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Tuesday, 9 June 1970

Mr SNEDDEN (BRUCE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - The answer to almost all the question is yes, but I could not leave the answer in that form. It is the belief of the Government that it is imperative to maintain the conciliation and arbitration system. Through this institution there is a spreading of the benefits of a productive society throughout all portions of the work force. It is very important that it should exercise a role in conciliation to prevent disputes and if the conciliation is unsuccessful then to arbitrate the disputes. As the honourable gentleman will know, I introduced legislation into the House last week which will give the Commission a new role in terms of the application of sanctions under the legislation. If there were no arbitration commission I fear that the community would descend into a state of outright collective bargaining. In such a condition 1 have no doubt whatever that there would be stratification of incomes not dependent on skill or social desirability but dependent only upon the possession of naked industrial power and I think that would be against the interests of our society and our economy.

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