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Official report of 1969 annual conference of Australian Democratic Labor Party (Victoria)

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_______ V Victorian Central Executive .






1. Retiring State President's Address.

2. Decisions.

3. Central Executive Members 1969-1970.

4. Incoming State President's Address.

J.B. Marmion, State President.

F.M. Dowling, State Secretary.




Address by the Retiring State President, F.L. Skinner (Lt. Col. Rtd.),

in opening the 1969 Conference of the Australi an Democratic Labor Party ,

(Victorian Branch) in the North Melbourne Town Hall, at 7 pm. on Friday,

13th June, 1969.

• Now that my year of office as President of the Victorian Branch of

the D.L.P. has drawn to a close, I would like to review the present

• political situation and to look at the likely political trends of the future.

The past year has been, in many respects, another period of national

indecision. The Liberal Government has procrastinated and developed no

realistic concept of defence on which practical long range plans can be

based; Australia is still tagging along at the heels of the U.S. rather

than, as their close ally, proclaiming an independant and national outlook

in defence and foreign policy, which is so patently necessary when one

views the latest trends in South East Asia. Australia has not taken any

real initiative in the development of a regional pact of S.E.I. countries

for their mutual defence and economic development. If anything, through

our hesitancy, our image in South East Asia has been somewhat tarnished.

On the home front, we have had little but empty words as far as

Australian participation in the development of our national resources is

concerned, or in the sharing by all sections of the community, of our

record increased productivity. The exploitation of local oil and natural gas will be of little direct benefit to the consumer. There has been no

increase in pensions, nor liberalization of the means test, no relief in

other quarters where it is needed.

The standard of education is not improving and States rights are

still being ignored. Despite the fact that since the last war we have

been riding the crest of an economic wave, we seem to be drifting almost • leaderless without a sense of national cohesion or urgency. Industrial stoppages under the leadership of the extreme left wing are increasing.

Rebelliousness in universities threatens to disrupt the studies of the great majority of students.And all this under Liberal governments.

On the left of the political spectrum, the A.L.P., still heavily

influenced by the Communist dominated unions, is sliding even further

into the abyss of internal dissension and political incompetence at a

time when the country so badly needs a competent opposition to challenge the government.

../ . •


Why is it ,that :the wo principal political parties in Australia are

incapable of providing the leadership and administration that is so urgently

ri eded, In some measure the cause'rnust]ie' in the nature and bases of those two parties.

Historically the Liberal Party was formed around the Parliamentary Party

as the power base. The party machine was formed as a subservient entity to

provide funds, rally support and to introduce replacement members into the

Parliamentary party,. All policy is made by the Parliamentary party over

which the party as a whole has little or no influence,

Members of the Liberal Party appear to be drawn largely from that

section of the community who have managed to get their share of the cake, or

from those who like to pretend they have. There is snob value in being a Liberal. Accordingly, as a general rule, they lack a sense of idealism and

desire to make Au6 tralia a better country for all Australians. They are conservative, they believe in the preservation of the status quo and are

therefore complacent. And this complacency is the great weakness in any Liberal government.

Because of these weaknesses in the very nature of the party, and because

of its 19th century outlook, it has not and probably will not, be able to

provide the necessary leadership or vision to cope with everyday national

problems or with crises which have and will continue to occur. With its 19th century origins and outlook, it is out of tune with the latter half . of the 20th century.

Likewise the ALP has failed because of its background and basis. .It was

the legitimate offspring of the necessary marriage of industrial oppression,

and social and economic need. But the causes of this marriage are gradually disappearing in an affluent society. The inflexibility and conservatism of the ALP cause it to retain its 1930 depression outlook. . This mood is out

of date when one considers that nearly 50% of unionists do not vote, forthe

ALP. Not for one moment am.I suggesting that all is well in industrial and social matters. Injustices still exist but in forms different from those of

.pre—war days and their solutions need a different approach.

The base of the ALP is the unions, which, in Victoria, provide about

80% of the delegates to the ALP State Conference, which is the decision making body.. As many. of the unions are communist controlled, it is only natural that the State Conference is communist influenced also, As long as any. Labour, Party has the majority of its base in the trade unions, it is

likely to become the instrument of the Communist party.

../. .


It would appear that, without a major revolt in the ALP, which now seems

most improbable, its present extreme left wing control will remain. The

existing left wing ALP executive would not be keen to reduce the large

union representation at State Conference and in doing so, put itself out of

office. The system, with all its weaknesses and dangers, has become self-perpetuating. And this perpetuity is carried on to the Parliamentary party,

the members of which are selected by the pro-communist Victorian executive, and

are subservient to them in all matters of policy. The left wing is very

strong in the Federal Parliamentary party, is dominant in some State parties

and exercises a strong influence in some local governments. Through its

propaganda and activities, which are often designed to appeal to emotion

rather than to reason, it attracts certain sections of people and its

influence on the community is considerable. It is probably here to stay in

some form or other, and all that can be done is to reduce its size and

effectiveness by isolating it from the community.

If a political party is to be regarded as a national party and to be of

real value in a democracy, it should embrace and represent most sections of the

community. In this respect both the Liberal party and the A.L.P. fail.

Generally speaking the image of the politician is very poor. Perhaps

this is because too many of them are typical products of the Liberal party and

the A.L.P. But what qualities should members of Parliament possess? In a

democracy, they should collectively represent most sections and view points in

the community. They do not all have to be of ministerial ability. In fact

this would be undesirable. There must be, of course, a reasonably large

reservoir in major parties of members who could with distinction fill

ministerial posts, but at the same time there is a definite role for the

back-bencher. By penetrating criticism and contribution in debate and by

keeping the party in touch with the electorate, he can keep cabinet or the

shadow-cabinet, on its toes. The back-bencher must be a man of sound

commonsense, independence of mind, possessing some degree of idealism,

pragmatic but incorruptible of principle, able to make contributions in debate

• and sound decisions on questions put to him, and not the least, able to select the right men for leadership.Above all, he must at all times be prepared to • put the welfare of his country before his party and himself.

In its selection of Senators, the DLP has been singularly wise and

successful, and we must now be quite sure that the first DLP members in a

lower house measure up to the high standards required.

In the past, it has been apparent that considerable pressure has been

applied to many professional polticians, that is, to those who have no

outside income or ready employment should they lose their seat in Parliament.

