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Friday, 13 November 1964

Senator ANDERSON - I presume that the honorable senator is referring to a recent Press report in relation to the industrial disturbance in plants of General MotorsHolden's Pty. Ltd. which commenced in Victoria. I sought from the Minister for Immigration a reply to this question when the honorable senator indicated to me that he proposed to ask it. The facts of the matter are that all migrants coming to Australia from any source are subject to a thorough screening for undesirable political affiliations. A large proportion of the workers in the G.M.H. plants in Melbourne and also in the motor vehicle industry throughout Australia are post-war migrants. In fact, the dramatic development of our motor vehicle industry would not have been possible without the contribution that has been made by those migrants. Unfortunately, many of the workers in G.M.H. plants - particularly in the foundry, where the recent dispute started - are recently arrived migrants who do not yet command a good knowledge of the English language or of our industrial practices and customs. Therefore, it was easy for the people who wished to promote a strike to manipulate those migrants for their own purposes. I suggest that this situation presents a responsibility for the trade union movement to educate those migrants in the very admirable system of conciliation and arbitration that we in Australia enjoy today.

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