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Thursday, 3 December 1959

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - On, I think, 23rd November, the Senior Conciliation Commissioner did reject a claim by Victorian railwaymen for what was called a service grant. Shortly afterwards, some of the members of this union went on what is called a regulation strike. I am reluctant to comment on the observation of the honorable member for Bruce because, although up to the present time the railwaymen have not exercised their right of appeal, the time during which they may do so has not yet expired.

However, I shall make this one observation: The railwaymen cannot hope to gel the benefits of arbitration whilst at the same time retaining the right to go out on strike when their claims are rejected by an arbitrator. They have received very great benefits through arbitration in the last few weeks as a result of the margins decision. I hope that common sense will prevail and that they will work normally and accept the decision of the Conciliation Commissioner.

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