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Tuesday, 29 November 1927

Senator SAMPSON (Tasmania) . - I do not desire to labour this question. Senator Ogden is to be congratulated for having drawn public attention to the situation that has arisen as a result of the overtime strike by the waterside workers in Australia. Those of us who. have been watching the trend of events on the waterside during the last few months realized some time ago that what has happened was inevitable. I feel sure that public opinion is strongly behind the ship-owners in their present attitude,, because the people generally are tired of this annually recurring hold-up of shipping which year in and year out we have had to pay for in my State. The ultimatum delivered by the ship-owners is the only logical course which they could have adopted. It would be intolerable if outside organizations could make good their demand to interfere with the conduct of private business concerns. The Wateraide Workers' Federation was fully aware that in sanctioning an overtime strike at this particular time it would dislocate the shipping industry. I was hoping that the Leader of the Opposition {Senator Needham) would declare this afternoon whether or not he approved of what had happened and whether he believed in job control. I join with Senator Kingsmill in extending my sympathy to Senator Needham. I realize how awkward is the position iu which he finds himself. Even if the shipowners agreed to meet the Waterside Workers' Federation in conference there would be no guarantee that any agreement that might be reached would be honored. The ultimatum delivered by the ship-owners expires to-morrow. The issue is whether or not the laws of the* Commonwealth shall be observed. To that there can be only one answer.

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