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Thursday, 7 May 1970

Mr SNEDDEN (BRUCE, VICTORIA) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - I am wearing a national badge, not the badge of the Comintern that is worn by honourable members opposite.

It is a very melancholy picture, not for the persons who find in the Moratorium deceit by the organisers, but for the organisers because the unions are not responding in anything like the way it was hoped they would. Furious activity is going on at the moment amongst the organisers of the Vietnam Moratorium to try to create a little bit more interest. Only in Sydney and Melbourne is any real interest being shown, and essentially even in those cities only 4 unions are active - the Building Workers Industrial Union of Australia, the Waterside Workers Federation, the Seamen's Union and the Boilermakers and Blacksmiths Society of Australia. Of course the Trades Hall Council in Melbourne is opposed to the Vietnam Moratorium. This is not true in Sydney, where the Trades and Labour Council recently had a meeting that was attended by 20 unions which are trying to organise a 2-hour lay down of tools on Friday. The fact is that in the other areas of Australia there is very little interest. It looks as though union activity will be confined to the maritime unions. So the response of unions makes a melancholy story for the organisers of the Vietnam Moratorium. Quite clearly the only people to whom they can look for support are the Labor voters, whose purpose is to attack the Government in contrast to the purpose of the organisers which is to attack democracy. Indeed it is very important to try to distinguish between the organisers and the participants. I can think of the organisers only as political bikies who pack rape democracy.

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