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Wednesday, 7 August 1946

Mr HOLLOWAY (Melbourne PortsMinister for Labour and National Service) (12:59 PM) . - The particular class of worker to whom the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison) referred is not included in the engineering, boilermaking, blacksmithing, electrical and sheet metal trades, to which the bill applies. Those men have never worked in a diluted trade. However, that does not mean that they do not have rights under the Re-establishment and Employment Act. The instances cited by the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Holt) as the reason why the amendment should be accepted, have been grossly exaggerated. I agree that some borderline cases will occur.

Mr Holt - Of those already accepted for training, 50 per cent. would have been excluded had the restriction imposed by this bill been operating.

Mr HOLLOWAY - The men who are accepted for training have had some experience in the services in these particular trades.

Mr Holt - Not necessarily in the services.

Mr HOLLOWAY -I am sure that the Government has not departed from the pro,per interpretation. Take the case of a young man, aged eighteen years who prior to serving in the infantry, had been employed for a year in a machine shop, but had not been apprenticed. It is . claimed that he should be covered by the provisions of this bill. The answer to that submission is that the young man could not have become a tradesman in the ordinary course. He would have become an adult process worker. He was not indentured. When he desires to return to the industry, the committee will examine his qualifications. If it decides that he is 40 per cent. or 50 per cent. efficient, it may send him to finish his training. Otherwise, he will be entitled to re-establishment as a process worker; but he is not entitled to come into the dilution scheme. We have now discussed this matter thoroughly for two or three hours, but I see no reason to alter my original decision.

Mr Holt - The bill does not follow the regulations.

Mr HOLLOWAY - The employers, the employees and the chairman agree to this interpretation. I cannot accept the amendment.

Question put -

That the amendment, (Mr. Holt's) be agreed to.

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