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Wednesday, 4 August 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- I do not think that what has occurred in regard to the measure so far is a good augury for it. This afternoon I asked that the consideration of the Bill - which is one for securing industrial peace - might be deferred with a viewto consulting those persons outside who are more vitally interested in its provisions than any others. That request met with approval from various parts of the House ; but now a majority of honorable members has declared that the measure is an urgent one, although when they did so they did not know what time was to be given for its consideration. Do they say, in view of the motion which the Prime Minister has just moved, that sufficent time is being given for the consideration of a measure of this importance ? We are told that the Bill is to do what the Arbitration Court has failed to do. The Bill which established the Arbitration Court was discussed in 1904 for some months, and two or three Ministries we're unseated in connexion with it.

Mr Hector Lamond - There will be nothing like that this time.

Mr TUDOR - No; because the Government has a lot of subservient followers, men who feedout of the hand of the Prime Minister, and say, " Yes, Mr. Hughes."

Mr Richard Foster - The honorable member says "Yes," to certain persons outside.

Mr TUDOR - I have consulted those people outside who are vitally interested in this measure. There can be no industrial peace unless the industrial organizations support our legislation. A Bill taking from them rights that they have at present ought not to be rushed through before they have had an opportunity of considering it. Some of the honorable members opposite have belonged to the Labour movement, and they know that the Labour organizations do not meet more frequently than once a week. Probably a number of them will meet tomorrow, or on Friday, but they cannot discuss the Bill then. Some of the members of the Corner party said when the Prime Minister was introducing the Bill that it was to do away with the Arbitration Court. No doubt those honorable members who are well circumstanced do not care how the rank and file have to struggle, at a time when £3 per week is not worth as much as £2 was worth five or six years ago. The toilers will find that what they have won is being taken from them. Yet you ask them to support the Bill blindly. The present Arbitration

Act is based on organizations, and there is not an honorable member on this side who would not fail in his duty if he did not protest against this haste to abolish it before the_ workers, who produce the wealth of the world, have had an opportunity of considering the question.

Mr Prowse - How often is the primary producer consulted before legislation is passed?

Mr TUDOR - The honorable member can speak for the primary producer. I do not represent a constituency of primary producers,- though when I have held Ministerial office I have always been ready to' consult them. This measure is not concerned with primary producers.

Mr Richard Foster - Yes, it is.

Mr TUDOR - Not as much as with the great body, of workers who are employed in other places than in the country- We were told , by ' the Prime Minister in his second-reading speech that it dealt with organized Labour - I shall quote his exact words when I come to speak on the secondreading motion. On the present motion I have ten minutes only, though fortunately I cannot be cut short by the closure. I protest in the interests of the workers against the rushing through of the Bill before they have had an opportunity to consider it. It is generally admitted that without " the hearty co-operation of both parties the measure must be a failure. If honorable members opposite do not vote in accordance with party ties, the Prime Minister cannot carry this motion. Under the circumstances the people who will be directly affected by the measure will have no opportunity to consider it as fully as they should if it is to be successful.

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