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Thursday, 12 August 1920

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN - The amendment deals only with the definition of industrial organizations, and not with the causes of industrial unrest.

Mr RYAN - It deals with the definition of industrial organizations, with a view to create machinery to be available to organizations to remove industrial unrest. If I am only to discuss the definition, without reference to the other clauses, it is impossible for me to discuss it intelligently. The proposed definition entirely begs the question, and gets away from the real evil. That is, that the causes of industrial unrest are allowed to exist, although they can be dealt with, not only under the power in the Constitution, which enables this measure to be passed to prevent industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State, but under other parts of section 51 of the Constitution. If the Prime Minister really wishes to do something that will effectively tend in the direction of removing industrial unrest - and I am sure that in this he would have the support of every honorable member on this side - it would be as well for him first of all to set about removing the causes which we know exist. One of those causes is that the cost of living 'is allowed to be high, through profiteering. If that cause were removed, and if also those restrictive and tyrannical measures-

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.Order ! The honorable member isgoing into a general discussion of the question of industrial unrest, and quite beyond the amendment.

Mr RYAN - I am dealing with industrial unrest, and the relation of organizations to it. Am I not allowed to discuss that question?

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.I do not think the honorable member is putting it in that way.

Mr RYAN - I am inclined to think that you are not construing the Standing Orders as they ought to be construed.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.The honorable member has his remedy.

Mr RYAN - I have my remedy, which I shall take if you invite me to take it. If you want that done, I will do it. In the meantime I am endeavouring to persuade you that what I am saying has a bearing upon the amendment that the Prime Minister has moved. It is a vital amendment, which goes to the very foundations of the Bill, and surely I aim1 allowed to refer incidentally to the main causes which we were told existed for the introduction of this measure. I am inviting the Prime Minister to agree to the proposals put forward by the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton) this afternoon, in preference to his own proposal. He will go a long way to show his sincerity and the sincerity of the Government by simultaneously taking steps to deal with what we know are the causes of industrial unrest. What is the use of our spending hours here talking about appointing Councils to investigate them ? It is like appointing a Commission to ascertain the best gauge to use on the Aus- tralian railways - a matter that was settled long ago. We know what the. causes of industrial unrest are, and we have the means at our hand of removing them ; but, instead of our endeavouring to go to the real root of the question, measures of this sort are introduced, with new definitions of organizations, in order tomake believe to the public, both employers and employees, that they will really deal with the question. I am opposed to the amendment-

Mr Gregory - Are you ' getting back to the amendment now?

Mr RYAN - I noticed that the honorable member was also opposed to the measure, because he voted against the second reading. I am opposed to the amendment because it does not go far enough. It is certainly better than the measure as it stands. It does try to fill in a gap, but it does not fill it up in the proper way. It provides for organizations which need not be registered, and which need not be recognised by any trade or industrial council. It contains a general provision that any 100 persons can come forward and be regarded as an organization. Apart from that, any one person can move a Tribunal. For these reasons I am opposed to the amendment.

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