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Wednesday, 4 July 1906
Page: 1030

Mr ISAACS (Indi) (Attorney-General) -- I move-

That the words " in the opinion of a jury," lines 12 and 13, be left out.

This is in accordance with the suggestion of the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne, which, I think, is a very good one.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr. DUGALDTHOMSON (North Sydney [9.55]- - I propose to insert at the end of paragraph b an amendment which should not meet with much opposition. It will be noticed that unfair competition embraces, as is shown in paragraph, c of clause 6, competition which " would probably, or does in fact, result in greatly disorganizing Australian industry, or throwing workers out of employment." I do not think that any honorable member desires that our Australian industries should be so hedged round to protect them against competition that they will fall back into a condition as to efficiency which is not at all equal to the state of industries elsewhere. Therefore I move -

That the following words be added to paragraph b " as well as to the efficiency of the management, processes, and machinery in the industry affected."

I do not think that it should be held - as it would have to be held under the provisions of the Bill as it stands - that the disorganization of an industry, although due to inefficiency or the employment of imperfect machinery, would constitute a sufficient reason for restricting competition.

Mr Isaacs - Would not that be part of the interests of the producers?

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not so sure of that. I would rather see it distinctly stated.

Mr Isaacs - If the amendment were inserted, we should also have to provide that regard should be had to the hours of labour worked by the employes, the sanitation of the factories, and that kind of thing.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is already provided for. In paragraph b of clause 6 it is provided that the competition shall be deemed unfair " if it would probably, or does in fact, result in a lower remuneration for labour." The interpretation clause shows exactly what is meant by that. It says - " Lower remuneration for labour," includes less pay or longer hours or any terms or conditions of labour or employment more disadvantageous to workers.

That is perfectly distinct.

Mr Carpenter - The producers are not mentioned there.

Mr Isaacs - The honorable member might move to insert another paragraph in clause 6. That is the proper place in which to embody any provision of the character he desires.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the Attorney-General prefers that I should propose its insertion in clause 6 I have no objection to do so.

Mr Isaacs - Clause 6 is the proper place to' insert any provision relating to unfair competition.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I merely say that the ' matter should be taken into consideration. I believe it is the wish of the Committee that the efficiency of the management, processes, and machinery of any industry alleged to be affected should also be taken into consideration. Otherwise, we should declare that, however inefficient the management, processes, and machinery of an industry might be, any undue disturbance of it which resulted in displacing men from their employment would constitute a ground for deeming competition unfair. I do not think that that is intended by any honorable member, and therefore we might well insert some such provision in the Bill. If we fail to do so, we shall, in effect, declare that, however ancient the machinery or processes employed in an industry may be, competition with it is to be deemed unfair if, by the- use of better processes and machinery) that industry is disturbed, and workers are thrown out of employment.

Mr Isaacs - What the honorable member desires is that, in the determination of the question of whether competition is unfair, regard shall be had to the management, processes, and machinery of the industry affected.


Mr Isaacs - At the present moment I see no objection to inserting such a provision in clause 6.

Mr Glynn - lt should be inserted after the word "circumstances," and not where the Attorney-General first stated.

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