Some have sold their principles for their jobs. To overcome this danger,

s e / e . •


perhaps some arrangement could be made for defeated politicians to be given

some appropriate appointment in the Public Service.

If Australia wants the services of the best men in Parliament, it is

certain that we must be prepared to compete for them on the open market. They

have the biggest job in the country. We should pay them accordingly and demand full value from them. Perhaps objections to increased Parliamentary salaries would be modified if an independent authority were to recommend to

Parliament an appropriate scale of Parliamentary salaries.

In Australia there is considerable support for a two party system of government. This support may be more historic than pragmatic.

A two-party system can work well when each of those two parties represents

in some measure a reasonable cross section of the community. But when they do not and are poles apart ideologically, the systems break down. In the centre a political vacuum occurs, and this is the area in which most people, being moderates, are interested. Such vacuums exist in Australia, and sooner or later the people themselves will see that they are filled.

The two-party system has broken down, not only because the middle of the

road is unsatisfactorily represented but also because the left wing party has lost its democratic principle. It is more interested in imposing its left wing policies on the community rather than in allowing the community to choose its own path.

Whether people like it or not, the incompetence of the two major parties

has ensured that a multi-party system is here to stay.

Where does the DLP fit into this situation, and what is its future?

The image of the DLP depicted by our political adversaries and by the

grace and favour of the Press, is a sectarian one. But there is a great difference between a Catholic party and a party which includes many Catholics

in its ranks - a difference quite discernible to those who examine, but

indiscernible to those who do not wish to see. This image has often been portrayed with dishonest intent. As an example, during an election campaign on the few occasions on which the DLP and its candidate received

press publicity, it was adverse, and the sectarian image was drawn. But this was more consistent with newspaper policy than with the private opinion of the journalists covering the election.

My own experience in the party tells me quite clearly that the party

members and supporters are genuinely very concerned that the party must be

political and non sectarian and be representative of all sections in the community.


../. .


The people of Australia want.a centre of the road party, and whether

they know it or not, the DLP is the nearest to filling this role. But to

be a completely national party we must continue striving to be representative

of all sections of the community. Only in this way can we adequately provide

for the needs of all the people.

In the last year we have seen the DLP adapt itself to the changed

political situation in Canberra.

The party showed that its Senators, its executives and its members,

are not living in the past but are ever vigilant, particularly on matters

of defence and security.

With forward looking leadership, and supported by the increasing number

of younger members who are pursuing new ideas for new situations, we can

confidently look to the future.

We must all make our contributions so that the party can fulfill its

role of pacemaker, with distinctive policies and attitudes designed to bring

a greater measure of prosperity and security to all Australians.

We must adapt ourselves to the constantly changing political situation

in our region, and through the promotion of our economic, foreign and

defence policies, which are based on our own independance and self reliance,

help to increase social and economic standards, and the development of

democratic institutions in the nations of South East Asia.

One thing is certain. The DLP is more concerned with Australia's

welfare than with party advancement. We want progress as.a party because

we feel that this is one way of advancing Australia's interests. Should

either of the major parties have changed their basis and had become a

competent government, there may have been little need for a DLP. But as • it happens there has been a great .need for the DLP. Our continued pressure on the government for sensible and necessary decisions, and the part played

• by our four Senators, have been valuable in promoting Australia's interests.

The DLP has demonstrated that it can exist and grow. No longer is

there talk of withering on the vine. For us the tide turned in the last

Senate elections. We have more than held our own in the Bendigo by-election

despite the fact that in the past we have usually lost votes in by-elections.

If we can make further gains in the next two House of Representatives

elections, we will be, without doubt, on the road to Parliamentary success.

This will be ensured by the same loyal devotion of our old supporters and

of our ever increasing numbers of new supporters.

../. .


• The DLP places Australia's security first, closely followed by economic development which provides the means for an equitable share in the fruits

of our labours for all those who live in this lucky country.




The DLP is aware that Communist forces in the trade union movement have been endeavouring for some time to win support from many non-Communist trade union leaders, for a campaign of direct action against the so-called 'penal clauses' of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act.

The DLP points out the following facts in the face of the recent unrest.

There are many trade unions which understandably oppose the present procedure which permits what the ACTU has described as "capricious use" of the provisions by employers.

The foolish, action of some employers has enabled those who want to destroy the arbitration system, to undermine unionists' confidence in it.

The DLP has urged the Federal Government to meet genuine objections to the present system by amendments designed to -(a) Ensure that genuine negotiation takes place, and that penal powers be exercised as a last resort in exceptional circumstances.

(b) Refuse an order until a party to a dispute shows that it has taken appropriate action to negotiate and that its actions are not contributing to the dispute.

(c) Differentiate between unions genuinely trying to resolve a dispute and get a resumption of work, and those unions which are deliberately creating or encouraging unrest.

The present wave of unrest had its beginnings in the call by. Mr. L. Aaron , National Secretary of the Communist Party of Australia, for a confrontation between unions and government on the penal powers, so that "a new stage of industrial struggle, may emerge in which the arbitration system itself is

challenged". (Communist Tribune, 21,1.1969).

The Left Action Conference .

The "Left Action Conference" held in Sydney over Easter, which was convened by the Communist Party of Australia, likewise was used to seek to impose the Communist Party's plan upon the Trade Union Movement despite the fact that it is contrary to A.C.T.U. Congress policy determined in 1965 and despite the very clear statement of the President of the A.C.T.U. as to what that policy was

(Victorian Labor Day Dinner, 8th March, 1969).

The most significant statement was made by Mr. L. Carmichael, the Communist Secretary of the A.E.U. He said - "The left must not rely on reaching agreement with those who had no intention of reaching agreement unless forced into it. It must rely on the forces of the militant workers and their capacity to link up with the less militant section". (Communist Tribune, 1969).

It was interesting to see how this was done.

It involved unions becoming engaged in strike action, leading to fines being imposed, a refusal of the unions to pay, the fines, action against union officials as a result, leading to a general "confrontation" having as its final objective the destruction of the whole arbitration system.

The arrest of the Communist Secretary of the Tramways Union was deliberately engineered, and immediately it took place the 27 renegade unions by-passed the Victorian Trades Hall Council, and the ACTU,and contrary to expressed ACTU policy, organised nation-wide strikes.

Only a comparative handful of unionists had an opportunity to vote on the strike action.

