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Thursday, 14 September 1911


Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I was speaking to this motion when the Senate adjourned last night', and I wish to add a few words on one or two matters referred to in the GovernorGeneral's Speech. Before doing so, I desire to add to the quotations I made from the Age another showing the attitude which that powerful journal took up with regard to the referenda proposals at the time they were under discussion in this Parliament during last session. On the 27th October, 1910, the Age published the following -

What are the objections? They are fanciful and trifling. They are based on the assumption that nothing may be done to take away any power from the States. This is at the root a mere Conservative fad. It assumes truly enough that in the States, buttressed against all Liberal reforms by their unrepresentative Legislative Councils, lies the security of the non-progressive party. Conservatism in its hide-bound cover is safer in the States than it is in the Commonwealth. It assumes, as Mr. Irvine says, that the Federal Government is dangerous. From this it follows that it should have no expansion of its powers. Industry may be crippled, corporations and combines may grow and threaten the public welfare, coal vends may organize in restraint of trade, but nothing may be done to take away any power from those grand bulwarks of the people - the Legislative Council. " This is an attempt to destroy the States." shouts Mr. Cook, and, of course, Conservatism shouts in chorus with him. It is, doubtless, quite correct for it to do so. It is in keeping with all traditions to abuse the broader national power and subserve the narrower one. But the people at large are looking on and noting the trend of events. There is no strength in the objection of the Opposition.

I need not weary honorable senators with further quotations of this kind. One might continue for hours quoting statements from the Age in favour of the proposals, root and branch, as put before the country at the referendum, while they were being considered by Parliament, and exactly opposite sentiments and comments published in the few brief days or weeks after the prorogation of Parliament. That alone goes to show the utter unreliability of the daily press as a guide to public opinion. Of course, I know that in some respects that newspaper is still a power in Australia, and a great many members of Parliament are frightened by any warnings or curses that may be uttered by it. That brings me to a brief consideration of the much-debated Papuan trip. It is strange that at first, approximately, fifty members of this Parliament signified their intention of taking part in that trip. Some dropped out for purely domestic and unavoidable reasons, some because, they wished to visit the Old Country, one or two because they - were ill, >and possibly others1 fbr equally valid reasons. It is a strange coincidence that, early in the month of April, the Age contained, not for the first time, an adverse article upon the proposed trip. I quote these words from an article which appeared in the issue of 3rd April. It: is in the same strain throughout, and this small paragraph is in no way wrenched from the context. The article almost winds up by saying -

But to charter during that long holiday on full pay a steamer to carry these free holidaymakers to Papua at the public charge is nothing short of a great scandal. It is ». fraud and acorruption.

And so on. It is rather strange that on the 5 th of April there appeared a list of those who purposed taking the trip. On the 6th, I think it was, the Leader of the Opposition in another place withdrew. On the 3rd May, or thereabouts, another member of the same party in the House of Representatives withdrew. A day or two later several other members of the party withdrew, and finally, on the 19th May, the last remaining member of the Opposition who had expressed an intention to make the trip also withdrew. This left the trip entirely to members of this party, with the exception of Mr. Wise and Mr. Austin Chapman, who, on medical advice, decided not to go.


Senator Blakey - Can the honorable senator give the names of those who promised to go?


