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Thursday, 2 December 1965


The CHAIRMAN (Mr Lucock

Order! I remind the honorable member that the matters which are being discussed in this Committee at this moment are not under the authority of the Chief Justice and that the Chief Justice has nothing to do with them.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON - Very well, Sir. Then I will not quote the first paragraph I had in mind but will go on to deal with the point raised by the honorable member for Angas relating to the furniture trade. The Chief Justice said -

An example of this kind of sociological problem was recently commented upon by Mr. Justice Travers of the South Australian Supreme Court when sentencing a Dutch furniture maker convicted of having unlawfully avid maliciously set fire to his furniture factory with intent to injure or defraud. His Honour stated that the prisoner appeared on the facts before the Court to have suffered treatment by a trade association which was harsh and unfair. His Honour went on to say that if a man was producing a good-quality article and his commercial practices were clean, his right to trade should not depend on whether any particular association was prepared to grant him the privilege of membership. Referring to the fact that the rules of the particular trade association there involved made a migrant to Australia ineligible for membership until 10 years after naturalisation, His Honour said " A migrant to this country is eligible to become Prime Minister the day after he is naturalised, and can get himself elected. It seems very harsh indeed that a migrant should not be eligible for membership of a trade association, whatever the qualities of his work may be, until 10 years after naturalisation."

What a shocking thing it is that when a trade association is permitted to impose conditions of this kind upon persons coming to this country we in this Parliament should be asked to abandon the proposals of Sir Garfield Barwick to prevent such practices happening.


Mr Haworth - Trade unions exist.


Mr CLYDE CAMERON - I am glad to have the interjection from the honorable member for Isaacs, who comes from Melbourne, because the honorable member will remember that similar restrictions are imposed upon people seeking to become members of the Melbourne Stock Exchange. Their religion and their race, as well as other matters, are considered and analysed, and unless they comply completely with all the conditions laid down by the members of the Melbourne Stock Exchange they cannot become members of that organisation. This is another example of the kind of restriction about which we are complaining.

I think the Deputy Leader of the Opposition made a very strong point when he said it was entirely wrong that we should have abandoned the original proposals of

Sir GarfieldBarwick to make trade agreement examinable. Of course they should be examinable. Having dealt with the furniture trade I want to refer now to the fibrous plaster industry in South Australia. I am sure that the position would be similar in all other States because the suppliers of gypsum are located in Melbourne and they would supply the trade in the other States as well. The suppliers of gypsum will not make gypsum available to any fibrous plaster manufacturer who cuts the price of the product. Can anybody justify this? Is not this a reprehensible kind of thing? ls not this the sort of thing we ought to be preventing?

Let me mention yet another field of restrictive trade practices - the liquor trade industry. In South Australia for years we were denied the opportunity of having counter lunches because the Licensed Victuallers Association, in cahoots with the brewers - and there is only one brewery in South Australia - decided that any hotel keeper who dared to put on counter lunches would be denied beer supplies. Is this sort of thing going to be allowed to continue without any attempt by the Government to stop it? Can anybody justify it? Of course not. Although Sir Garfield Barwick saw the wickedness of the thing, the Government has now abandoned Sir Garfield's original proposals to stamp out this evil practice simply because of pressures from sources about which no-one is prepared to speak openly. I hope, Sir, that the people on the Government side who claim to be completely free from party discipline will at least catch up with their consciences on this matter and vote as their consciences dictate. If they do that they will accept the proposal now before the Committee.







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