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Wednesday, 7 December 1960

Mr MCMAHON - I have all too frequently heard the argument that large-scale mechanization or, as it is too often called, automation, must necessarily cause unemployment. The argument has always been specious and the conclusions improbable. Because of the decision of Mr. Justice Gallagher in the 35-hour week claim of the coal-mining industry, and also because of the statement by Mr. Justice Richards on his return from overseas that he could find no evidence that automation or large-scale mechanization did cause unemployment, I hope that this argument has now been exploded. I hope also that the claim for a change in hours of work will not be persisted with too much because I think it creates uncertainty in the minds of businessmen and, in the long run, works against the interests of the working man.

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