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Thursday, 8 November 1956

Mr HAROLD HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) - It would appear that the source of the honorable gentleman's information was as unreliable on one point as it was on the other. As to the number of workers on the waterfront unable to obtain work at any time, it happens that there is a surplus of labour on the waterfront periodically, just as it also happens that there is a shortage of labour. It is because of these fluctuations in the demand for labour on the waterfront that a Stevedoring Industry Authority has been established to fix a quota for engagement in each port designed to average out over the year the requirements of the shipping companies. I do not think, it likely that those who have the prospect of engagement thereafter, and who in any event, when unemployed, have an advantage over workers in other sections of industry in that they are guaranteed attendance money on the days on which work is not available for them, would be looking for other jobs. If the honorable gentleman wishes to know where vacancies exist in other occupations the details can be obtained from the office of the Commonwealth Employment Service in Sydney. I can assure him that the general trend revealed in the latest figures gives no cause for concern about increasing unemployment in the Sydney metropolitan area.

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