In nearly all cases the union officials simply ordered the strike without rank and file consultation.

Yet, these unofficial stoppages, unsupported by the public or the members of the unions, nearly brought Australia to a standstill. Communist control' of key unions in transport, power 'and industry, made this possible.


Decision 1 (cont)

It should be realised that the present campaign of the Communist Party has as its objectives -* The destruction of the arbitration system by removing the so-called penal clause, or by having the Act repealed altogether.

* Widespread industrial stoppages so that the September ACTU Congress will meet in an atmosphere of anarchy with unions and government locked in confrontation, giving the Communists their best chance of taking complete control of the ACTU.

* Use of the official trade union movement and the threat of massive stoppages, to bludgeon the elected government into accepting changed foreign and defence policies, e g. refusal of shipment of troops, arms or supplies to Vietnam.

* Achievement of direct political power because control of the trade union movement in Australia automatically leads to control of.theA.L.P.

The DLP therefore calls on all unionists to recognise the -dangers in'-the present upheaval, and to oppose the present Communist inspired . program in the unions, particularly in the Victorian Trades Hall Council and in the ACTU.

The Party calls on all members to acquaint themselves with all of the facts and to lead the campaign to seek necessary reforms but not the repeal of the so-called penal power of the Arbitration Act.

Conference therefore resolves -The Democratic Labor Party, whilst re-affirming its support for the tention of the system of conciliation and arbitration in industrial relationships, urges that the provisions of Sections 109 and 111 be amended in the light of their operation and application over the years.

In particular, it urges that the Conciliation and Arbitration Act be amended so as to provide

(a) That the Commonwealth Industrial Court shall not have power to award costs under Sections 109 and 111.

(b) That the Court shall not make any order under either Section 109 or Section 111 unless the party seeking the order has satisfied the Court that its conduct has not been responsible for the industrial situation giving rise to the application and that such party has taken all reasonable steps to avoid, terminate, or limit, any stoppage. (c) That it shall be a defence to any action brought tinder either Section

if an organisation can show that all reasonable action was taken by it to prevent the stoppage or its continuation.

(d) That the ruling of the Court that each day of a stoppage shall constitute } a separate contempt in Section 111 proceedings be terminated. (e) That the readiness of the Court to grant employers application to bring on matters for hearing with less than the two days' notice provided in

the Rules, be severely restricted.

(f) That the practice of the Court of making a Union responsible for the actions of its members shall be made subject to the defence of the Union that it has taken all steps that could reasonably be expected in the matter.

(g) That the hearing of any Section 109 or Section 111 matter shall take place in the State where it occurred.


That Conference expresses d-- p concern at the growing financial hardship endured by many Australian families.

We protest at the steadily falling purchasing power of family allowances, which year by year is forcing more and more breadwinners into continual overtime, or into two jobs, and in many cases is forcing mothers to seek employment.


Decision 2. (Cont) Recognising that our wage system does not protect families, we point out that the extra needs of the family man can only be met by increased family allowances.

We condemn the Federal government which has taken no remedial action whilst inflation and rising prices have year by year reduced the real value of child endowment and maternity allowances.

We draw attention to the following facts -* In 1948, a family man with four children received an additional 25% of the basic wage to help him meet his extra responsibilities.

* In 1969,. a family man with four children received an additional 13% of the minimum wage in endowment, which is about half of what he received in 1948.

* Maternity allowances have not been increased since 1943, despite the fact that wages and prices have risen more than three fold.

* The DLP believes that our present day expanding and prosperous economy can afford family allowances at the very least equal to the value of these allowances 25 years ago.

Accordingly, Conference calls on the Federal government, as a matter of great urgency, to increase family allowances in the coming Federal budget, on the following scale -Double existing child endowment for all children after the second.

Thus the amount for the third child would increase from , $1.50 to:,.. $3.00, fourth child from $1.75 to 13.50, the fifth child from $2.00 to $4.00, a:_.. so on.

* Restore the real value of maternity allowances by increasing the payments to an amount commensurate with the increases .in wages since 1943, when the allowances were last increased. Thus maternity allowances for the first baby would rise from $30 to $95, the second and third babies from $32 to $100, and for the fourth and later babies from $35 to $105. In the event of multiple births, we request that the full allowance be paid for each child.


So that people experiencing the severe, problem of debt and its far. reaching social consequences can be assisted, it is urged that an organisation be established or provision be made in a government department to help eligible applicants, particularly family people; to arrange adequate schemes of repayment where they are under pressure from multiple creditors and where

the applicant is unable to cope under his prevailing circumstance, and that the Government guarantee credit societies.


Conference notes that servicemen presently or about to serve overseas, find themselves unable to make suitable assurance arrangements for' their wives and families.

Conference therefore resolves that the government immediately implement'a scheme to provide suitable life assurance for'servicemen whether on active service or. not, and that any. cost additional to normal rates be' borneby the government.. .

.. /. .


Decision 4. (Cont)

Conference recommends that the scheme currently in force in the United States and the scheme recently recommended by the life assurance companies, be the.basis for an Australian scheme.

When these assurance arrangements come into operation, they shall not in any way interfere with existing rehabilitation benefits.


That all Registered Teachers in the State of Victoria be paid Award Rates of pay by the State Government.


That all take-overs of Australian companies by overseas interests must be approved by the Commonwealth Government, such approval to be dependent on the overseas interests showing sufficient proof that the take-over will be of benefit to and in the best interests of Australia. Further, that any industry, primary, secondary ''or service industry, whether of Australian or foreign ownership, be permitted to remit not more than 50 per cent of net profits after taxation, overseas.


That the DLP urge the Government to allocate adequate funds to the Consumer Protection Council to enable it to be effective.


Belated recognition by the Federal government that off shore oil and gas wells are more. vulnerable in the event of war than on shore operations, once again highlights the need for development of oil and gas programmes on the mainland.

Energy and power resources are at the heart of the economic and defence capacity of any nation. With this in mind, Conference calls on the Commonwealth Government to establish a National Authority to produce a national policy in the field of energy resources.

Conference calls attention to the vulnerability of oil platforms out at.sea and the potential danger that the searches off the Queensland coast have for the life of the Great Barrier Reef.It is therefore imperative that oil exploration on the mainland and off-shore islands be accorded every assistance by subsidy and scientific assistance, together with a meaningful coal research program designed to produce oil from coal.

