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Tuesday, 21 June 1904


The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr McDonald (KENNEDY, QUEENSLAND) - I do not think that that matter has anything to do with the question before the Chair.


Mr JOHNSON - I merely referred to it in reply to an interjection. I would draw attention to another matter which is patent to all, and to which Ave must not close our eyes. Whilst an attempt is being made in this Bill to give a preference to trades unionists, there is a disposition on the part of some unions to close their books against the enrolment of new members, and to make close corporations of trade societies. We must have regard to that fact. In view of the provision in this clause that a preference shall be given to unionists, an attempt is being made to limit the number of men who should be admitted into the ranks of the unions. This means that the great bulk of the workers will be deprived, under this Bill, of an opportunity to secure employment. What can be said of a Labour Government which aims at the practical exclusion of the great body of the workers from the benefits of a measure that is said to have been framed in the interests of the workers of all Australia ?


Mr Wilson - It is a Bill to create monopolies.


Mr JOHNSON - It is a Bill which will create close corporations of unions of either employers or employes - a Bill, the benefits of which will extend to only a small section of the industrial workers of the Commonwealth. It would be little short of a criminal act against the great democracy of Australia if we passed it in its present form; and I for one shall most strenuosuly oppose every effort to do so. A circular issued by the secretary of the Federated Saw-mill and Timberyards Employes' Association to its members affords an interesting illustration, of the attempts that are being made to make close corporations of unions. ' I propose to read it in, order that honorable members may learn the underlying motive of this proposal. The circular was published in the Argus a few days ago. , .


Mr Page - Why not obtain a copy of the circular instead of quoting from' the

Argus?That newspaper is always lying, about these proposals.


Mr JOHNSON - My purpose will be served by quoting the Argus. If an incorrect statement had been made, it would no doubt have been contradicted ; but, so far as I am aware, no contradiction has appeared. The circular is as follows : -

Trades Hall, May 30th, 1904.

Dear Sir, - Your attention is called to the following resolutions that were passed at our last meeting, and in view of the I Federal Arbitration Act becoming law, you may be placed in a position that is not at all desirable-

Honorable members will see that this letter was sent out in view of the probability of this measure becoming law -

1.   That after 24th June, 1904, the entrance fee be increased to five shillings.

They have already endeavoured to put a barrier in the way of increased membership by raising the entrance fee in view of the passing of this Bill.

2.   That all members owing more than two quarters be struck off the books, and henceforth treated as non-unionists.

3.   If you think you should not be struck off, you can appeal to the Executive, and they will inquire into your case.

The circular does not promise that those who complain will be restored to the full benefits of membership. No guarantee is given that as the result of the inquiry their position will be improved. The circular proceeds -

The secretary will be at room ig, Trades Hall, every Friday night, till 24th June.

This is. one instance of the tendency on the part of trades unions to put obstacles in the way of intending members, and to make the present unionists really members of close corporations. That is an attempt which should be strenuously opposed.


Mr Watson - The Government agrees with the honorable member that it should.


Mr JOHNSON - This is an attempt to create an aristocracy of labour to create a monopoly within the ranks of unionism, which is in the highest degree undesirable.


Mr Watson - We agree with the honorable member that it is desirable to prevent trades unions becoming close corporations.


Mr JOHNSON - I repeat that there is a tendency to make close corporations of trades unions. A case in point came before the Arbitration Court of New South Wales yesterday. Last night's issue of the Evening News states that -

The matter of the refusal of the Sydney Wharf Labourers' Union to admit three waterside workers to membership was the subject of considerable interest when before the Arbitration Court to-day. The men refused admittance to the union were - then follow their names.

In an affidavit by the three workers, they severally said that they were willing to join the union, but were not able at the time to pay the entrance fee and annual subscription, which amounted to the sum of £1 per man. In February they together proceeded to the registered meeting-room of the union in St. Philip's Schoolroom, Church Hill, Sydney, having previously arranged with Charles Jackson, a financial member of the union, to propose their admission to membership, and arrange a seconder. They applied for admission, but were informed that they would not be able to join, and that the books were closed to the admission of any new members whatsoever. Holmes and Briggs attended several times at later meetings, to be told on each occasion that the books were closed.

