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Wednesday, 7 December 1927

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Vice President of the Executive Council) [11.13]. - In moving -

That the Senate do now adjourn.

I desire to inform honorable senators that I have received advice from both Sydney and Melbourne which indicates that it is practically certain that the recent dis- pute between the waterside workers and the ship-owners has reached a satisfactory solution. Both parties came before Judge Beeby this morning. The Court was in possession of a written undertaking by the Committee of Management that they would wire to all their branches in these terms -

The committee advise you that the overtime embargo is declared off, and instructs you to resume on conditions of existing awards.

The Court was also in possession of a resolution by the committee that they would, advise their branches to carry out the existing awards, agreements, &c, and also undertake to exercise all their powers to enforce strict compliance on the part of the members with any future award made by the Court, or any agreement arrived at from time to time. Upon that basis, the Judge made an interim award for three months, which provides that the time and places of picking up shall be those prevailing in the different ports on the 10th January, 1927, which was the date on which the Court commenced the hearing of the men's plaint. This award is made without prejudice to the rights of either party. The date of announcement of hearing is not yet fixed, but it will be within a few days. Only this afternoon the Prime Minister received a message indicating that the owners are very hopeful that it will be possible for the men to start work to-morrow morning at 8 o'clock at all ports in Australia. I am sure that all honorable senators will be both pleased and gratified that a settlement of this dispute appears to be in sight.

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