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Tuesday, 16 November 1976

Mr WILLIS (GELLIBRAND, VICTORIA) - My question which I address to the Prime Minister concerns an answer that he gave earlier today in which he said that some union officials did not represent the views of thenmembers. In view of that statement, will he explain to the House why the Government has amended the Conciliation and Arbitration Act in regard to the election of union officials so that rank and file ballots for the election of union officials are no longer compulsory. Is it the Prime Minister's attitude that union officials are likely to be made more responsive to the wishes of thenmembers if they never have to face a rank and file ballot? If not, will he concede that having allowed union executives to take away the right to rank and file ballots, he is now in no position to criticise union leaders for not reflecting the wishes of their members?

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