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Thursday, 12 August 1920

Mr MAKIN (Hindmarsh) .- The manner in which the Bill will be received by the great body of workers in the Commonwealth will be materially affected by the way in which this- question is dealt with. The Prime Minister, in moving the second reading, spoke eloquently of the good work that had been performed by the Disputes Committee of the Trades Hall at Melbourne.

Mr Hughes - I am prepared to agree that the members of these tribunals and of the district councils shall be selected by the recognised organizations.

Mr MAKIN - If the right honorable gentleman is willing to recognise the trade organizations in respect to the selection of the members of these councils, why not recognise them in every case?

Mr Hughes - Because it must be the parties to a de facto dispute who come before the tribunals.

Mr MAKIN - If you recognise the status of the Trades Hall in the settlement of trade disputes, you must recognise that -that body is interested in the settlement of other disputes.

Mr Hughes - Does' the honorable member suggest that when they are not parties to a dispute they should be present, and that the actual parties to the dispute should not be present?

Mr MAKIN - So that the Bill may be effective, and the settlements arrived at or the awards given duly recognised and observed by the great majority of employees, it is advisable that representation should be given to the recog>nised organizations.

Mr Hughes - If there were a dispute between you and Mr. Charlton, would you say that Mr. Considine should be represented instead of yourself, and Mr. Riley instead of Mr. Charlton?

Mr MAKIN - We are dealing with bodies -of men, not with individuals, and there are registered organizations of employees which you are not at present prepared to recognise in due form.

Mr Hughes - We are prepared to recognise them, and it has been the practice for sixteen years to recognise them.

Mr MAKIN - There is a feeling abroad that the Government is prepared to give status and recognition to bogus organizations in preference to trade organizations. I have correspondence here from unions.

Mr Hughes - For every letter that the honorable member can produce, I could produce a hundred.

Mr MAKIN - Unless we can obtain satisfactory consideration for the proposed amendment, the success of the Bill will be materially affected.

Mr Hughes - I have given it all the consideration possible.

Mr MAKIN - The Prime Minister says that he is prepared to put into this Bill the definition contained in the Arbitration Act, under which any association of not less than a hundred employees concerned in any industrial! dispute may have representation. It is quite likely, however, that a body of a hundred men who did not really represent the views of the majority of the workers in the industry might form themselves into- an association.

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