The President of the Court pointed out that the Court had, of its own motion, asked the parlies to attend, in order to make any representation that they might wish. The condition of the award would require modifying to bring it into line with the conditions that had been laid down lately, and which allowed any person, provided he was sober, honest, and competent to be admitted to a union, on payment of a limited subscription and entrance fee, and without any method of election. He alluded to what he had said at the time the common award was made, and held that the action of the union had been autocratic and tyrannical in the extreme.

Those are strong words, coming from the President of the Arbitration Court. I have quoted them as showing the tendency to make these unions close corporations, and to prove the necessity for this legislation guarding particularly against anything of that kind occurring. Later on I propose to submit an amendment by way of a new paragraph to clause 67, of which I gave notice some time ago, whereby any union which attempts to close its books wil 1 be excluded from the operation of the Bill.. That will cover an association on either side, because the same argument applies equally to employers and employes.


Mr Watson - The Government have already intimated that they will propose an amendment to secure that nothing of that kind can occur.


Mr JOHNSON - I am glad to hear that. It is very necessary for us to safeguard the Bill, so that the interests of the great majority of the people will not be injuriously affected. I do not attribute to the Government for one moment a desire to make the unions close corporations, or to make this Bill apply only to certain sections of workers. But I am quite certain that the Bill in its present form, with these provisions included, will have those effects. I have always held that the term worker is very comprehensive, and embraces all those who are engaged either in mental or physical occupations. If this Bill is to be of any benefit at all it is necessary that the utmost facilities shall be provided for workers of every description, and for all kinds of employers to combine in some voluntary system of organization. But when we attempt coercive measures - and Bills of this description amount to coercion - we set up a form of obnoxious tyranny which invites the sternest and most hostile criticism from all sections' of the community who have any sense of right and justice. I appeal to the Government to consider this clause carefully. The omission of paragraphs b and c bv no means necessarily implies that preference will not be given to unionists, but will leave a free choice both to employers and em ployes either to give employment to those who are members of organizations, or to accept employment from members of organizations. It will not affect the general scope of the Bill, except in the one respect ; that it will abolish objectionable coercion whether it be intentional or otherwise. This coercive feature is one of the worst characteristics of the Bill, because it denies to a man the free choice of employment with any person for whom he wishes to work, or whom, in the case of an employer, he wishes to empiov.

Mr. HUGHES(West Sydney- Minister of External Affairs). - The honorable member for Lang seeks to take away from the Arbitration Court the right to give a preference to unionists. I do not think that he has made out his case. It is perfectly true that he has quoted some instances in which unions have excluded persons. The Prime Minister has said that he proposes to insert a clause to provide against that kind of thing.


Mr Ewing - To provide absolutely against it?


Mr HUGHES - To provide against excluding persons. Practically the rules of unions have to be submitted to the Registrar, and to be of such a character as will permit of the entrance of any qualified person. It . isproposed in -clause 6,7 to insert a new paragraph, to provide that the registration of any organization may, under certain circumstances, be cancelled, and that the rules of a registered organization shall provide reasonable facilities for the admission of members. This provision, giving a preference to unionists, is of the very essence and nature of such a piece of legislation as this. First of all, let us consider the present position of unionists, and what this law proposes to do to them. As things exist to-day, a unionist may do any one of a number of things. He may decline to work with a non-unionist. This Bill takes that power from him. He may go on strike. This Bill takes that power from him. Henceforth he may neither go on strike nor decline to work with any person whom the award does not exclude.


Mr Deakin - Where is he prevented from refusing to work?


Mr HUGHES - I say that he is prevented from going on strike. If the honorable and learned member thinks that question an answer to my assertion, I point out that the whole difference between unionism and individual effort is that a unionist does not go on strike by himself. If he did his action would have no effect. In addition to his going on strike, at the same time and by pre-arrangement ninety or 100 or 1,000 other persons refuse to work. We take away that right from them. They may no longer refuse to work in bodies. They previously had that right, and by means of that right they were frequently able to put themselves and their fellows in a better position. Sometimes, of course, they placed themselves in a worse position. Anyhow, they submitted everything to the arbitrament of the sword. Sometimes they were successful, and sometimes they were unsuccessful. But under this Bill they can no longer use this weapon. It is for the benefit of the public that it is taken from them. The public takes this sword from the hands of the unionist. It says - "You must not refuse to work with a non-unionist, and you must not go on strike." It also says to the employer, incidentally - "You must not lock out your men." The Bill takes away rights that certain people now have. The honorable member for Lang thinks that men are .parting with a portion of their liberty under this measure. He appears to agree with the unionists. of Great Britain and the unionists of America, who think that the surrender of the right to strike in return for such legislation is a mistake. But the unionists of Australia say that they are prepared to surrender that right in return for this Bill.


