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Wednesday, 13 May 1942

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon J Cunningham (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - The honorable senator is not in order in proceeding along those lines. He must connect his remarks with the subject-matter of the motion.

Senator ALLAN MacDONALD - 1 am dealing with an industry which is of great importance to Western Australia, and also with a very important trade union. I was merely pointing out that the union was not consulted properly about the action taken, either by the honorable member for Kalgoorlie (Mr. Johnson), or the Government, affecting the future organization of man-power on the goldfields in Western Australia. In doing that, I contend that I am at liberty to draw attention to the fact that there are many other avenues which the Government has not yet explored in its hunt for man-power. It seems that the Government is taking the easy way out. It is well known that the gold-mining industry in Western Australia is not subject to strikes such as those which occur frequently in other mining industries; the gold-miners are intensely loyal, and as I have said before they hold the record for the highest percentage of enlistments in the Australian Imperial Force. That, no doubt, is one reason why the Government has selected this industry as an easy mark. If these alleged leaders of the trade union concerned are so anxious to make a better contribution to the war effort, there is nothing to stop the young ones, at least, from joining the Australian Imperial Force. The same thing applies to other working miners who have expressed similar views. I contend that any honorable senator who believes that the interests of the State which he represents are being prejudiced in any way has a right to bring the matter up in this chamber. In this instance, Western Australia is being very badly treated.

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