country. I did not quite follow the AttorneyGeneral when he was discussing the question of trade union legislation in, America. He told us that trade union label Acts were in operation in forty States and territories, but I was not clear as to whether the union label provisions were in every case attached to a Trade Marks Bill, or embodied in a separate measure.


Mr Isaacs - I think that they are separate Acts, but I do not think that is material. Unless union labels are trade marks, we have no power to deal with them.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I am quite prepared to believe that the Attorney-General is acting in perfect good faith, and that he believes that we have power under the Constitution to legislate in regard to union labels. It is a curious fact that in America, where they have a Federal Constitution very similar to our own, the trade union label provisions have been embodied in separate Acts, instead of being bundled up in a Trade Marks Bill, as is proposed here. I' believe that in the Canadian case the head of the Trade Marks Department declared that union label provisions could not be incorporated in a Trade Marks Bill, and declined on, that ground to register them. That was the reason why the Parliament rejected the union label provisions in the first instance. All the expert evidence was to the effect tha£ the union labels were foreign to the object of a Trade Marks Bill, and could not be incorporated in it. The same view was taken by the Commissioner of Patents at Washington, who said that union labels were not trade marks, because they did not include ownership. Shall we not accept the dictum of an expert who has devoted his lifelong attention to trade marks matters. rather than that of a Judge versed merely in the dry technicalities of the law ? I do not think that it was ever contemplated that we should meddle with legislation of this kind. The drafting of the Bill now before us makes it. very clear that the union label is foreign to the purposes of a Trade Marks Bill. If a union label is a trade mark, why should parts iii., iv., v., and vi. of the measure have to be made non-applicable to it? Why could not the whole of the machinery of the Bill be made to apply? The answer is that there is an immense difference between a union label and an ordinarytrade mark. That difference arises, first of all, with regard to the ownership of the label. The anomaly in connexion with this Bill is that while the worker is given a proprietary interest in the label, he cannot use it at all himself. He cannot attach it to any goods, Does that indicate ownership? The only person who can use the union label is the employer, who cannot own it. The employer cannot own it; but is allowed to use it, whereas the worker is permitted to own it, but cannot use it. If there were any tangible- marketable ownership which could be transferred, surely a man would have a right to its use without the interference of an outside person. Yet that cannot be done with a union label. Therefore the workman cannot own a union label in the sense that a man owns a trade mark, and provisions such as those now before us must necessarily be foreign to the genius and purpose of a Trade Marks Bill. I do not think we have any right to interfere in industrial matters, which- are expressly, placed beyond the range of our powers. Eminent counsel tell us that we shall lay up a heavy crop of constitutional difficulties by acting in the manner now proposed. The Attorney-General quoted the statement of one of the American Judges to the effect that a man had a right to have his special skill labelled as such ora the market; but the Bill does not propose to give a working man that right. He cannot use the label. That is left to another man, in whom the proprietorship of the label w not vested. Without the intervention of the employer, all the workman's efforts to put an indication of his special skill on the market must be futile. The Attorney-General has so tied the workman up in this Bill that he cannot move hand or Toot without the employer.


Mr Fisher - Is it not a fact that the arrangement must be a mutual one, and that neither can do anything without the other's consent ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I contend that there is no actual ownership in the union label. The Attorney-General went to America for all his illustrations, and I think it would have been better if he had selected some from British communities. I have no wish to set up in Australia industrial conditions such as those which exist in America, and I shall do my best to prevent anything of that kind occurring. Yet all the illustrations used by the At torney-General have been taken from that country-.


Mr Watson - Only in reply to the statements of the Opposition.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the honorable member ever gone to any other place but America for his illustrations ?


Mr Watson - I did not say anything about America until members of the Opposition had quoted some of the experience gained there. If we had not replied to the statements of the Opposition with regard to America, we should have been told that we were not game to say anything about them.