Mr Johnson - A strike infringes the equal right of some one else.


Mr HUGHES - A state of war precludes the idea of any one else's interests being considered. When a general proposes to give battle to an opposing army, does he say to the commander on the other side - " If it is convenient, your excellency, we shall be prepared to give you battle tomorow, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, providing it is not too hot or too cold, and that the conditions are all suitable " ? He does not ; nor does he bother whether, in making war, he lays the country through which his army passes in ruins.


Mr Johnson - The act of striking is itself an encroachment on the liberty of others.


Mr HUGHES - The fact that it does infringe the liberty of somebody else is not to the point ; the fact is that a unionist was able legally to strike. Under this Bill he will be able to do so no more.


Mr Johnson - Not necessarily legally ; it was by force.


Mr HUGHES - We are talking about the law, and the law said, " You can strike." That which was illegal he could not do. The law now steps in and says, "You may not strike, let alone anything else." It is proposed to take from the unionists the right to strike; and, having done that, to say, " You cannot strike, nor refuse to work with a non-unionist, and we do not propose to give you any preference." The Bill contemplates organization.


Mr Kelly - And also industrial peace.


Mr HUGHES - The Bill contemplates organization, and disputes between organizations of employers and employes, and between no one else; individuals are not contemplated. I should like to point out that even without this provision the Court would have power to give preference to unions.


Mr Johnson - If the Court would have the power without the provision, why insert it?


Mr HUGHES - Since the honorable member is good at conundrums, I will ask him one. Seeing that the Judge has the power without the provision, what is the good of striking it out ?


Mr Johnson - Because it is obviously superfluous.


Mr HUGHES - Are we to understand, then, that the honorable member who, in his oration quoted statistics, and treated us to extracts, being a purist in the English language, and a draftsman who understands these things to a nicety, protests against the superfluity of the provision ? He protests, not because the paragraph strikes a blow at human liberty, but simply because it annoys him, by reason of its superfluity. How absurd !


Mr Johnson - The absurdity is on the side of the Minister.


Mr HUGHES - When the honorable member can contrive, during his spasms on behalf of liberty, to talk a little to the point, we shall be able to get on a great deal faster. All I say is that the law was clearly laid down by the Full Court of New Zealand, in the case pf Taylor and Oakley v. Mr. JusticeEdwards and others. This was an appeal by Taylor and Oakley, plumbers and gasfitters, against a decision of Mr. Justice Edwards, that preference should be given to unionists, and it was heard before the Full Court at Christchurch in 1900. The Court decided that the Act, which contained no specific words - no such clause as this - nevertheless gives power to the Court to give preference to unionists. Chief Justice Stout, in his judgment, said - .

The industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act, 1894, was passed to provide a means of settling labour disputes. . . . It is clear that all' disputes that may arise between employers and employes are not within the jurisdiction of the Court. The Court has jurisdiction over what is termed in the Act " "industrial-disputes.". . . . Individual employes - employes not belonging to any union or association - are excluded from the operations of the statute, and employers cannot bring before a board or the Court any dispute between them and their workmen if the workmen are not members of some union or association. If it be the case that there are several thousands of workmen who do not belong to any union or association, it will be seen that the statute has a limited application, for nonassociated workmen have no status under this statute. . . . The question is, can the Court declare that non-associated workmen shall only be employed by employers if there are no workmen of equal ability and qualifications belonging to unions or associations - can the employers be compelled to give a preference to tradesunionists " ?

That was the point. Chief Justice Stout went on to say -

Non-associated workmen have, as it has been said, no status in the Court of Arbitration.

