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Wednesday, 7 December 1927


Senator REID (Queensland) .- I agree with Senator Ogden that the money spent in connexion with the Industrial Mission to the United States of America has been well spent. I have read the report of the Mission and found it interesting. Every one interested in the progress of Australian industries should read it. I do not, however, accept Senator Ogden's view of the United States of America. Only in the more highly developed industries of the United States of America do good conditions exist. Mr. Hoover, to whom reference is made in the report, put the position in a nut-shell when he said that the reason the American artisan produces so much is that he has 50 per cent, more power at his elbow than have the workers of other countries. It is not so much a question of men as of machines. The Australian workman is in a better position generally than is his fellow workman in the United States of America. I agree with Senator Ogden that the report will bring home to workers in Australia .the satisfactory conditions under which they labour. One must admit that workers in the United States of America do their 'utmost. They are encouraged to do so by the piece-work system which operates there to a great extent. They realize that that system gives to each man a just return for his labour. At one time Australian bricklayers laid from 1,000 to 1,500 bricks a day. I understand that in connexion with this building the average rate was 250 bricks a day. I admit that in the past the system of piece-work has been abused, but that would be impossible to-day, because of the existence of the Arbitration Court. Piece-work could be applied to industry in Australia without danger to any one. Every man who has health, strength and ability, and is willing to work, should be encouraged to do ais utmost. By so doing he would not only better himself, but he would also make conditions better for his fellows. I had intended to quote from the Mission's report, but I am precluded from doing so by the ruling which has been given. I can only advise honorable senators to study it. I congratulate the Government on its selection of the men sent to the United States ox America. Senator Grant said that Mr. Grayndler was not a representative of the labour movement. When he speaks in that way the honorable senator is merely appealing to the " Red " gallery in Sydney.


Senator Grant - I rise to a point of

Order. I submit that Senator Reid has wilfully and deliberately misrepresented the true position. I know that Mr. Grayndler wa3 not elected by the trade union movement of New South Wales. Senator Reid also knows that. I submit that his statement, which is incorrect, and therefore misleading, should not be permitted.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Plain).The honorable senator has not raised a point of order.


Senator REID - I am astonished at the action of Senator Grant in making a great ado about nothing. I did not say that Mr. Grayndler was appointed by the trade union movement of New South Wales. The honorable senator interjected just now that Mr. Grayndler was not a representative of the unions of New South Wales, and that he objected to his being described as a Leader of the Labour movement. Senator Grant knows that it was desired to appoint Mr. " Jock " Garden to the delegation. Mr. Garden, however, does not represent the unions of New South Wales, but only a 3inall coterie in Sydney, whereas Mr. Grayndler, as the representative of the Australian Workers' Union, represents unionists not only in New South Wales, but also in all the other States. He represents more workers than any other Labour man in Australia, and Senator tyrant knows that as well as I do.


Senator Grant - What did the Melbourne and Sydney Trades Halls have to say?


Senator REID - The noses of the men at the Sydney Trades Hall were pulled by " J Jock " Garden and all the intelligent unionists in New South Wales were expected to run after him. " Jock " Garden represents only the " Red " section in Australia, and our friends opposite would denounce him and kick him out of the movement if they had the moral courage to do so. Unfortunately, they have not. After the Queensland delegate, who represented the Labour movement in Queensland, was appointed by the Trades Hall council, the "Red" section got to work and asked that he should be displaced, but the enginedrivers and many other good unionists stuck to him. I support the proposed item, because the information which the delegation has supplied to the Government is invaluable to the people of Australia. If Australia is to be properly developed, the piece-work system must be adopted. I have worked under both the day-labour and piece-work system, and know that the latter is more advantageous to an honest man than the day-labour system. I have known men who have told me that they would get into trouble if they even moved about sufficiently to keep themselves warm. Many Australian workmen are not allowed to use their ability, and if they had 50 per cent, more weight, in the shape of machine power, behind their elbows they would beat the Americans every time. When I raised a certain point this afternoon concerning work in the Federal Capital Territory, I was under the impression that it could not be discussed under the vote for the Department of Home and Territories. As the work is arranged by the Department of Works and Railways on behalf of the commission, I thought that the Minister representing the Minister for Works and Railways would be in possession of the information I desired. I had no intention of blaming the Minister for Works and Railways.







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