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Wednesday, 25 August 1920

Mr BRENNAN - Yes, it is my intention to propose the omission of the words, "which" is seeking better conditions." If honorable members will read the whole section as it appears in the reprint before them, they will find that there are certain prohibitions upon the right of an employer to prejudice any employee in any one of a number of ways. The employee is not to be injured or prejudiced by reason of the circumstance that he is an officer or member of an organization or of an association that has applied to be registered as an organization. That is provided for under paragraph a of the section. Why should we not give the employee the same protection under paragraph d as he is given under paragraph a if he is a member of an association which is seeking to be registered as an organization ? It seems to me that it would be only logical and reasonable to do so.

Mr Hector Lamond - The honorable member would prohibit an employer dismissing a man because he is dissatisfied with his conditions at all, if he is a member of an organization.

Mr BRENNAN - If he is a member of an organization or of an association whichis seeking to be registered as an organisation. A man is a member, we will say, of an association. He suggests to his fellow-members that they should form an organization and should register in the Arbitration Court, and because he makes that suggestion, because his desire may be presumed to be that the association should be registered with a view to an improvement of his conditions, his employer may dismiss him on the ground that he is dissatisfied. Why should he be free to dismiss him in those circumstances any more than if he is a member of an organization" seeking to better his conditions? The whole purpose of this legislation is to encourage men to become members of organizations. Paragraph a of the existing Act shows clearly that the intention is not only to protect him as a member of an organization, but to encourage him to join an organization and to encourage associations to register as organizations.

Mr Corser - Was that the spirit shown in dealing with the honorable member forCapricornia (Mr. Higgs) ?

Mr BRENNAN - I understood that the intention of the Committee was to do business. Evidently that is not the intention of the honorable member for Wide Bay (Mr. Corser). I am prepared to discuss the honorable member for Capricornia at some other time when the discussion will be relevant. It would not be relevant to this Bill. Incidentally, as the matter has been raised, I may say that I think the honorable member for Capricornia (Mr. Higgs) made up his mind to leave the Labour party, and it was a question whether he should be expelled or should get out in some other way. Apparently, he chose his own way.

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