Mr Isaacs - I hope we shall hear nothing more from members of the Opposition about the boycotting experiences inAmerica.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - In the United States, such conditions exist between employers and employes as I hope will never be seen in Australia. If these be the result of 'the successful working of the union label provisions, there is every reason why we. should not introduce them into our legislation. The Attorney-General quoted the case of the cigar- makers of America, and stated 'that they were working under conditions which were conducive to disease and dirt. I doubt, however, whether the same thing could be said with regard to the cigarmakers of Australia. Unless the AttorneyGeneral can show that similar conditions exist here, there seems to be no point in his use of the American illustration.


Mr Johnson - I think we ought to have a quorum. {Quorum formed..]


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I challenge the Attorney-General to show a parallel in Australia to the instance he has quoted from America of cigar-makers sweltering in disease, living in rookeries, and under conditions of moral and social degradation. If he cannot do so, it is idle for him to quote such illustrations as indicating the necessity for union label legislation in Australia. Our cigar-makers have tribunals operating all over Australia, to which they can represent their grievances.


Mr Watson - It is not correct to say that they have tribunals all over Australia ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - We have set up a Court to -which they can resort if they choose.


Mr Watson - Some lawyers think it very doubtful whether that Court could be invoked, unless a dispute had already extended over more than one State in the form of a strike.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - They have means to hand for availing themselves of that Court.


Mr Watson - I hope that that is true, but I think it is very doubtful.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then the Conciliation and Arbitration Act is nothing more than a piece of idle machinery. I repeat that we have established Courts to accomplish the very purpose which the introduction of the union label is intended to achieve. I believe that in New South Wales recently the clothiers have had their grievances redressed.


Mr Watson - And one of the biggest clothing manufacturers in that State is persistently evading the award of the Court.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That has nothing whatever to do with my point. I apprehend that when this law is passed it will be evaded. My point is that we have already established a special tribunal to look after the cigar-makers, the hatters, and the clothiers, and in that respect those trades differ entirely from similar trades in America. We were assured by the AttorneyGeneral that so popular is this legislation in America that forty States and Territories, representing 68,000,000 people, have adopted it. But what are the relations between labour and capital which obtain in those States.


Mr Fisher - America is a country where there is great competition, which is the honorable member's ideal.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I do not think that it is. The honorable member for Bland and the honorable and learned member for West Sydney are constantly telling the people that in America trusts prevent competition. They declare that these forty States are under the thumb of the trusts, whereas the honorable member for Wide Bay, affirms, in effect, that they are free. Had not these honorable members better settle the form of their shibboleth, before they begin to proclaim it?


Mr Watson - We cannot furnish the honorable member with brains.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member has not been endowed with too much brains himself, and, judging by the speech which was recently delivered by his lieutenant at Hurstville, that honorable member has none to spare. Anybody can " mouth " about people putting children to dry breasts. I advise my honorable friend to omit all reference to brains.


Mr Watson - The honorable member is always offensive without' being aware of it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member would provoke a saint to-night. He is jumping up and down like a Jackinthebox. All I ask is, that he and his deputy should settle between them whether America is the home of the free.


Mr Watson - Free competition leads to the formation of trusts and combines. The honorable member ought to know that.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But if trusts destroy free competition, an honorable member must be wrong when he declares that the United States is the home of that competition. My point is that in the forty States to which I have referred, the relations which exist between capital and labour are infinitely worse than they are in Australia. That is the only test of the value of this legislation which we can apply. This afternoon, the honorable member for Darling told us that these provisions would pave the way to the establishment of peace and goodwill between employers and employes. Have they done so in. America?


Mr Watson - The big strikes which have occurred there are not due to the use of the union label. They had no connexion with it.-


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My point is that the introduction of the union label there has done nothing to prevent the existence of bitter relations between capital and labour. As a matter of fact,, in some of the forty States to which reference was made by the Attorney-General, those relations are infinitely worse than they are in Australia.


Mr Thomas - That fact only proves that the people in America are more educated than they are in Australia, and that they insist upon demanding their rights.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I am inclined to think that that is the proper view to take from the labour stand-point. The honorable member is quite consistent in urging that this class war should be made as keen as possible. That is the true socialistic view.