.In determining this matter .and also the question of the price of petrol and oil products, the Governments concerned should ensure that such prices are not raised unnecessarily, and should also ensure that our dependance on overseas oil and world oil cartels is minimised.


The DLP deplores the need to restrict grain production in a world short of food, but nevertheless recommends the following policy on wheat production to avoid developing chaos in the industry with its resulting effects on Australia's economic and foreign policies.

(a) That in view of the rapidly increased wheat production in excess of immediate market outlets, Australia's deliveries to the Wheat Board should be restricted to 350 m. bushels annually until the market position improves.


Decision 9 (Cont).

(b) That the control necessary to achieve this result be obtained by the adoption.of policies designed to protect the traditional family wheat-grower. To this end the following policies are recommended -(i) A quota of 8,000 bushels be allocated on a per grower

basis provided that each has an average annual delivery in excess of 8,000 bushels for the last six seasons.

(ii) Those growers who normally grow less than this amount to receive a quota based on their average production over the past six (6) seasons.

(iii)Growers who produce more than the quota to be given additional quota pro rata up to 350 m. bushels total production.

(' iv); That the 350 m. bushels be regarded as quota wheat and subject to payment of $1.10 first advance and'take priority of

(v) The guaranteed price for home consumption and export to apply to the quota wheat only.

(vi) Surplus production to receive market price when sold.

(vii)Only those actively engaged in wheat production be eligible fora quota - e.g.

1. Public companies receive one quota.

2. Family companies and partnerships to receive a quota.

(viii)That-the sharefarmer is not entitled to any quota in his own right, Nevertheless they have rights based on • the existence of actual legal sharefarming agreements or the existence of physical and/or other evidence than an

agreement exists, and suoh rights are to bo safeguarded • through a State Appeals Board or by further appeal to civil law.

(ix) A surplus or deficit of production due to seasonal or other factors and for which financial or other compensation has not been received in any season can be transferrable to future pools.

(x) State Appeals Board to arbitrate on cases where doubt exists, including hardship, new growers, size of quota and so on,

(xi) Committee of growers based on..the existing local silo committees will act as advisors to the Appeals Board.

(c) That wheat farmers be encouraged to diversify their production as much as possible, and that service facilities be expanded to enable handling the alternative produce - e.g. Barley board bulk handling and classification facilities be expanded to cope with an increased barley acreage.

(d) That the Party Executive publicise the policy finally agreed on in an effort to effect changes of production with this autumn's seeding program.


That all milk produced in Australia and sold, irrespective of it being used for manufacturing purposes or sold as liquid milk for human consumption on the home market, to be vested in the Australian Dairy Produce Board.

Further, the DLP proposes the reconstruction of the Australian Dairy Produce Board as follows -(a) Government appointee (independent) to be Chairman

(b)'7 elected primary producer representatives -2 from Vic., 1 each from NSW, Q'ld., W.A., Tas., and S.A.

(c) 3 representatives of co-operative butter and cheese factories.

(d) 2 representatives of f. .prietary butter and cheese factories.

.(e) representatives of employees of butter and cheese factories. 15(Total)


Decision 10 (Cont) The Board to be a Board of Directors.

The administration of the Board to be carried out by the Chairmari'afi the paid administrative staff.

The Chairman to be a man with expert knowledge in the fields of administration, marketing and sales negotiation. The Chairman to be appointed for a term of five years. All other. members to be elected for a term of three years.

That. the Australian Dairy Produce Board be the Authority to set the interim price or prices to be paid to the dairy farmer for milk sold for manufacture and processing.

• That all sales negotiation, sales promotion and development of markets for Australian dairy products overseas to be the exclusive responsibility of the Australian Dairy Produce Board.

That the Australian Dairy Produce Board determine the marketing policies for dairy produce sold on the This would include -* The wholesale ex-factory price for all products.::

* The promotion of dairy products throughout Australia to be the responsibility of the Australian Dairy Produce Board, and that this responsibility does not preclude co-operation or competition with other organisations.

That the Australian Dairy Produce Board be empowered to co-ordinate the manufacturing._of dairy produce in relation to market requirements.

That the Australian Dairy Produce Board prepare a plan, based on the quota system, ready to bring into operation if Britain enters the E.E.C.


That the Government provide finance at 4 per cent interest as a maximum rate, with repayments over 10 years, after a rest period of four years, for the reconstruction and development of -(a) Amalgamated farms. Such amalgamations not to exceed a size set down

from time to time' by the Australian Dairy Produce Board.

(b) Farms which, whilst having sufficient area, require special financial assistance to enable them to be developed into sound economic farm units.

(c) To assist.. farms, found to be unsuitable for dairying to change their pattern of production.

Further, that the DLP supports the establishment of regional and/or advisory councils, consisting of representatives of dairy farmers, the State Departments of Agriculture and Lands, and the Development Bank, to assist in the administration of the grants and loans, ,and .help farmers to formulate .; :: proposals for financial. assistance.

That farms eligible for financial assistance to increase productivity be those that are essentially dairy farms and which have a potential to produce from all sources, the income equivalent of at least 15,000 lbs. of butter fat per annum.

That a farm not be considered a dairy farm unless, during the past three "'years" at least two-thirds of its income has been derived from dairying, including the sale of calves and culls.

That financial assistance be made available for -•

(a) Clearing more land.

(b) Pasture improvement.

(c) Fodder conservation.

.1.. .


Decision 11 (Cont)

(d) Structural improvements, including fencing.

(e) Plant purchase and improvements.

(f).Irrigation and water conservation projects.

(g) Improvement of stock quality.

(h) Expansion of area.

(i) Development of suitable portion of holding for complimentary production -crops, fat lambs, etc.

(j) Other approved purposes.


That with a view to opening up new markets, funds be provided to establish a Dairy Produce Export Development Fund, under joint government and industry control, to provide -(a) For loans to companies at reasonable interest rates repayable over

15 years in which the Australian Dairy Produce Board has a financial interest in the capital structure, to be used in the establishment of milk plants in overseas countries and the setting up of dairy product processing, storage and distribution centres in overseas countries.

(b) For direct grants to subsidise the cost of Australian products used as raw materials processed in Australia's associated overseas milk processing plants where necessary, for a development period of two years to assist in the establishment of such plants and for market development.

(c)Government support for increased research to develop new dairy .products suited to the taste, diet and financial capacity to purchase of potential markets. .

