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Wednesday, 7 August 1946


Mr WHITE (Balaclava) .- In this clause, "recognized tradesman" means a person who was employed prior to the 8tH May, 1940, as a tradesman. Tt is not stipulated that such a person shall have worked, at his trade within recent years. He may have been out of the trade for many years. Thus, the status of a member of any of the 31 trades listed in the schedule is preserved, even though he may not have worked at his trade for years, and he is given priority over an air force fitter who worked on high-speed engines or on maintenance .jobs. Such a person must go before a committee iu order to prove that he is fit to be recognized as a tradesman, and on the committee there need not be one returned serviceman. There may be. a serviceman on it by chance, but noi; by virtue of this bill. This clause loads the hill against the servicemen. I regard the bill as unnecessary. It is a piece of skilful camou flage, and' this is the principal camouflaging clause. Why should a- man who worked in Australia at good wages all. throughout the war - he may have had good reasons for not joining the forces, but the fact remains that he did not - beable to obtain permanent employmentand full security, while the man who served in the forces cannot be immediately classed as a tradesman, and must rank second in priority?

The Government says it hopes that whole industries will migrate to Australia. We join in that hope, and I seeno reason why it should not be fulfilled, if we are sensible in our politics, and in our taxation policy. However, if thisbill is passed in its present form, the: position of qualified tradesmen from overseas who come, to Australia will not be clear. When he was .speaking, 1 asked the Minister to define the positionof tradesmen migrating here from GreatBritain, but he did not make the position clear.







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