Mr Thomas - Did not the honorable member himself advocate that when he was the leader of the Labour Party?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I did not. I challenge the honorable member to show that I did. If he will look up my record - of which he is always talking - he will find that I consistently advocated the adoption of conciliatory measures. I believe in the worker getting a fair share of his product. The honorable member says that the true view is to make this class war as keen as possible, in order to force the workers to insist upon their rights. If I could see any chance of improving the relations which exist in Australia between capital and labour by means of the union label, I would hold up both hands for it to-morrow. It is because I recognise that to bring it into operation will only intensify that class bitterness, which the honorable member for Barrier so earnestly seeks, that I am opposed to it, root and branch. I believe that it will accentuate that bitterness, and increase that friction. It has done so everywhere else, and it will do so here. Its compensating advantages are small indeed when weighed alongside that bitter class feeling which it has begotten in other portions of the globe. It has always been my strong desire to bring capital and labour closer together. When I had something to do with the coal miners and coal proprietors in the place where I was. brought up, I had access to every manager's office, and I settled all disputes which arose over the office table, and I left the miners with better wages and conditions than they have since enjoyed.


Mr Poynton - That was in the good old days.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I stand precisely where I always stood. I never did believe in this later movement, and I do not understand why the honorable member for Barrier should so constantly jibe me about it. He knows very well that twelve years ago he and the honorable member for Bland chased me around my electorate because I would not subscribe to the labour pledge, which is the basis of the solidarity movement.


Mr Watson - That has nothing whatever to do with the programme of the party.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It has everything to do with it. All these later developments, of which the trade union label forms a part, can have no result other than to further embitter the relations which exist between the worker and his employer. For that reason I am very much opposed to them ever taking root in Australian soil. Whatever objects trades organizations in America may hope to achieve by means of the union label, we have other means of securing them in Australia. There is no need for this mischievous, meddlesome legislation. We have been .led to believe by some honorable members that the States Legislatures in America are all more or less under the thumb of corrupt persons - that they are invariably subject to corrupt influences. I think we may fairly be suspicious of the laws which are enacted by those Legislatures to which we hear such constant reference in terms of opprobrium and reproach. Whilst honorable members have nothing but evil to say of them in respect of other matters, they single out their action in connexion with the adoption of the union label as a pattern for Australia. Is it not just possible that these labels are manipulated for trust purposes?


Mr Isaacs - That suggestion is quite inconsistent with the literature upon the Subject.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Everything in those States is supposed to be under the thumb of trusts. Is it unreasonable to suppose that in some way the trusts have prompted this legislation for their own advantage? To-day the Attorney-General ranged1 over the whole of those forty States, and he could not find in any one of them such a tribunal as a compulsory Arbitration Court. He could not point to one in which Wages Boards had been established by statutory authority. I see no reason why we should adopt this Yankee idea here. In my opinion, if this legislation be passed the unionists will suffer in another way. Honorable members, I presume, do not imagine that there will not be retaliation on the part of the capitalists. Before today we have seen labour circumvented by the machinations of capitalists. We have known this sort of legislation to turn out nothing but dead sea apples, as the result of the pressure that is applied from without. Do honorable members imagine that there will not be retaliation upon the other side? Judging by the feeling which exists outside this House, I am of opinion that class bitterness will be intensified by these proposals to a very great degree. The final result will certainly not be to the advantage of those who are most earnestly seeking to place this legislation upon, the statute-book. That is the view which I hold very strongly. Time alone will show whether my fears in that respect are well founded. During the course of this debate frequent reference has been made to boycotting. I maintain that there will be boycotting upon both sides. Two can always play at that game, and it. is a bad business at the best. I was more than surprised to hear the honorable member for Bland deliberately defend the boycotting of capitalists the other night. I have never made any pretence of defending boycotting by the capitalists, and I never shall.