Senator RAE - I cannot say to what extent promises were made, but the list of those who indicated their willingness to go, which I take from the Age, and the absolute correctness of which I cannot, of course, guarantee, includes for Victoria, Mr. Deakin, Mr. Palmer, Mr. Wise, Mr. Mathews, Dr. Carty Salmon, Mr. . Ozanne, Mr. Sampson, Mr. Parker Moloney, and Mr. Hans Irvine ; Senator Barker, Senator Blakey, and Senator E. J. Russell. The members of Parliament for other States who intimated their intention of going were Mr. Mahon, Mr. Finlayson, Mr. McDonald, Mr. Laird Smith, Mr. Chanter, Mr. W. Elliot Johnson, Mr. Roberts, Mr. West, Mr. Watkins, Mr. Jensen, Mr. Foster, Mr. Greene, Senator Ready, Mr. Austin Chapman, Senator de Largie, Senator 0' Keefe, Senator Chataway, Senator Buzacott, Senator Stewart, and Senator Keating. Out of that number, only fifteen, I think, finally went on the expedition. With the exception of Mr. Wise, the member for Gippsland, all were members of the Labour party. As far as I am concerned - and I am sure that my colleagues who accompanied me are of the same opinion - I am perfectly indifferent to newspaper criticism, because we realize that the first-hand knowledge that we gained by the visit to Papua could not have been obtained by any other means. It was in no sense a holiday jaunt or a picnic, because while we endeavoured? to make ourselves as happy and cheerful as possible, as men should do under all circumstances, and whilst we were treated with hospitality by the people of Papua, official and otherwise, yet all of us undertook a considerable amount of labour, and some of us were involved in a certain amount of loss by going right away from our private affairs, which necessarily are of importance to us. While one cannot pretend to obtain anything like full knowledge from a casual visit to a country, yet, by merely visiting Papua, touching at various points, and meeting all classes of people there, from natives to the highest officials, we did obtain, as I said before, first-hand knowledge of the many problems which await solution, in regard to the settlement and development of the country. We could not have obtained that knowledge by oceans of reading matter. I, for one, do not feel that I have in any way done an injury to the Commonwealth, or to my honour and honesty as a member of this Parliament, by taking part in the trip. Tt is a very curious fact that, though there may be good reasons for it, immediately after the appearance of this scathing article in the Age, nearly all the gentlemen on the other side who had engaged to go to Papua dropped out one by one, leaving it entirely to members of the Labour party.


Senator St Ledger - We could trust them as far as Papua !


Senator RAE - I am satisfied that many of those who withdrew wanted to go to Papua badly; but they were desperately afraid of the whipping the Age would give them.


Senator Blakey - The Sydney Daily Telegraph whipped them for not going.


Senator RAE - Quite so; these highly Conservative journals have not sense enough to hold a Caucus to agree about the attitude they shall take up. I am inclined to think that the idea which many of the Opposition had in withdrawing from the trip was that they might cast odium upon the Government and the party behind it. They thought that by dropping out they could make us bear the odium which would attach to this terrible transgression.


Senator Blakey - That is what they call fair fighting.


Senator RAE - Just so. As a matter of fact, we know that many of them were desperately sorry that they could not go; but, being frightened, of course they had to suffer for their fears.


Senator St Ledger - Is not that like putting up skittles in order to knock them down?


Senator RAE - That is a pastime in which the honorable senator frequently in dulges, and he is naturally inclined to attribute the same to others. It seems to me, on the face of things, that there was some concerted plan for putting the Government in a hole. It was known that a steamer had been chartered to convey forty or fifty members of Parliament to Papua. When a large proportion of them dropped out it was believed that the cost of chartering the vessel to convey the remainder would be so enormous that the Government would suffer in consequence. But, of course, the Government were alive to the situation, and, having taken economical precautions, they had merely secured the option of chartering the steamer, and promptly cancelled the order when they found that most of the Opposition had " turned dog " on the proposal. Leaving that subject, I wish to say that the proposal of our party to establish a Commonwealth bank is one which I believe wil(, meet with the warmest approval, not merely of our supporters outside Parliament, but: of the great bulk of the people of the Commonwealth who are not pecuniarily interested in the existing financial institutions. I hope, and believe, that that bank, when established, will be under nonpolitical management, and whether it is intended or not to put the note issue upon the same footing I really believe that that would be an advisable course to follow in the near future. The seconder of the motion for the adoption of the Address-in-Reply, Senator Buzacott, expressed the opinion that, notwithstanding the present large revenues of the Commonwealth, there were so many outlets for expenditure that it would be absolutely desirable - in fact absolutely necessary - to borrow money in the future in order to carry out Commonwealth developmental works. By interjection I expressed dissent from that view. I wish to give my reasons for doing so. I have been, for a large number of years, a strenuous opponent of public borrowing. I am frequently met with the statement that if a man who can get a good investment for his money, can borrow at 5 or 6 or 7 per cent., and make 9 or 10 per cer*-, it is good business for him to borrow. That, indeed,, is the only possible way in which a man-, can hope to rake in anything substantial.. But when such statements are made a parallel is drawn between a private individual and a Government. It is said that if a private individual may advantageously borrow a Government may do the same. But there is a very wide distinction between the case of a private individual and that of a

Government. If a person wishes to embark in any enterprise, or to extend any business in which he is engaged, there is no other honest way of obtaining the necessary capital than either to float a jointstock company, or'to borrow. But in the case of a nation there is this broad distinction. A nation or State has power to raise additional revenue by means of taxation in order to meet any additional expenditure required, up to a given point. I admit that there is a limit to the taxable capacity of any community. But in Australia we have in no wise reached that limit. With something like ^13,000,000 per annum raised through the Customs, and with the bitterly fought land tax imposed last year, bringing in not much more than £r, 500,000, I think that there is a very wide margin left to operate upon if we require more revenue.