Incidentally, here he decided that freedom of contract, as such, was absolutely ignored in the Bil] ; that this was a reversion to status, as opposed to contract, as undoubt edly it was. The Act concerns organizations, and neglects altogether persons outside organizations. This Bill provides for persons forming organizations; and I should like to point out that 100 persons may form an association. That is not very many over the whole of the Commonwealth. Chief Justice Stout went on -

In construing this Act, the aim of the statute cannot be ignored. It does not, as I have said, propose to provide a means of settling disputes . between the employers and non-associated workmen. . . . The Court has, in my opinion, power to give a preference to unionists, even though non-unionists are not heard by the Court, and not allowed to represent their case. The Court, as I have said, can control the privileges of employers, and can fix the status of workmen, or the class of persons that can be employed. Whether the Court can, or cannot, give a preference to workmen belonging to one union over workmen belonging to another union is not before us. If it were before us, I should think it was doubtful if such a power could be exercised by the Court. The learned Judge in the Court below pointed out that non-associated workmen could easily acquire the status of tradesunionists. Five workmen, or five workwomen can form an industrial union. This Court has no control over the Court of Arbitration in matters within its jurisdiction. ..." Industrial matters," as defined in the statute, seem to me to include every kind of possible dispute that can arise between an employer and his workmen. AU contracts regarding labour are controlled, and may be modified or abrogated. The Court can. make the contract or agreement that is to exist between the workman and the employer. It abrogates the right of workmen and employers to make their own contracts. It, in effect, abolishes " contract!" and restores "status." The only way the Act can be rendered inoperative is by workmen not associating or not joining any union; for, as has been said, the statute cannot deal with unassociated workmen.

I shall not read the judgment at length, although it is very interesting. The three members of the Court unanimously upheld the judgment in almost similar terms; and it was then laid down clearly that, without this specific provision, the Court has power to give preference. It was incidentally held by the Judge of the Arbitration Court that he had power to give preference to one union Over another union.


Mr Glynn - If that was the cause of the dispute.


Mr HUGHES - This was an appeal, and I do not know what was the cause of the dispute; it does not appear from the report of the case. Taylor and Oakley had been asked by a decision of the Court to give preference to certain unionists, and, declining to do so, they applied for a writ of prohibition, with the result I have described.


Mr Glynn - Because that was the cause of dispute; it could be settled in no other way.


Mr HUGHES - This was not an industrial dispute. As I say. I do not know the cause of the original dispute, which, however, has nothing to do with the case. Inherent, then, in this class of legislation is the right to prefer unionists ; and if no preference is given, this Bill, instead of being a good thing for unionists, will be the worst in the world. It takes away the right to strike, and binds unionists hand and foot. Having taken the weapon of strikes away, we are asked to say to unionists - " You may go out and get a job, and if you are successful, well and good." It has been said that the unionists are in a minority in this country ; and, having deprived the compact minority of their weapons, we tell them to go and get work if they can, but that the majority will have a much better chance. Unionists according to my friend, are in a minority ; if they cannot strike, nor decline to work with the non-unionists, what earthly incentive will there be to join an association? Absolutely none, and since this Bill deals only with organizations, one of two things must follow from the achievement of such an object as the honorable member has in view. What union is going to Court to get an award if no benefit is to follow? If unionists are in a minority, what benefit can they get? And they are to get no preference. If an employer having been beaten in a case, is able to say, "Oh, very well, you got an award against me, but I will not employ any one of you ; that is the penalty for getting the award." unionists will decline to take advantage of such legislation, and it will become a dead letter. Unionists, as such, would, under those circumstances, be deprived of their right to strike, and would have no incentive to bring a case before the Court. The Court would say, "Very well, we give an award, but we do not give it to you; we give it to anybody the employer likes to employ, and do not even say that old employes must have the best right; we do not say that any one of 500 men employed by a firm must be preferred to any 500 strangers ; there is to be no preference of any kind." Injustice may be done just as readily by giving preference to men in one employ, and refusing to allow those men outside to have the same chance, as by giving a preference to non-unionists.


Mr Johnson - There will always be a natural preference for the best men.


