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Tuesday, 6 August 1946

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Clark (DARLING, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Order! I ask. the honorable mem her for Bourke, to confine. hiĀ« remarks, to the clause.

Mr BRYSON -I believe that I am entitled to reply to the ridiculous statements made by the honorable member.

Mr White - I rise to a point of order. The honorable member has not withdrawn and apologized for his offensive remarks. Now he is adding to the offence by repeating them.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN The honorable member for Balaclava did not object to any specific statement. While the honorable member for Bourke is entitled to proceed, I again remind him that he must address his remarks to the clause.

Mr BRYSON - I am endeavouring to do so and at the same time reply to the statements made by the honorable member for Balaclava.

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN.The honorable member must confine his remarks to the clause.

Mr BRYSON - I am criticizing statements made by the honorable member for Balaclava concerning the workers in the coal-mining industry and his specious plea that if the miners would co-operate with the owners the problems of the industry- could be solved. If the honorable member had his way the capitalist sections of the community would dictate the terms and conditions under which the workers would labour. We. have long passed the stage in this country where the workers were merely beasts of burden or the slaves of their employers. Nowadays employees are treated as human beings and the courts of the land prescribe the conditions under which they shall be employed. The honorable member referred to the housing conditions of the miners; but he did not suggest that the return for their labour should be sufficient to enable them to purchase houses in which they could enjoy a reasonable standard of comfort. He advanced the foolish suggestion that they should invest their accumlated savings in the purchase of coal mines. Does he know any coalminer who has accumulated sufficient wealth to become an investor in a coal mine? I am well aware of the conditions of the working people ; I have lived among them all my life; and I have yet to learn that out of their savings the coal-miners have been able to amass sufficient wealth to become shareholders in a mine. The honorable member spoke in glowing terms of what can be achieved by co-operation. Co-operation means joint effort by two parties, and there cannot be co-operation in the coal-mining industry unless both employers and employees are willing to discuss their differences amicably. In extolling the virtues of co-operation, however, the honorable member envisages action on the part of the -worker and not the coal-owner. In his opinion, the coal-owners, like the King, can do no wrong.

Mr White - Yarra Bank stuff!

Mr BRYSON - If the honorable member had received his early training on the Yarra Bank he would have a much better knowledge of working class conditions.

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