Senator St Ledger - Should we not leave that margin to the States?


Senator RAE - I am not prepared to leave anything to the States which I think the Federation can do better. Senator St. Ledger. - I thought so ; unification.


Senator RAE - I am not going to be silenced by a mere word, whether it be unification or Mesopotamia. If I could have been silenced by words the honorable senator would have silenced me long ago. I contend that there are great stores of national wealth in Australia from which we might fairly draw in order to carry on public works. Take, for instance, the fact that we are. at the present time - taking the six States - considerably over £250,000,000 in debt, and that that debt is increasing by pretty rapid strides in all the States.


Senator St Ledger - .£200,000,000 of that is an asset.


Senator RAE - Of course, the honorable senator indulges in fine round figures.


Senator St Ledger - What I have s:.id is exactly the case.


Senator RAE - I will deal with that statement briefly before I conclude. But before doing so let me point out that in New South Wales we pay something like £3> 500,000 per annum in interest on our share of that gigantic debt. When we speak about the assets to be set against that indebtedness, we ought to recollect what Australian economists and public men seem to forget, namely, that we have dissipated a very large proportion of the assets which we originally possessed. They have disappeared, never to return. Some three or four years ago I learned, by reference to the Commonwealth YearBook, that the total value of minerals, including coal, exported from Australia, amounted to about ,£700,000,000. No honorable senator will contend for a moment that mineral wealth does anything in the way of reproducing itself . The largest and richest mine in the world has a limited life. Its value is diminished by every ounce of metal that is taken out of it. Our mineral wealth occupies an. entirely different position from that occupied by our agricultural resources. I venture to say that, up to date, the total value of the mineral wealth exported from Australia, including coal, approximates £1,000,000,000, and that sum must be set against the creation of other assets of a less durable character. With the majority of the people of this country, borrowing is a superstition. They believe that it is only by a system of borrowing that we can carry out national undertakings. But I would remind honorable senators that all the time we have been borrowing very little money has come into Australia. What has happened is that; our credit has been established to the extent that we have borrowed. As a matter of fact, side by side with the influx of loan money we have been exporting gold by the ton each year.


Senator St Ledger - Did not we get back something in return ?


Senator RAE - Yes; we obtained the credit which enabled the labour of Australia and the raw material to come together to construct our harbors and public works. This system of borrowing is merely a method of enabling the labour which is available in the Commonwealth to be applied to our raw material for the creation of wealth. The first loan floated by New South Wales was in 1842, when a sum of, approximately, £500,000 was raised for the purpose of carrying out certain public works. If those works had been constructed out of revenue, the country would not have been materially affected, because at the time, it was raking in enormous sums from the sale of Crown lands. Had that course been followed, and had the profit which accrued upon those works been applied to a works fund, New South Wales, without borrowing, would have had just as many miles of railway as she possesses to-day. In addition, the fares and freights levied would have been 50 per cent), less than they are. Settlement would thus have been materially encouraged. A referendum which was taken some time ago authorized the Commonwealth - as honorable senators are aware - to take over the State debts. But it has been found impossible to make such terms with the States as will prevent them from competing with each other .in the money market, and consequently we are now asked to make the Commonwealth a seventh borrower. Under existing conditions, it is impossible to propound a scheme for taking over the State debts, because the moment that we shoulder that burden the States will be at liberty to build up a fresh obligation without check. No doubt. Senator Buzacott will be inclined to inquire, " Are we then to hang up public works indefinitely?" I say, "Decidedly not." Take the case of the Commonwealth note issue. As the result of that issue, we have loaned considerable sums of money to the various States, and some ^4,000,000 or ^5,000,000 have been taken from the gold reserves for this purpose. If it be right to lend that money to the States, it is equally right that the Commonwealth should use any more funds of that character which it may possess for the construction of public works.


Senator Buzacott - That would be borrowing from the note issue account.


Senator RAE - To whom does the interest which accrues upon that loan money belong ?


Senator McGregor - The interest belongs to the Trust.


Senator RAE - What is the Trust to do with it? Is it to go on accumulating for ever? I contend that it would be perfectly sound policy to pay that interest into the Consolidated Revenue.


