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Thursday, 13 October 1955

Mr OSBORNE (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service a question which arises from the debate in the House yesterday on the need for certain safeguards in relation to trade union affairs. Is the Minister aware that one of the principal means by which Communists gain control of trade union affairs is to help their nominees to a controlling position in the federal executives of the unions, from which positions they can intimidate office-bearers of the State branches of the unions concerned with threats of suspension or other penalties, if those officers do not conform to Communist demands? Will the Minister consider the introduction of two democratic safeguards into the industrial arbitration system, the first being that no duly elected officer of a State branch of a trade union shall be suspended or removed from office except by the body that elected him to office and, secondly, that no trade union official shall remain in office without resubmitting himself to election at reasonable intervals, say, not exceeding three years ?

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