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Wednesday, 7 December 1927

Senator GRANT (New South Wales) . - It is unfair to compare the work done by Australian bricklayers with the output of American workers, because the American brick, is much smaller than the Australian product. Senator Reid informed us that he knows all about flooring work on the piece-work system. I also have seen that class of carpentering done by piece-work, and I know what happens. >

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable senator is repeating a statement which he made some time ago. His remarks have nothing whatever to do with the items before the Chair.

Senator GRANT - Senator Verran made reference to Australian bricklayers. It is only fair that I should be allowed to refute his statement. The Australian bricklayers-

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! If the honorable senator continues to repeat statements in this way I shall have to call upon him to resume his seat.

Senator GRANT - I am glad that this discussion has taken place. Honorable senators supporting the Government have failed entirely in their attempt to show that conditions in America are better than those in Australia. It is apparent that some of them at all events can never forget that Australian trade unionists after their experiences in 1891, decided to take political action, which is now regarded as a necessary complement to industrial action. Men like Senator Verran and Senator Ogden can never forget or forgive them for doing that. I am satisfied, however, that trade unionists will always return some Labour members to represent them in this Parliament. We have been told of the wonderful results to be obtained from co-operation and profit-sharing in business. That system has been extensively adopted in Great Britain, and yet no one will deny that to-day there are 1,500,000 able-bodied persons in Britain unable to obtain work. Co-operation and profit-sharing have not solved the industrial problem in either Great Britain or America. The latter country is blessed with a diverse climate, magnificent soil, an unrivalled system of internal waterways, and yet the workers in Australia would not willingly change places with the workers of America. Industrial conditions here are better. I, for one, am not prepared to accept the recommendation of the industrial mission in regard to the piece-work system.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Refunds ofRevenue.

Proposed vote, £800,000 agreed to.

Advance to the Treasurer.

Proposed vote, £1,500,000, agreed to.

War Services Payable out of Revenue.

Proposed vote, £1,168,358, agreed to.

Business Undertakings - Commonwealth Railways.

Proposed vote, £586,165.

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