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Wednesday, 4 August 1920


Mr MARKS (Wentworth) .- I deplore the atmosphere into which this Bill has been born. The world is groaning under industrial unrest, and Australia presents no exception. I appeal to honorable members opposite to bury that feeling of suspicion of the Bill they are engendering, and to give the Government and the House the benefit of their considered judgment and advice in framing a measure that will give us industrial peace. The president of the Australian Workers Union (Mr. Blakeley^ is a man who could, in this connexion, give us great help, and I am sorry that he should convey to us that he is not going to give the assistance we need.


Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He is not given sufficient time.


Mr MARKS - I am only judging from the' speech made by the honorable member, who threw the Bill on the table, as much as to say that he would have nothing more to do with it. Personally, I should have liked a little more time to look into the Bill; but surely, honorable members opposite, as Labour representatives, mixing practically every day of the week with those who are so vitally interested, know what their supporters re quire in order to secure industrial peace? If the consideration of the Bill were postponed for another three weeks or a month, would honorable members opposite know more than they do now of what is desired by the workers? I doubt it very much. If those honorable members have ideas which would tend to the improvement of the Bill, they can express those' ideas when we are in Committee. The Bil] proposes five tribunals before which the parties concerned in industrial matters may be brought together. The round-table conference is the only -solution of industrial unrest - the bringing together of employers and employed, and abolishing that suspicion which has always existed between capital and labour. Unfortunately, that suspicion is gaining ground and strength by the statements made this afternoon by honorable members opposite. Let us try to get rid of this air of suspicion. I am open to conviction as to the merits of the Bill, but it is certainly an earnest attempt to bring the parties together.


Mr Watkins - Do you think twentyfour hours is sufficient time?


Mr MARKS - It is not twenty-four hours, because the Minister in charge (Sir Joseph Cook) says that if extra time is needed later on it will be granted. If it should prove that the time allotted is not sufficient/ I beseech the Government to grant an extension, for something must be done in 'order to bring about industrial peace. I may tell honorable members that just- before I left England T got to know that £5,000,000 in the hands cf a few men was waiting for investment m Australian industries, but that money has not yet come here, and will not come until we have more stable Labour conditions.


Mr Tudor - Where could they get more stable labour conditions ?


Mr MARKS - That money is still waiting to come here; and this Bill is, I think, an honest attempt to create conditions to attract it. Capital cannot do without labour, nor labour without capital ; and I ask honorable members to restrict their speeches and. in Committee, do their best to make this an effective measure.

Mr. RILEY(South Sydney) |"4.41]I have been- waiting to hear the Treasurer (Sir Joseph Cook) give some reasons why this Bill is made one of urgency. What is there in the industrial world that requires its immediate application? Is there any industrial upheaval that it is required to settle?


Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - The honorable member for Dalley (Mr. Mahony) said the other day that the measure could not wait a day.







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