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Thursday, 2 August 1906


Mr SPEAKER - If the honorable member for 'Bourke regards the remark as offensive, I am sure that the honorable member for Parramatta will withdraw it.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I withdraw it.


Mr HUME COOK (BOURKE, VICTORIA) - I made a quotation from the records of Parliament - a quotation which can be verified - and if the honorable member for Parramatta- says that it is untrue he places me in a very awkward position.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The way in which the honorable member put it amounts to an absolute misrepresentation.


Mr HUME COOK (BOURKE, VICTORIA) - The honorable member did not say that at first. If it is a misrepresentation, he will have an opportunity of putting the matter right when I resume my seat. The method proposed by the right honorable member for East Sydney to effect an improvement in the conditions of Australia is not our method.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Neither did he say that it was his.


Mr HUME COOK (BOURKE, VICTORIA) - He proposes no other method, and the consequence is that until we enact uniform industrial laws throughout the Commonwealth, fiscal legislation will not confer very much benefit upon the workers generally. It would be all very well if the employers who benefit by the protection extended to them would grant a corresponding measure of advantage to their employes. But, unfortunately, we know from experience that many employers are too prone to take advantage of their workmen. For years I have been connected with the Anti-Sweating League of Victoria, and I have known many instances in which employers have not scrupled to take advantage of their employes.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Will the honorable member let me have the quotation which he made 'from the speech of the right honorable member for East Sydney ?


Mr HUME COOK (BOURKE, VICTORIA) - Certainly. I desire to build up in Australia a sturdy set of people whose prospects will be even better and brighter than those which are now enjoyed. That end can in part be accomplished by the enactment of uniform industrial laws, and, although I recognise the many difficulties which lie in the way of securing an amendment of the Constitution, I am net to be deterred from performing my duty in making an honest effort to improve the conditions of those persons throughout the Commonwealth who live by their labour.







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