Mr HUGHES - I am not speaking about natural preference. An employer. I suppose, will always employ those who suit him best. The point is that we are erecting machinery for the purpose of doing certain things, and not one of those things can be taken advantage of unless organizations take advantage of them. If organizations see that there is no incentive to take advantage of the Act, because no benefit can be gained, the Act will become a dead letter. If a union can be penalized, what benefit will it gain by taking advantage of the law ? It would be infinitely better to incur all the penalties of the measure, or to leave the union and let the union go to ruin. If honorable members are bent on destroying unionism in the country, let them declare themselves to be enemies of trade unionism as such, and say that this Bill ought not to give any sort of benefit or preference to unionists - that is, not trades unionists, but industrial unionists. The Bill is based upon the .principle, as Sir Robert Stout pointed out in his judgment, of substituting for contracts between individual employers and employes, registered agreements between bodies of workmen and bodies of employers. It is now said that neither one nor the other ought to have a preference over unassociated men. If the preference, which is naturally in the Bill, is not destroyed but still inheres, all I have to say is that the striking out of the provision will be absolutely superfluous. In this measure we have over and over again inserted declaratory provisions, which by implication flow naturally, but nevertheless are rendered more certain and clear by being set down in so many words. That is often done in Bills, and has been done repeatedly in the Bill before us. In the New South Wales, New Zealand, and Western Australian Acts this provision is to be found. Since New Zealand, after an experience of five or six years, found that it was a desirable thing to put in that provision, that without preference the Act was but dry bones, and that until that judgment was given unionism was simply at a disadvantage, instead of at an advantage ; since, in all the Acts we have throughout Australia this provision is included, and since it is perfectly clear that the unionist, is denied under this measure the right to use the only weapon which is his, and by which he is able to get anything, we should at least confer on him those privileges which are contemplated, and one of them is that, other things being equal, he should have a preference over the non-unionist. How does that exclude the non-unionist? I utterly fail to see how it does.


Mr Johnson - How does it include the majority if they are not unionists?


Mr HUGHES - First of all, they may join an industrial organization, there is nothing to stop them doing so. It is proposed in the amendment suggested by the Prime Minister that an award shall only be granted on the condition that any man" may join a union. Mr. Justice Cohen says -

If they were sober and honest and competent to be admitted to a union on the payment of a limited subscription, they ought to be admitted.

That is his idea. I would like to remind honorable members that after all it was on the words of the Judge, and against my counsel, that the wharf labourers decided to close their union.


Mr Johnson - If the honorable and learned gentleman will read a passage in a later part of the judgment, which I did not quote, he will see that Mr. Justice Cohen repudiates that imputation.


Mr HUGHES - I shall read the passage when it is found by my honorable colleague. I wish to make this point perfectly clear, that the non-unionist suffers no injustice by reason of that preference. If he is a more competent man he is to be employed. Then, again, he may join a union, and so get employment.


Mr Kelly - Compulsion !


Mr HUGHES - I do not deny for a moment that there is a certain inducement there; a compulsion, if honorable members l ike to put it in that way. I would remind the honorable member for Wentworth that there is nothing improper in that, because it is contemplated by this Bill. I understand that he is against the Bill. But to those who believe in the spirit of the Bill, there is nothing improper in a man having an inducement tq join a union because it contemplates dealing with organizations. It will require an organization to put the measure in force.


Mr Watson - It all depends on organization.


Mr HUGHES - Undoubtedly. It contemplates and depends on organization ; otherwise it would be a dead letter. It is proposed by the amendment of the honorable member for Lang, to say to the organizations - "You are to have no sort of benefit. You are going to pay this penalty for putting the Act in force. As soon as you increase the wages of all the people in your trade, that moment you will kill your union."


Mr Lonsdale - The honorable member has admitted that it may reduce the wages.


Mr HUGHES - I have not admitted it, but I shall be glad to do so now, if it will be of any service to the honorable member.


Mr Lonsdale - The honorable and learned gentleman believes that it will increase the wages.


Mr HUGHES - Before the measure can be put in force for any purpose, a union will have to move, and one of the effects of raising or lowering a rate of wages will be to utterly destroy the union that brings the matter before the Court, unless preference is given to the members of that union.


Mr Johnson - Mr. Justice Cohen said -

There is nothing in the award that could bring any intelligent mind to the conclusion that the Court countenanced any such exclusion as had been disclosed.


Mr HUGHES - At page 145 of volume 1 of the Industrial Arbitration Reports and Records, honorable members will find this passage -


The President - We have no control over the union rules so far as the internal government of the union is concerned, except that we can lay down conditions of labour. The Court may impose conditions which are opposed to union rules, and in that case the union rules would have to give way, but this is a matter in which we cannot interfere, as it regulates the internal constitution or the personnel of the union. We have no power in this case to allow the union to suspend the operation of its rules. It has nothing to do with anything now before us, or with the outside conditions of labour. It may be that, notwithstanding the rule, the executive may exercise a discretion, and say, " Notwithstanding our rules, we cannot see our way to accept any more members." That is my impression. I do not know that any one has a legal right to go to your union, and say, "Here are your rules; you must admit me." Therefore, it may be, the union might take the risk, and say, " We will close our books now for a month or six weeks." As a Court, we have no power to interfere in that particular matter on this application.