(d) To expand the resources available to the Australian Dairy Produce Board so the Board can initiate a more decisive and knowledgeable approach to marketing and sales.. promotion.

(e) To introduce a system whereby accepted product standards would at all times be maintained.


That this Conference •supports the introduction of a two quota system of payment commonly known as the 60-40 scheme (60 domestic price; 40 export' price). That quota rights be freely saleable. Since assistance given to the industry is capitalised into land values, the adoption of the above scheme would enable people to leave the dairying industry without having to sell their land, which could be used to produce meat or timber, etc.. A further advantage of this scheme would be that quotas would tend to gravitate to .-low-cost areas most suitable for dairying.


The Australian timber industry currently imports at the rate of $200 m. annually. This is in spite of greatly increased plantings over recent years. On the basis of current timber development programs, Australia will be milling 700 million cubic feet in the . year 2000; but our requirements then will be 1,300 million cubic feet.

This means it is economically desirable for the Australian timber industry to greatly increase its rate of expansion. That it is economically feasible has been demonstrated by American experience and recent . Australian studies, which;indicate timber farming is almost as profitable as wool, beef and fat lamb raising.


Decision 14. (Cont)

Tree farms in the U.S. range in size fromthree acres to 1,400;000 acres. Their numbers in the last decade have increased from 3,485 to. .32,320.

A recent Victorian survey shows every thousand acres of softwood plantation provides work for 30 permanent employees.

Conference therefore calls on the Commonwealth Government to co-operate with State Governments in further greatly increased expansion of Australia's timber. industry, with the overall objective of making Australia self-sufficient in timber resources, but not at the expense of areas which could be used as national parks.


That Conference considers that voluntary firefighters whencalled on in an emergency, be entitled to claim recompense from a special fund. This fund •. should. be set up by the StateGovernment for this purpose, and should cover loss of property, e.g. motor vehicle, tools and also medical attention, as well

as any loss of time from employment brought about by such fires.

Every effort should be . made by the Central Executive to bring about the success of this proposal. An initial step being an approach to .the State Government to ascertain f..he . feasibility of setting up a fund for this purpose.


In keeping with the DLP's national development policies, Conference recommends to Federal Conference for adoption as policy, the following -(a) That Australia's water .storages be provided for on a national basis. (b) That Australia's water storages be planned and developed by an

experienced. and competent national body. (c) That.:the Federal Government be called on to instigate an urgent national educational program to instruct farmers, industry, and water authorities in the.advantages and use.of new techniques and

materials developed for water catchment and storage.


That this Conferencepress. for the installation of suitable incinerators at all:deep ,sea ports . so that ships refuse may be destroyed as .a necessary means of preventing exotic animal diseases.


Because of the menace to health, obvious fire risk and economic waste, the DLP advocates all advertising of cigarette and other forms of smoking, particularly on TV, be banned.


That this Conference of the DLP recommends to Federal Conference that the DLP base its 1969 Federal Election-Carpaigri on -(a) The need to restore justice to senior citizens at present being impoverished by the..Means Test, so .that the Means Test is abolished

in three years.

(b) The restoration'of purchasing pourer to all. pensions,. child endowment and maternity allowances, as decided by resolution of this Conference.



Decision 19:. (Cont)

(c) A realistic defence policy which givesparticular attention to the requirements likely to develop if the Fill continues to fail, and the obvious naval weakness, that makes vulnerable all Australia's_ naval forces when for any reason, our only serviceble aircraft carrier is out of commission, whilst we have responsibility in both the Indian

and Pacific Oceans.

(d) The preservation of law and order in industrial matters to prevent' minorities taking over and directing for political purposes, genuine industrial disputes.

(e) That nothing here restricts the Federal Executive from varying 'priorities to meet the circumstances of the election.


Conference notes and deplores the fact that Australian universities are at present the target of a national campaign of organised disruption which is partly_ financed and partly directed by the Communist Party and partly by Maoist and anarchist influences through the agency of a body known as "Students for a Democratic Society" and a body known as the "Revolutionary Socialist Students' Alliance11. The. have as their purpose the transformation of Australian universities from centres of learning to centres of politically motivated mass

action against off-campus social institutions.

Recognising that the general public and many students themselves, are gravely concerned at the policy of weakness and capitulation pursued by some university authorities in the face of this program of organised disruption, this Conference accepting as a guiding principle the autonomy of universities under the law, NOW RESOLVES -

(a) University administrations must make clear that the wilful disruption of legitimate university activities and functions, the use of aggressive violence against students, academics, or administrative staff, the unlawful occupation of university premises or the theft of university records and property, are actions destructive of the university as an

autonomous centre of learning and will therefore -be'regsrded as requiring the suspension or expulsion of any student, proven after due enquiry, to have taken part in such activities;

(b) University administrations who take this necessary 'actiondeserve and must receive full support from the Federal and State Governments, from the general community, from other university administrations, and from the students and'academic staff of the university itself;

(c) University administrations which fail to take this necessary action to protect the university as an autonomous centre of learning, deserve. and should receive the censure appropriate to persons in positions of high responsibility and trust, who fail in the. duties of their office;

(d) Legislative action to-reduce or abolish the-autonomy. of a university should be resorted to only where the administration of a particular university has itself failed to take necessary action to preserve the status of that university as a centre of learning.


This Conference urges the Federal Government to purchase at an early date, an aircraft -carrier from the United Kingdom, and that volunteer British crewmen be incorporated in the Australian Navy.

../. .



Conference notes the ineffective operation of the Commonwealth Employment Service, particularly in regard to the availability of employment for white collar workers, which has been responsible in part for the growth of private employment agencies, These private employment agencies, in addition to providing employment services, also provide staff 'on hire' with all the inherent dangers of breaking down of employment conditions.

Conference determines that -(a)Representations be made to the Commonwealth Government to have the Commonwealth Employment Service fulfil its proper role as an employment service; and

(b) Declares that employees 'on hire' must be paid the rates and conditions applying to the position in the particular industry or the rates and conditions prescribed by the basic State Award, whichever is the greater.

We call upon employer organisations and employers to advise of all vacancies to the Commonwealth Employment Service to assist in the development of this service.

We also call on the Commonwealth Employment Service to notify employers seeking staff of its service and of any applicants who may be available.


That the Central Executive be requested to -(a) Investigate present position of public and private superannuation funds.

