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Wednesday, 17 October 1956

Mr NELSON (NORTHERN TERRITORY, NORTHERN TERRITORY) - My question is directed to the Minister for Labour and National Service. Reports suggest that Japanese interests have purchased the wrecks lying in Darwin Harbour with a view to breaking them up and taking the scrap metal to Japan. It is further reported that these interests have approached the Government seeking an area of land at Darwin so that they can establish a base by erecting workshops and quarters for the men who will be engaged on the job. I have received a telegram from the representative of the waterside section of the North Australian Workers Union expressing concern that, as a result of the establishment of a Japanese labour force in Darwin, this labour will be called upon to do work that is normally the function of the waterside workers. Will the Minister give an undertaking that no Japanese labour will be allowed to perform any task of handling materials, either inward or outward, at the port of Darwin, as practice over the years has established that such work should be handled by the waterside section of the union?

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