Mr Poynton - The honorable member does not buy from a " sweater, ' if he knows it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I do not.


Mr Watson - If the honorable member had been engaged in my trade instead of in the coal mining industry, he would have been a "boycotter" too.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I have always been ready to boycott the " sweater," and I would do so to-morrow. When the honorable member for Bland made the statement to which I have alluded he was referring to the practice of black-listing byemployers. He said -

Some honorable members have seen a copy of the black-list circulated amongst the pastoralists of Western Queensland. I have seen black-lists circulated in respect to other callings. I do not say that an "employer who boycotts is necessarily wrong in doing so..... A boycott is often justifiable.

The result of a boycott is always to stir up further strife In my opinion, when it comes to boycotting, the capitalist in every case gains an advantage, because he has the means of carrying on the war, whereas the worker has not. In another portion of his argument, the AttorneyGeneral said that this was not a case of union as against non-union labour, and could not be argued in that way. He said it was the case of a great body of workers who were asking that the same rights should be extended to them as were given to other trade-mark owners. If that be so, there must have been a strange modification of feeling amongst members of the Labour Party since this matter was introduced into the Senate. I recollect Senator Drake moving the insertion of the following new clause: -

Notwitstanding anything contained in this Part, no trade union shall refuse to authorize a manufacturer or .employer who adopts the rate of wages and the hours of employment fixed in reference to the trade of such trade union under any law of the Commonwealth or of a State to apply if he so desires its union trade mark to the products of the labour of the( members thereof employed by him or to the same kind of products of the labour of any employes not members of such union employed by him.

I am sure that I could' draft a better clause than that myself. However, its meaning can, with a little trouble, be discerned. It is intended to apply the benefits of the union label to non-union shops which have observed good conditions as to employment and wages.


Mr Isaacs - Was it not intended to permit the union label to be attached to non-union goods if the conditions governing their manufacture were the same ?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes. I take it that the main purpose of the union label is to insure good conditions so far as the employes are concerned. Senator Pearce drew a very sharp distinction between unionists and non-unionists. In that respect, he differed entirely from the position taken up by the Attorney-General this afternoon. Of course, that is a minor point, and I do not press it. One of my main contentions against this legislation is1 that it is a further attempt to " political ize " the trade unions of Australia. I am a strong believer in the value of voluntary trade unionism, and I hold that all the good which is being derived by trade unions to-day is due to their organization as such, quite apart from their political aims. I would further point out that in America the workers will not hear of such a tribunal as a Compulsory Arbitration Court. They will not allow the State to interfere" in the settlement of their disputes. Neither will the great body of British unionists. The great body of unionists in Great Britain and America would reprobate a man if he dared to stand up for this tinkering with politics, as we know it in Australia. But here a man who does not subscribe to the full extent to the political influence which is exercised by unionists is branded as a traitor, a renegade, and a "rat." That' is the great distinction between myself and members of the Labour corner.


Mr Watson - Only lately.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is not "only lately."


Mr Watson - The honorable member once believed in the unions taking political action.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) -I tell the honorable member that there is as much difference between the political unionism of the time of which he speaks and that of the present day as there is between daylight and darkness.


Mr Poynton - Did not the miners take political action when they returned the honorable member to Parliament?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I received the support of the miners, but the body which selected me in the first instance was a body of townspeople. Itwas certainly not a Labour league.


Mr Watson - The miners were behind the first movement.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I received their support, and I get it still. I do not think that the honorable member can take it from me, although I know that he would like to do so.


Mr Watson - I certainly would.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member has tried to do so. The miners are the best judges of my conduct, and I advise him to allow them to settle the matter.


Mr Poynton - They are not included in the honorable member's electorate under the new distribution of seats scheme.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Oh, yes, they are. I had intended to make some further remarks-


Mr Poynton - Is the next man ready?


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He is. The Government will not allow us to go to our homes.


Mr Isaacs - Yes, we will.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then I will test their sincerity by moving -

That the Chairman report progress.







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