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Tuesday, 6 August 1946

Mr BRYSON (Bourke) .- I feel impelled to reply to the ridiculous, and stupid statements regarding the coal mining industry made by the honorable member for Balaclava (Mr. White). The honorable gentleman displayed a complete lack of knowledge, not only of the conditions of coal-miners, but also of workers generally. He even suggested that miners should buy a few mines and run them themselves. If he had any knowledge of conditions under which miners have been living for many years he would realize that they could not jointly finance the purchase of even the smallest coal-mine in New South Wales. The honorable member doubtless finds that airy talk of that kind has. some appeal to the Australian Womens National League and other women's organizations with which he appears to enjoy some popularity. If he mixed more with the working classes of the community he would soon learn that the workers are more concerned with securing a reasonable standard of comfort than in purchasing a mine. If the honorable gentleman had sufficient intelligence' he could- rapidly familiarize himself _ with the conditions of the working classes and the problems that .confront the unions*

Mr White - I take exception to the remarks of. the honorable member, which I regard as offensive, and I ask that they be withdrawn.

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