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Wednesday, 13 May 1942

Senator FRASER - What does the honorable senator know about the Australian Workers Union?

Senator ALLAN MacDONALD - 1 do not know much, and I do not think that the Minister for External Territories (Senator Fraser) knows any more about it than1 I do. It is an important union, and any proposal of the character of that under discussion should have been submitted to a full meeting of members. There are other avenues which the Government could explore before attacking an industry of such major importance to Western Australia. There are dozens of other industries from which men could be obtained. In fact, the Government need go no further than the rabbit warrens surrounding the various trades halls in all large cities which are infested with satellites and hangers-on who prey upon the real workers. Surely, a few hundred men at least could be combed out of these places.

Senator Collings - I rise to a point of order. Is the honorable senator in order, under cover of leave, to make a statement in relation to the gold-mining industry in Western Australia, in indulging in a dissertation on the structure of certain trade Unions, and making insulting references to what he terms the alleged leaders of these unions?

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