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Thursday, 12 August 1920


Mr BLAKELEY (Darling) .- I cannot understand how it is possible to do what is proposed by the honorable member for Wilmot (Mr. Atkinson). I have already stated, while discussing the Bill, that if the working classes of Australia are left to look after the interests of the general public, they will look after them much better than would some organizations brought into being by busybodies who hold their meetings in back parlours, and are responsible to no one, and representative of no one. The workers, most of whom are on the " bread line," are the general public. There are really only two classes in Australia - the employers and the employees - there being very few, indeed, who do not come under one category or the other. If the general public are given representation on these councils, machinery will have to be provided to select delegates to represent the public.


Mr Maxwell - Which is impossible.


Mr BLAKELEY - Yes, unless we ask the unions to do it. Who would think, for instance, of asking the Taxpayers Association of Victoria?


Mr Fenton - Who are they?


Mr BLAKELEY - Yes, who are they, and to whom are they responsible? They are a number ofbusybodies who are responsible to no one, but who have an aptitude for poking their noses in toother people's business, who hold holeandcorner meetings, and who have a great predisposition for " limelight." Then there is an association called the " MiddleClass Association." Whom does that association represent, and who are the members? Who gives them authority to speak on behalf of the people of Australia? No one. It seems to be the fashion in Victoria, and in other States, for half-a-dozen people who have " an axe to grind," or desire some limelight, to meet in Collins-street, or elsewhere, and pass ponderous resolutions which are sent to every member of this Parliament. I dare say that during the last four years I have received forty such communications from bodies which have sprung up in the night; and the last was that from the Taxpayers Association today.


Mr Atkinson - Would not the authorities which appoint the Tribunals say who should represent the public?


Mr BLAKELEY - There is no middle class in Australia - there is no general public, after we have eliminated the employers and the employed.


Mr Bell - What about the 32,000 signatories to the petition recently presented here?


Mr BLAKELEY - Probably most of the signatures were fictitious. It is such proceedings as these that prevent us from taking seriously any idea of giving to these extraordinary organizations or associations the right to interfere in business which is solely that of the working classes of Australia.







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