Mr Kelly - On that particular application.


Mr HUGHES - That is the Judge's answer to an application asking what is to be done to prevent incompetent members from joining the union. I shall read a little more from the book, because evidently this matter is of importance. On page 143 I find this passage -


The President - The Court has been asked to make some suggestion with regard to giving the union a discretionary power in adding to its members. Speaking for myself, I think it would be a reasonable thing if the executive of the union did exercise some discretion over the admission of members to the union - that is, in the way of requiring any person who wishes to join the union to give some reasonable proof that he is a competent or efficient wharfman. Perhaps the union might make a rule with regard to this; and, if a question were to arise as to its validity, the Court could determine whether the rule was a reasonable one. The stevedores say that they cannot always get competent men. They have a reasonable ground for saying that if they are restricted to members of the union, the union should be in a position to provide them with a sufficient number of competent men. It seems to me that the union would, in some measure, enhance its reputation as a labouring body if it could give a reasonable assurance to those who sought labour from its ranks that any man who came from the union was efficient and fairly reliable.


Mr Hughes - I understand that the Court will look favorably on any reasonable restriction on persons wishing to join the union.


The President - That is my opinion.

I see that on page 146 Mr. Cruickshank says -

I take it that the principal object is to prevent incompetent men from joining the union. If it were proposed to make a rule to say that on and after a certain date that there will be no more members admitted, that would exclude good men as well as bad. But, as I understand it, the intention is to exclude the undesirable men who are not physically fitted to do the work.


Mr Hughes - I understand the President's opinion to be that no man has a right to say to the union, "You must admit me." Merely handing the money requisite for obtaining a ticket of membership does not, I understand, constitute a right to be admitted.


The President - I have not had time to consider the question, but I have given my personal impression on that part - it is not an opinion.

On the question of saying "We will not allow anybody to come in for a certain time," Mr. Justice Cohen gives an opinion in reply to an application. I am not for a moment contending that under any circumstances a union ought not to exclude any but the incompetent. I should like to point out something which apparently is not to be found in that report, and that is - that although the Wharf Labourers' Union did exclude certain persons by closing its books, it included every one of the 11.000 labourers of the Federation of Waterside Workers throughout Australia, who, on a transfer card, could have come in, and the whole of the members of the Seamen's Union who are elidible to come in at any time. So that there was an ample supply of competent men ; and. further, I venture to say that, as regards the 3,500 members of the Wharf Labourers' Union, more or less, there is not work for more than 1,500, though I still say that they ought not to have closed their books. I have given,. I hope, sufficient reason to show that the union acted on the suggestion of the Judge. In my opinion, to take away from the unionists this right of preference is to take away from them that which this measure is designed to confer. At the same time, it will confer no privileges upon them. Having regard to what occurred in 1890, and it was in consequence of it that the provision relating to conciliation and arbitration was inserted in the Constitution, the man who can calmly contemplate the possibility of another such industrial conflict without a tremor, is indeed a stout-hearted citizen. But honorable members propose to take away the solitary motive for putting this measure when it becomes law into force. Every man can join a union if he likes. If a minority of the citizens of the Commonwealth are unionists how can they exclude the majority ? Each unionist can only do one man's work, and if he is not employed a non-unionist must be employed. Therefore, by the honorable member's reasoning, every non-unionist who is employed at the expense of the unionist does an injustice to the unionist by being employed. All we ask is that, all other things being equal, the unionists shall have a preference, and that entrance to a union shall be free, provided that competency can be shown. That condition ought to be insisted on. Unless employes are to be allowed to say, " We have men in our industrial union, and we will guarantee that they are competent men," what is the utility of having a union ? But competence, sobriety, and good character, which ought to distinguish citizens, whether unionists or non-unionists, ought to be a sine qua von of membership. That being the case, it is essential that we give preference to unionists. The Bill contemplates it, and it would be given without' any specific clause to that effect ; but, inasmuch as every other Act of the kind in Australia contains a similar provision in set terms, I see no reason why we should not adopt that now proposed.







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