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Thursday, 17 September 1942

Mr BLACKBURN (BOURKE, VICTORIA) - In 1926 a former employee of the National Union published a statement showing the election subsidy which went to each individual member of the Nationalist party or the Country party. The president of the Country party, then a member of the State Parliament, said that he could not answer for individuals, but none of the money had gone through the organization. Whatever be the case, I do know that the United Australia party in Victoria recei ves money from the National Union, which was formerly known as the Constitutional Union and that much of that money is collected from companies whose shareholders have never been consulted. In Victoria not all unions are affiliated with the Labour party, but those that are pay dues to it. They pay affiliation dues and contributions. If the union has more than 1,000 members, it pays an affiliation due of £2, which is the utmost that can be asked from it. In addition it pays an annual contribution of 6d. for each female member and10d. for each male member. That money is paid out of the general union funds in the same way as capitalist organizations make contributions from their general funds to the United Australia party.

Mr.Calwell. - The contributions by the unions to the Australian Labour party are insignificant.

Mr BLACKBURN - Yes. That is the legal position in the two greater States of Australia.

Mr SPEAKER (Hon W M Nairn - Order ! The honorable member's time has expired.

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