Senator McGregor - The Act will not permit of that being done.


Senator RAE - But the Act can be altered. If the interest earned is to continue to accumulate, it will, in time, amount to -.111 enormous sum. My own view is that that interest rightly belongs to the people of the Commonwealth; and, that being so, it may be very properly applied to the construction of public works.


Senator St Ledger - ls the honorable senator referring to the gold ?


Senator RAE - Yes. I presume that it is gold which has been loaned to the States. As the interest earned belongs to the people, we are entitled to pay it into the Consolidated Revenue, to be used for whatever purpose Parliament may ordain. If it belongs to us, clearly it is only a matter of bookkeeping for the Commonwealth to pay interest on any balance which may still be available, seeing that that interest will come back to us in another form. In regard to the Commonwealth bank, even if that institution be placed under Commissioners who are free from political control, I say that one of its objects should be to manage the finances of the Commonwealth ; and, in that connexion, we might very fairly use all the gold that is honestly available for the purpose.


Senator St Ledger - What would happen if the notes came back to the Treasury too rapidly, and the gold reserve had been depleted by loans?


Senator RAE - I consider that this Parliament committed a mistake when it passed the Australian Notes Bill. It contained a clause which, in the fo.m in which it was presented, was, I think, objectionable. But if a mistake was made then we made a very much bigger mistake in dropping the whole clause instead of amending it. It provided that the banks should be compelled to keep at their branches a number of notes of certain denominations on call, and would have been unduly harassing in that form. I think it would have been fair and just to compel the banks to hold a certain number of notes on call. I believe that we shall find it necessary to make such a provision in the future, if it is not contemplated immediately. I further contend, with Mr. J. C. Watson, an ex-Prime Minister, that it would be perfectly sound to adopt the Canadian principle of compelling the banks to invest a certain amount of their reserves in Government securities, and by that means secure what would be practically a. perpetual loan free of interest. These are perfectly practical means by which the people could have the use of their own money to produce more wealth by applying it to the construction of public works.


Senator St Ledger - Would the honorable senator build these railways with Commonwealth paper money?


Senator RAE - If I built the railways with paper money, it would be based on the gold reserve, which I contend we justly hold as security for the notes. No honorable senator has said whom the interest belongs to. If it is not our interest, whose is it? If it is fair to lend that money to the States at interest, it is equally fair to take any other surplus available and use it for Commonwealth purposes practically free of interest. As I have occupied a fair amount of time, I do not intend to pursue the subject further. I believe that if we are not going in for something more decisive, something very much larger than the members of the Opposition are prepared to accept, the distinguishing line between our Conservative friends and ourselves will be obliterated in the future. I am spoken of as an extremist, but that is simply because I have the courage to carry my political convictions to their logical conclusion. The reason of our existence as a party is because the old parties have juggled with the national wealth in the interests of the few, and we want to use it in the interests of the many, by whom it was created. Other persons may concern themselves with squabbles about Free Trade and Protection, which, from my earliest political youth, I have considered were not so much principles as mere temporary expedients. One may be good at one time, and the other at some other time.


Senator Millen - You live up to that creed.


Senator RAE - I do. If I thought it would do any good to the bulk of the people to vote for 1,000 per cent, duties or absolute prohibition, I would not hesitate for a moment to do so. On the other hand, if I thought it would benefit them to allow any article to come in free, I would vote accordingly.


Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - Did Free Trade establish factories in New South Wales?


Senator RAE - When my honorable friend, with that Protectionist maggot which seems to bite everybody in Victoria, comes at me in that way, I must pause. I am not saying that it did. I have no reverence for Free Trade, and never had. I certainly have no faith in Protection as a fetish, which, as held by many persons, is .going to build up a country and make it great and prosperous. It may do its share in that direction to some extent, but we know by the demands we have been making for some years for new Protection that the old brand has been a dismal failure. Whatever it has done to build up manufactures it has done more to build up monopolies, and very little to build up a condition of prosperity among the workers. Therefore, I frankly say that I have no faith in Protection, and never have had. But I have this faith in the new Protection, that, while it may not be able to benefit the whole people directly, it will do something substantial to insure that, while building up industries on the one hand, the few who get legislative concessions shall not pocket the full profit. I am surprised at Senator Givens advocating the old protectionist argument that we should first build up our industries, and then impose whatever conditions we please as to remuneration, hours of labour, and so on.


