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Thursday, 5 March 1942

Mr. Conley,who visited Moscow last autumn, described this as the first big move in working out the establishment of an Anglo-Soviet Union Committee. He said it was applicable to the whole trades union movement and that the views had been represented to Cabinet.

He declared : " There is abundant evidence that production is held up owing to the stiffnecked, idiotic attitude of managerial control. On the other hand, there are enlightened managements in many workshops where shop committees are operating. As a result of ideas tried wit. production has increased."

That is an example of the practical application of the scheme. Such committees are already existent in several industries in Australia, and in some instances are working in complete harmony with tire management, thus making for increased production. In certain other industries, chiefly those of a monopolistic kind, their presence is regarded with some hostility, perhaps out of a fear that the workers may assume too great an interest in industry and eventually demand a share of the profits. Within the last few days, members of a shop committee from the Howard Auto Cultivators Limited, which employs 750 men, visited Canberra to interview Ministers because they considered that the industry was not working to full capacity. Before that, they had been to Melbourne to interview departmental officers. Such men deserve to receive official recognition. We have been told that the men in the fighting services have been let down because of lack of equipment. The encouragement of these committees would be one way to ensure the production of increased quantities of equipment.







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