(b) Survey overseas superannuation schemes.

(c) Ask the Federal Conference to adopt a nation-wide, portable provident or superannuation scheme.


We request the Government to appoint a Royal Commission or some such body, to enquire into hospital management, as it refers to nurses and their status. Such committee to replace the committee appointed in 1966 to investigate nursing dissatisfaction, from which there has been no report.

That a scheme be established to pay nurses at least in line, or better than, people employed in other professions. Further, we believe that if no extra help is available, we follow the trend of overseas countries and advertise extensively for nursing help, to overcome the crisis of hospital wards being closed down through lack of nurses.

And this body so appointed to examine the existing 'Hospital and Medical Benefit' schemes, and the lack of provision for payments to outpatients to public hospitals and other illnesses not recognised at present.


Conference believes that the proposals set out here represent a realistic and logical step towa^ •ds the formation of a Wages Policy.

We recognise that a more advanced and technically more advantageous policy could be conceived. However, it seems to us that it is more important to formulate a basis upon which immediate benefits could flow, taking into account the actual state of the wage fixing structures at the present time, and existing associated legislation.



25.. (Cont)

In recent years the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, in dealing with National Wage Cases, and other major cases, has tended to vary far more... than the amounts of increases awarded. The introduction of the minimum wage in 1966, followed by the Total Wage in July, 1967, and Metal Trades Work Value Case in December, 1967, with its later abridgement in February, 1968, have all contributed to the present confusion surrounding the principles of wage fixation. Both the method of determination and the application of increases, have altered.

What is required, is a stabilisation of the method of determination, and nature of wages themselves, in order to achieve the situation whereby the Commission's function in National Wage Cases is to determine the amount of the increases rather than their nature, and that evidence is adduced accordingly.

The following recommendations, together with those covering Social Services (Queensland Branch) are intended to provide an integrated and comprehensive ... programme covering Wage, Social Services and Social Welfare.

(a) A Needs Minimum Wage, based on the reasonable needs of a man, wife and family.

(b). Work Value to continue as the method for evaluating Comparative Wage Justice (i.e.' the relativity of skill or margins).

(c) Total Wage Inc oases should be based on economic capacity to pay, and take the form of flat rate rather than percentage increases.

(d) Priorities should be set by the Trade Union Movement in order to reduce the conflicting nature of many claims, e.g. Equal Pay, Long Service Leave, 25 hour week, Annual Leave, etc.

(e) The trend towards Equal Pay for female workers should be encouraged as it represents Natural Justice.

The reasons for the previous policy are briefly outlined below

A. Needs Minimum Wage. In the period since 1953, when the cost of living adjustments were suspended, the margin for skill of the Fitter and Turner has increased from 22 per cent of the then basic wage, to 53 per cent of the Minimum. Wage, or 72 per cent of the basic wage. (These figures include the 30 per cent of the Fitters' margin held over by the Commission for

further consideration). These figures display a marked change in ratio between the wages of the unskilled and skilled worker, with the commensurate decline in the real purchasing power of the wages of the non-skilled and semi-skilled worker. .

With the abolition of the Basic Wage Margins concept, the basis of "prices plus productivity" no longer ensures justice to the lower wage earner.

Thus it is suggested that minimum wage be made a needs wage, based on the calculated cost of living of a family unit (say a man, wife and one child), and that Social Services, and in particular Endowment, be used

to meet the needs of added dependants. This would require the use of the Consumer Price. Index (or a Cost of Living Index) in order to firstly determine "needs" and secondly, to re-assess the needs value of endowment.

Once the relativity between the needs wage and endowment is established, then pro-rata adjustments to endowment should be automatic, upon the determination of the National Wage Case in each year.

Note The formulation of a Needs Wage should take into consideration the trend towards equal pay for females, or "rate for the job".

B. Total Wage. Since percentage increases in the Total Wage have an inflationary effect and harm the purchasing power of the unskilled and semi-skilled worker, flat rate increases should be sought, based on the economic capacity to pay. This would tend to build up the lower paid worker, give protection in particular to the worker with several dependants who, at the moment, suffers both the inflationary affect on prices, resulting from percentage increases, as he tends to purchase'more consumer goods, and the secondary disadvantage of the depreciated value of the endowment.


Decision 25 . (Cont)

C. Work Value....'

It should be realised that the demand for skill is accelerating and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Technological change will rapidly make redundant large numbers of unskilled occupations. Despite overseas experience, there is little being done in the field of retraining and relocation of workers, and the projected likelihood is a lack of skilled workers, required in great numbers each year.

Because of these factors, the market for skill will largely determine its own ,value (N.B. the recent Metal Trades Decision, in effect, ratified. existing over-award payments). Coupled with Work Value Cases there is little danger of skill dropping below its proper relative value.

Work Value, when the term was introduced, was not clearly defined, but as Commissioner Porter stated earlier this year, it refers to "Comparative Wage Justice" and does not materially differ from the Margins concept, except that it provides for individual industries.,, to reach their. own level of relativity for skill, in that it suspended the automatic "flow-on" from Metal Trades Margins Determinations.

D. Priorities. The Trade Union Movement, in pursuing a variety of.'claims, more or less concurrently, and with no preferential pattern, is likely to cause unfair anomalies to exist at the expense of its own members. Therefore, once a Wages Policy is determined, all associated claims, including equal pay, should be'raticalised according to urgency, compatability and pursued in a logical sequence.

E. Equal Pay. Conference reaffirms our support for Equal Pay for work of equal value, bearing .in mind its relationship to the Needs. Minimum Wage and priorities.


Australian security has depended up to this point in time, on the maintenance of the power balance provided by the presence of United Kingdom and United States forces, as opposed to the Red Chinese, Russian, North Vietnam and North Korean grouping.

The continuing withdrawal of United.Kingdom forces, to be completed in 1971, and the changed attitude of the United' States, to regional subversion and guerrilla activity, has decisively altered. this power balance, thus destroying the foundations on which Australian security has traditionally 'rested.

A fluid situation has therefore developed in South East Asia, whose nations are now seeking stability and safety through new alignments.

By committing troops after 1971, Australia has indicated its present intentions and staked a tentative foothold in the region. However, our government's vacillating approach to regional defence has eroded Asian confidence that the power balance can be rebuilt.

In the absence of positive political leadership to expand Australia's involvement and influence, a trend towards fragmentation in the region will accelerate.