Senator Givens - The best conditions of labour and the best scale of wages we can possibly imagine would be useless if we had not employment for men to go to.


Senator RAE - Exactly so; but, all the same, I think that my honorable friend is putting the cart before the horse in using that argument. We have very powerful vested interests against our proposals for an extension of the Constitution, besides a good deal of ignorance. These powerful interests are very largely bound up with those of the manufacturers; they want to use the old Protection, but they have no love for the new Protection. If we first pass a scientific Tariff, giving them the fullest possible measure of Protection, we shall have every one of them ranged in opposition to us at our next referendum. Whereas, if we say that they shall get nothing from us until we have obtained the legislative assurance that the conditions we believe in shall accompany the Protection, even if they did not actually range themselves on our side, they would not dare to openly oppose our proposals at the referendum.


Senator Millen - It is a matter of electioneering tactics, then ?


Senator RAE - Call it what you like, I am out to win. I believe that, with such a set of principles as those which animate the ranks of the Labour party, we are entitled to win. and, if we cannot win in one way, we should try to win in another way.


Senator St Ledger - " Win, tie, or wrangle."


Senator RAE - There is no wrangling about me. If we do not win once, we shall come along and fight until we do win.


Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - Are you assuming that the importers will help you to win ?


Senator RAE - They have never helped os anyhow, and never will. I do not look to them for help, but I do not want to increase the number of my enemies. Senator Millen has referred to electioneering tactics and winning. Last night, by interjection, he accused me of favouring strikes, and wanting a kind of arbitration under which, if an award did not suit us, we could strike.


Senator Millen - 1 do not think that an accusation was made ; you made a confession.


Senator RAE - That makes the matter easy to deal with. Last night a newspaper published in this city pointed out the result of the great industrial upheaval in Great Britain. Writing on the nth August, its London correspondent said -

The position to-day is that seamen and firemen have secured recognition of the union, increased rates of pay and an additional membership for their union of 30,000 men.

Dockers have also secured recognition, have gained an increased wage of about 16 per cent, on the average, with improved conditions. They are remaining out until the demands of the other men affiliated to the National Transport Workers' Union have been conceded.

Stewards and ships' cooks have also gained substantial increases in their wages ; but, like the dockers, are still out.

Coal porters have secured better rates of pay and overtime, immunity from " trimming " work, and have forced their employers to pay " actual " railway fares whenever they are called upon to go to ships outside a four-miles radius, besides other concessions.

Carmen, who demanded a sixty-hours week and increased pay, ranging from 30s. weekly for the driver of a single horse to 40s. for the driver of four horses, have succeeded in getting a week of 72 hours, with a minimum of 27s. a week, and 38s. a week for drivers of four horses.

Lightermen, crane-drivers, and some others still fight the battle for better conditions, and with them fight not only the fifty-thousand men -whose claims have been settled, but minor workers such as the vanboys, who have succeeded in getting increased pay, and the fish porters at Billingsgate, who have fared singularly well, inasmuch as they have got their rate of pay per hour exactly doubled.

The article mentioned quite a number of other cases. My object in making the quotation is to show that, until we get an absolutely effective system of arbitration - one under which we shall not suffer from the law's delays, and take months and months, very often, to get a partial or ineffective verdict - until we secure a very radical reform in the sweated conditions of the workers, even in sunny Australia men will resort, whether I approve of it or not, to strikes as a reserve power. I hold that, whether it is in big political issues or in industrial issues, force still holds sway, and that striking produces better results than any other method yet found out.


Senator St Ledger - Do you think that workmen will ever give up the right to strike ?


Senator RAE - I hope not ; that is, until they get a much more perfect form of arbitration.


Senator Millen - It is not the question of giving up the right to strike which you were discussing last night, but the right to break a law which did not suit you.


Senator RAE - I think that the class whom my honorable friends opposite represent are the foremost law-breakers when the law does not suit them. It is simply a question of whether it will pay them to break every law under the sun.


Senator St Ledger - For example.


Senator RAE - Take the Customs law. Rabid Free Traders in practice, even the most rigorous Protectionists, have committed wholesale frauds in Customs House matters. That is not a thing which is confined to a firm here or there.


Senator Millen - They have not got any one to get up and defend them.


Senator RAE - I dare say that the honorable senator would defend them.


Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - Take some of the Pure Food Acts.


Senator Millen - All those, who are found out are punished and condemned, but you are defending every law-breaker.


