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Thursday, 5 March 1942

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - After listening to the speech of the Leader of the Opposition (Senator McLeay), the Leader of the Senate (Senator Collings) can now have no doubt at all as to the reasons why we ask that this regulation be disallowed. We are quite satisfied with regulation 27a but we object to regulation 27b because it confers preferential treatment on the miner as compared with that applied to the mine-owner. Whilst the mine-owner is placed under the control of the commission, the miner is placed under the control of a committee of management. Such a system is obviously unfair.

Senator Ashley - The miners have been managed by the owners long enough, and it is time that they had a change.

Senator JAMESMcLACHLAN.That is certainly an admission. Particularly at a time like the present we should not allow any section of industry to dictate the policy of the Government. When the Government makes regulation in respect of the coal industry it is only reasonable to assume that it will treat both the owners and the miners on the same footing, and that the Government itself will be the only authority to ensure that the regulations are carried out. Senator Amour eulogized the Prime Minister (Mr. Curtin) for giving effect to this regulation. Our complaint is that effect has not been given to it. It was gazetted on the 9th January, but no action ha? yet been taken under it.

Senator Brown - Well, why worry about it?

Senator JAMESMcLACHLAN.Because there is not peace in the industry. Every Australian is aware that strikes are constantly occurring.

Senator Aylett - And lock-outs.

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