Australia's natural leadership attributes of wealth, political maturity, industrial complex and technological capacity, used intelligently and resolutely, are the basis on which regional defence can be built.

Australia can win the confidence of South East Asian nations, and to this . -end Conference supports the establishment of a defence pact between Malaysia,

Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and other Asian nations. Its main purpose will be to provide a swift answer to developing subversion and guerrilla warfare.

Such ,a pact will have immediate psychological value by providing proof of an Australian presence in S.E.A. for an indefinite period and as a rallying point to draw other nations into a regional defence treaty.

It will stem the erosion of Asian confidence in the future, and provide evidence that regional defence is a practical proposition.


Decision 26. (Cont)

The possibility of intra regional disputes is indeed a complication, but it should not be used as a reason for rejecting in advance the concept of regional defence.

The Australian government can ensure that we do not become involved in communal differences by specifying that our troops are there to help defeat external aggression and communist subversion.

Since the control of our forces will at all times be in the hands of the Australian government, we can avoid involvement in local disputes which are not our concern.


Conference views with alarm the increasing incidence of drug addiction in our society, especially amongst young people, and urges the Federal Government to accelerate its attempts to find ways and means of eliminating this problem,

We recommend that the Government set up a Commonwealth Bureau to research and compile information on the use and misuse of drugs and modern medicines, and to advise the medical profession, and where necessary the public, of the dangers of the abe of any of these drugs or medicines.

Legislation should be enacted so that research needed to prove the danger of drugs like marijuana may be carried out, and Government funds should be made available for this research.

We further recommend that legislation should be enacted to give harsher penalties for drug pushers.


Conference notes that in Australia today there is a lack of national co-ordination in respect of the planning of national development. Development of Australia is proceeding, but more slowly, more expensively, and less efficiently for lack of a co-ordinating body.

Basis for Development . Australia is relatively favourably placed to develop its economic potential, for the following reasons -(i) plenty of land for development. (ii) good mineral resources. (iii) homogeneous people, with a sense of national identity, who are

well educated, well-fed, healthy, vigorous and receptive to new ideas. . (iv) stable social and political structure. (v) stable economy. (vi) highly mechanised environment. (vii) good communications.

Present difficulties are accentuated by -(a) The problem of obtaining agreement between Commonwealth and State Government.

(b) Whilst the Commonwealth controls the financial resources, the power for the disposal of land, minerals and for transport remains with the States.

The Ministry for National Development has responsibility for national development which is shared with other departments, in the areas of agriculture, manufactures, trade and tariffs, finance, and water power. It is one department among many, and has come to be mainly concerned with minerals and national mapping.



Decision 28. (Cont)

This situation gives rise to the need for a permanent advisory body to investigate and recommend a co-ordinated programme of action for national development in all fields.

National Development Council.

Conference therefore proposes the setting up of a National Development Council to be responsible for the formulation of -(a) Long range development objectives related to population, transport,

ports and shipping, energy and natural resources, and agriculture, exploration and scientific research and other needs as decided.

(b) Short term five-year programmes on specific projects which are the means of achieving the long range objectives.

The National Development Council to be constituted by an act of Parliament. It would have sufficient power to enable it to function as an efficient fact-gathering organisation. Its findings, reports and recommendations to be presented to the government.

It should establish priorities, recommend the adoption of programmes, and carry out an actively advisory role in the development of projects.

The Council to be set up as a highly professional body, charged with the responsibility of complete planning of the development of Australia. Adequate staff and resources to be provided for administration and research.

The cost of 'instituting and maintaining the Council. to be borne by the Commonwealth Government.

The implementing of particular projects to be through regional or other authorities as judged most suitable.

Financing of projects to be a matter of negotiation between the Commonwealth, and State involved and/or private enterprise.

The Council to be subject to annual budget appropriation and Parliamentary review.


That the Central' Executive take immediate action . to inform the Postmaster General of the widespread resentment and deep dissatisfaction of the community at large, of the drastically reduced postal deliveries and clearance of mail, and the DLP demand for an efficient, speedy and increased:service of this basic communication requirement of a modern society.

Further, that Central Executive requests Federal Executive to consider the urgent need for a Senate Solect..Committee to investigate. the administration of the Post Office.


Serious, issues of a constitutional character and affecting privilege, are raised by the decision of the Victorian A.L.P. giving to its State Executive what the State A.L.P. Leader, Mr. Holding, has described as the power through the State Executive Officers of day to day direction of Parliamentarians.

The A.L.P. in its long history has rarely but occasionally directed members on vital policy issues, but no power of day to day direction has ever been claimed before. The Victorian Parliament will surely be compelled to take action against what is -; blatant attempt to infringe the rights of Parliamentarians.



Decision 30. (Cont)

The British Labor Party some years .ago under Mr. Gaitskell, rejected a much less comprehensive bid for Executive control of Parliamentarians.

The danger of the A.L.P. decision lies in the influence exercised over the State A.L.P. Executive by the Trade Union Defence Committee, which selects those to be elected to the Executive and which has obvious lines of communication with the Communist Party through unions with Communist officials,

The "direction power" now claimed, gives the Communist Party through these unions, an obvious influence in the direction of A.L.P. State Parliamentarians

The same unions were the instigators of the recent strikes and are those who are using financial pressure and the threat of bankruptcy to demand control of Melbourne Trades Hall Council,


This Conference, noting that -1. On 25th March 1969, the Senate supported the principle of Aid to Independent Sr'-'ools. This represents the first formal expression by any Australian Parliament, of support for this principle.

2. Federal bodies of all major political parties, now favour such aid.

3. The majority of Australians have expressed support for aid to independent schools, in elections and in gallup polls.

Affirming that Australia needs the best possible education for every Australian child, regardless of parental wealth or beliefs.

Supporting the basic principle that the taxes of all of the people should support the education of all children in the schools of their parents choice.

Warning that if the independent school system breaks down any further, the whole education system, including state schools, will suffer as a result.

Urges that before the coming Federal election, the major political parties agree on a per capita grant to children at independent schools, of say half the cost of state school education, with regular increases over a period of years until parity is reached.

This would take the matter out of the political arena and the standards of both State and Independent schools could then be raised progressively.


That the DLP condemns the Dolte Government's callous attitude to children, and urges :

(1) Compulsory reporting of maltreatment of children to the registry in the Social Welfare Department by doctors, social workers, infant welfare sisters, nurses and teachers, with immunity from suit.