Senator RAE - I wish to observe, without any unfriendliness, that I am not prepared to take lectures on ethics from the honorable senator, however much I would like to sit at his feet in political matters. Nearly every great reform has been withheld from the people until they have been prepared to strike or commit acts of violence in order to attain their end. Let me go as far back as my father's youth. Was the Reform Bill of 1832 carried by the House of Lords until it saw that the people were practically in a state of incipient rebellion, until riots and acts of violence took place? Again, was Home Rule for Ireland ever advanced to a practical stage until the Irish members in the House of Commons practically held up legislation, and the landlords began to fall like rabbits behind the hedges?


Senator Millen - It is merely a breach of the law.


Senator RAE - That is all, and in certain circumstances amply justified. If I. had been an Irish tenant farmer, and had been evicted, and my wife and children were turned out to starve and die under a hedge in the frost, I should consider it a moral duty to shoot the landlord on the first opportunity. The only question which would concern me would be as "to how I might get cleat away after doing it. I say that there is nothing in the English voluntary conciliation boards, or any other system so far evolved, to secure prompt and adequate justice to the workers. It was the fear of revolution in England last month that caused greater concessions to be given to the workers on strike than had been given to them as the result of appeals to sentimentalism for a generation before.


Senator St Ledger - The honorable senator believes in picketing, and in calling the police " hired assassins."


Senator RAE - What a man chooses to call another is simply a matter of manners. 1 am not advocating everything done by unionists, or the language occasionally used by members of unions. I have at times used language myself which I would not defend at other times. We are frequently challenged on the subject of picketing, and the treatment pf nonunionists; and I can make my position very clear on these questions in a very few words. Picketing is absolutely necessary in order to educate the ignorant, and make them acquainted with the objects for which the union is on strike,' that they may be induced to side with them.


Senator St Ledger - If it is accompanied by a little ducking in cold water, I suppose that is a mere circumstance?


Senator RAE - That may be Senator St. Ledger's opinion ; I have not said so In regard to the position of non-unionists, let me say that I have been actively engaged with unions for twenty-five years. I have held every position in a union, from the rank and file to president ; and I have never on any occasion used insulting language or bad terms, or attempted any sort> of coercion of non-unionists. I have always endeavoured to reason with them, to induce them to see that their interests and moral responsibility should urge them to come on our side. I do not suppose that honorable senators opposite would raise any objection to that kind of thing, but when we are at war for our just rights there is no time to argue. When we are perhaps on the eve of a well-earned victory, after having suffered privations for weeks and months, and seen the wives and families of unionists almost starving in their loyal support of husbands and brothers engaged in the industrial battle, if a few persons hired by the criminal agency of the employers, and seduced from their allegiance to the class to which they belong, come to the assistance of the. employers for the paltry pay offered them, and turn traitors to their own class, and the interests of the whole community, inorder to defeat the strikers, then I say that, whatever means the unionists findnecessary in order to win, I am prepared to back them up in them. There is no time for argument then, no time for peaceful persuasion ; and if we are going to be defeated by our own class turning traitorsupon us, we have. I consider, just as much right to knock them out of the combat, and put them where they can exercise no active force against us, as we should have to hang a traitor who betrayed his country. If a friend of mine proposed to give help to the enemy in the event of an international complication, I should try to persuade him to recognise his moral responsibility, and not to commit such an irretrievable crime against his country. While it would be fair to adopt that course in times of peace, it would be an idiotic policy to pursue when active hostilities had commenced. In such a case, the only thing to do with a man who is going over to the enemy is to shoot him. So in the case of a big industrial struggle, I say that the responsibility for violence must rest upon the employing class, who use their money to seduce men from their allegiance, and take advantage of the dire necessity of unhappy creatures to force them to serve their sordid ends.


Senator Millen - The honorable senator does not appear to see that to permit thai? kind of liberty to every section of the community would mean revolution and anarchy.


Senator RAE - It would not; it would mean that the employing class, being in a minority, would hesitate about taking certain action if they knew that the workers were determined not to be beaten in the fight by traitors to their own class.


Senator Millen - I do not know that they could shoot) straighter than other persons, if it came to that.


Senator RAE - Of course, each man must use his own judgment as to the risk he will take, and I do not say that unions should go to such a length unless as the last resort; but I do say that if ameliorating legislation and absolutely necessary reforms to preset ve what is good in our civilisation are refused, it is upon those who are guilty of the refusal that the responsibility will rest for any evils that occur.







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