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Tuesday, 2 June 1942

Mr WARD (EAST SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - I am not fully conversant with the facts and have ordered an inquiry to be made into the whole matter. I understand that a determination has been made by the Allied Works Council, but has notbeen submitted to the Arbitration Court; nor were the trade unions concerned consulted. In this respect there has been a breach of a vital Labour principle. The determination was not made upon the advice of the industrial officer of the Allied Works Council.

I understand that the assistant director of the council, Lieutenant Packer, was responsible, to a great degree, for the drafting of the determination.

Mr Blackburn - Why not the Director-General ? Why pick Packer every time?

Mr WARD - After the advice of the industrial officer of the council that the trade unions be consulted was rejected, he was advised that he would be transferred to a new position. He thereupon tendered his resignation because his advice had been rejected. The Australasian Council of Trade Unions has approached the Prime Minister on the matter, but I am not aware of the conversations that followed or the decision, that was reached. I make it quite clear 'that the trade unions concerned were not consulted prior to the drafting of the determination, nor was the Department of Labour and National Service.

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