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Wednesday, 11 August 1920

Mr BLAKELEY (Darling) .- I cannot understand the attitude of the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes). He was not prepared to accept the amendment of the honorable member for Adelaide (Mr. Blundell) requiring organizations to register under the Conciliation and Arbitration Act before they could benefit by this Bill, because it meant that organizations which refused to register under that Act could not possibly come within the provisions of this Bill; yet immediately afterwards he announced that he was prepared to accept the definitions set out in the original Act. What is the utility of accepting those definitions if he is not prepared to accept the safeguard of registration? Organizations which are not registered cannot take advantage of the provisions of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act unless they are brought in by the exercise of special powers. An unregistered body can be brought in only by a special proclamation directing it to appear. The Prime Minister will not accept an amendment to require organizations to be registered in order that they may come under the Industrial Peace Bill, but offers to accept the definition of organization in the original Act. That means nothing. The most disquietingstatement made by him - and it confirms our suspicions and fears - is that he will recognise " scab " organizations. That is what we feared from the beginning. Apparently the seal of approval has been put on such an organization in Kalgoorlie. The only bond fide union operating there, so far as the miners are concerned is the Australian Workers Union. The other organization sprang up during a strike, as all scab organizations do, and they are generally subsidized by political bodies or by employers. We have, or had until a few months ago, in Melbourne a scab organization supported by the stevedores and the shipping companies.

Progress reported.

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