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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator WRIGHT (TASMANIA) - I preface my question to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service by drawing his attention to a report which appeared in the publication "Waterfront" dated 22nd May. The report attributes to Mr. Hood, Chairman of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, a statement, in relation to a stoppage on the waterfront, that it is ludicrous to say it takes 24 hours to discuss a Port Order. Mr. Hood said that the second subject listed for discussion was the Vietnam war and it was obvious that this political issue was the real matter for discussion. He said that over past years there had been unnecessary stoppages and interruptions of port activity and that these strikes had been designed to damage the country's export markets and, therefore, the national economy. In view of that very important statement by the Chairman, who is principally charged with the administration of the Australian Stevedoring Industry Authority, I ask the Minister: Can I take it that such a statement was made? Did it have the consideration of the Government? What measures does the Government propose for rectification of the position? Can the Minister tell me what has been the experience on the Sydney waterfront in these respects over the last week?

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