(ii) A system of prevention of child cruelty by sending welfare officers, with right of entry, into homes where cruelty has occurred or is likely to occur.

(iii) Increased assistance to widows, prisoners' wives, deserted wives and all other supporting mothers, to give them the incentive to enjoy a reasonable standard of living.

(iv) Strong measures to keep families together, even when they are in public institutions.

(v) Increased finance for child welfare programs of the State Government, municipal authorities and reputable voluntary organisations.

*** **** ***

Inaugural Address by Mr. J.B. Marmion, on his installation as

DLP State President, on 16th June, 1969.

In every walk of life you can find three groups of people :-

1. Those who sit by and do not realise things are happening.

2. Those who are prepared to do nothing but sit by and watch things happen.

3. Those who are prepared to get cracking and make things happen around them.

• The first group of people are to be found mainly in the A.L.P. Its

capacity to bring down electoral disasters on itself and its rigid authoritarian control over its members, has stifled and killed the initiative of its members.

The second group have a home in the Liberal Party and manifests itself by meaningless slogans - F'All the way with LBJ" - "We'll go a Waltzing Matilda with President Nixon'.

The third group are representative of the. people who ocmprise the D.L.P., and Bill Skinner, the retiring President, is a good example of this group.

Over the past 12 months, Bill has helped things happen.. Through his qualities of leadership, these things have happened -1. Senator Jack Little has taken his seat in Federal Parliament.

2. The Prime Minister was forced to call off an early Federal election and reconsider his Government's attitudes on defence and towards South East Asia.

3. A very successful campaign was conducted during the Bendigo by-election.

Reviewing the past and counting victories is a little like adopting the attitude'of that fabulous little bird which likes to fly backwards! Why? Because it doesn't give a damn where it is going but only likes to see where it has been!

This is not the attitude of the DLP! It wasn't the attitude of Bill Skinner or the 13 State Presidents before him, and it certainly isn't my attitude either.

If this Party is to progress, and if we are to win seats, then we will have to get cracking and make a lot more things happen.

During the coming 18'months we face three major elections - a Federal election at the end of this year, a State election early next year, and a Senate election late in 1970.

How successful we are 'will depend entirely on the quality and quantity of our work force, how well geared our organisation is to exploit opportunities and what funds are available.

A formula for success is - Capable workers + good party organisation + successful money raising schemes ' = votes which can win seats and elections.


There are a number of simple but yet fundamental.issue.s..that must be

faced and overcome. They are -1. How to develop the human resources of the Party in order to use the best skills of each of us to the best advantage in order to achieve the: goals we,: set::_

2. How to get more and more people to join the party, particularly young people.'

3. How to win the support of larger numbers of voters in each electorate.

4. How to raise funds in sufficient amounts to take care of the needs of an expanding Party like the DLP. •

People are demanding more and more of the DLP, particularly the family man who is the nation builder.

Ever since the 1954 Labor split, the family man has not received any comparative improvements in social services, pensions and child endowment. Improvements comparative with the tremendous growth in the productivity and wealth of this nation have passed him by.

To illustrate this point, the present maternity allowance would have to be increased by. 'appz.oximately 300'/ to equal its 1948 value.

People are demanding action of the D.L.P., they want industrial legislation and social legislation to give their families a greater share in the wealth of this nation. Yet they are still hesitant to vote . for a Party whom they feel has only small prospects of winning an election. This is why we must make a bold bid to win seats in the House of Representatives and the Victorian Parliament over the next 12 months.

Our bold bid should be based on a major issue. A social injustice issue which effects thousands of people on low incomes.

Such an issue is improved Social Services for people like -Pensioners just existing on next to nothing. Widows trying to raise families on pittance. The family man struggling to raise a family on low wages. Invalids living on inadequate pensions.

These are the people we must help,' these are the people who deserve help. We must contact them through personal calls. We must contact them through the press, T.V., radio and tell them that we are going to help them. Tell them we recognise their needs and they are no longer struggling alone.

In the Curtin by-election a 'single issue - "The abolition of the Means • Test" gained 18% of the vote.

In Bendigo the single issue of - "No State Aid" obtained 6,5% of the vote.

In 1955 the single. issue of "Communism" gained 10°% of the vote for the then infant DLP.

The significance of these votes should not be'lost. The point is, the way is now clear to substantially increase our vote if we campaign on the right major issue.

Campaigning on the right issues and winning of votes requires capable workers, good organisation, money, and time, with the emphasis on capable workers.


People in our type of culture share a common set of needs - to be liked,

to belong, and to be respected. This is human relations. Development of human resources takes this further, most people desire to contribute effectively and creatively to attain those goals that they consider worthwhile. The major issue of improved social services for people on low incomes is such a worthwhile goal.

As in selling, the best method of getting the message across is face to face contact. This can be done successfully by holding many private meetings in key areas to intensify interest in the party, and to increase the total of our resources.

Running a political party today is big business, and as in all business' the penalty for waste is failure.

The D.L.P. doesn't own productive machinery nor any patent rights to products, but what it does have is the most precious resource of all -"Dedicated workers who are experienced and possess creative ability".

My task for the next 12 months, God willing, is to help develop, increase and apply the Par.'.:'s resources for the betterment of Australia and all who live within our shores

J.B. Marmion.















M. W.








President Mr. J.B. Marmion.

Vice-Presidents Mr. W.A. Bourke

Mr. A. Abolins


State Secretary

Assistant Secretary

Metropolitan members:

Mr. L.T. Riordan

Mr. F.M. Dowling

Mr. J.D. Brosnan

Mr. F.L. Skinner

Sen. F.P. McManus

Mr. T.F. Callander

Sen. J.A. Little

Mr. B.W. Gaynor

Mr. J.P. Foley

Mr. T.W. Andrews

Mr. P.J. Ryan

Mr. J.C. Lloyd

Mr. J.G. Bacon

Mr. M.F. Lucy

Mr. J.J. Moloney

Mr. M.J. O'Sullivan

Mr. F.J. Riley

Mr. B.J. Guinane

Mr. A.J. Jones

Mr, J.F. Meere

Country members Drechsler









Womens' Central Organising Committee : Mrs. W.P. Barry

Young Democratic Labor Association : Mr. D.P. O'Reilly

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