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Wednesday, 11 August 1920

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .- I move -

That the following definition be inserted : - " Organization of employees " means the bond fide trade union organization representing the industry as recognised by the Trades or Industrial Council in that district or State.

The object of the amendment is to permit any industrial organization recognised as a bond fide union to be represented on the councils.

Mr Maxwell - How is it proposed to use the term " organization of employees," which, so far, does not appear in the Bill?

Mr CHARLTON - Other amendments will be moved as we proceed through the Bill. 'This definition is inserted for the purpose of making clear what organizations should be recognised in the appointment of Councils. The proposal is fair. We cannot have arbitration at all unless we recognise trade union organizations. The Prime Minister has said that this is already amply provided for in the Bill; we desire to make the provision clearer.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - Would it not be better to move the amendments which relate to industrial organization, and then, if need be, recommit the Bill for the purpose of inserting this definition?

Mr CHARLTON - I do not desire the recommittal of the Bill. My wish is to get the Bill passed as expeditiously as possible. If this amendment is agreed to, there will be no further discussion in regard to this clause. It has always been recognised that the industrial unions must have consideration: and if the principle can be accepted now, we shall have proceeded a good way towards .securing the speedy passage of the Bill. Every trade union that has met to consider this Bill has taken exception 'to the omission of any definite recognition of bond fide trade union organizations.

Mr Maxwell - Will not the amendment exclude other organizations not recognised by the Trades Council ?

Mr CHARLTON - If this Bill is to be satisfactory we must cater for those who are recognised as bond fide trade unionists.

Mr Gregory - But the amendment provides that the organizations must be recognised by the Trades Hall.

Mr CHARLTON - Recognised by it, but not affiliated with the Trades Hall. The acceptance of the amendment will facilitate the passage of the Bill, and will go a long way to make the trade unionists accept the measure, because they will know that their rights have been safeguarded. Our aim must be to produce legislation that will be acceptable to the two parties mainly concerned.

Mr Burchell - Does noi the honorable member recognise that there are some unions that are not recognised by the Trades Hall or Industrial Council ?

Mr CHARLTON - -There may be some such, but, so far as I know, all bond fide trade unions would be recognised.

The honorable member will not contend that a bond fide union would not be recognised because it was not connected with the Trades Hall.

Mr Burchell - That would be the effect of the amendment.

Mr CHARLTON - I do not think so.

Mr Maxwell - How can the word "employees" as used in the Bill affect the trade unions detrimentally ?

Mr CHARLTON - The trade unionists feel that the Bill should clearly define what organizations should be recognised in connexion with the appointment of the Councils. It is for that reason, and because I desire to make the Bill acceptable to the trade union movement, that I am moving the amendment.

Mr Maxwell - Does it amount to this : That only the unions recognised by the Trades Council are to come within the purview of the Bill?

Mr CHARLTON - All our arbitration legislation has been based on the recognition of bond fide organized labour. We desire to preserve that recognition intact. I commend the amendment to the Committee. It will make the Bill acceptable to the trade unionists; they will be able to form their Tribunals, and we may then have industrial peace.

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