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Tuesday, 5 July 1904

Mr ISAACS (Indi) - We have had some very - representative speeches to-night, and the question has been presented from various points of view. We have had some weighty observations from the' right honorable member for East Sydney, and' a spirited reply from the Prime Minister, and a defence of his position from the mover of one amendment. It seems to me that the matter is one of such gravity and wide import that it should be regarded as quietly and calmly as possible. The proposal of the honorable and learned member for Corinella is certainly, so far as Australian legislation is concerned, a novelty. I know no precedent for it. It strikes me as an innovation of such a kind as to require the utmost jealousy in regarding it. It does this, if it does nothing else : It says to men - " You shall not come into a recognised established Court to have your claims adjudicated upon in a purely industrial matter, if you choose by organization to endeavour to preserve }Tour rights and your privileges by constitutional means."

Mr Lonsdale - " If you wish to compel non-unionists to join you."

Mr ISAACS - .That remark is quite irrelevant to the subject, as I shall endeavour to show, if I am permitted, in my own way. If, when I . have finished, my honorable friend still dissents from me, he will have an opportunity to say so. I think that there is a great danger of the real question being overladen with irrelevant considerations, and being smothered with matters which do not properly appertain to it. In my view it is impossible to judge fairly and im partially of this matter, unless we keep in mind' both the objects of the Bill and the scheme or plan which forms the fundamental groundwork upon which the whole structure has been! raised. The Bill has been well described over and over again as one for the establishment of industrial peace. It is a measure for which three ' Governments must take responsibility. It was introduced by the Barton Government, and it is said that the hand which framed it was that of the right honorable member for Adelaide. It is to the last degree regrettable from all stand-points that he is not here to take part in the discussion. I think that he would throw a great deal of light , upon the subject, and would, undoubtedly, be able to advance in the strongest manner arguments in support of its principles. All of us remember the able manner in which the honorable and learned member for Ballarat, who was then Attorney-General, undertook the elucidation of its provisions when the unfortunate severance of the right honorable member for Adelaide from the Ministry took place. Then occurred a considerable lapse of time, and a general election, under the leadership of the honorable and learned member who, as the head of a Government, brought the Bill forward again. Now,- the present Government has taken it up. More than that, in the recently published notifications . of the proposed coalition, it was made one of the planks of the agreement that the Arbitration Bill should be proceeded with. This, therefore, is no party measure. It was taken up and adopted without the slightest intimation of any such crucial alteration as this, not only by the Government which originally introduced it, but by succeeding Governments, and by a proposed Government. Consequently we must not allow the statement that this Bill is a party measure, or that its main provisions have been framed upon party lines, to pass without contradiction. I should like to ask those honorable members who are objecting to it whether they would hare gained the support of the electors, had it been announced at the last general election that they were opposed to. it, or that in their attitude towards it they intended to denounce trades unions, or that they proposed to submit this amendment ? I think not. We must act fairly towards this Bill, and consider it in as cold, calm, and reasonable a light as we can, in order that we may see how it will operate. I do not wish this question to be decided in a way which any of us may regret hereafter. I desire to see it dealt with from the stand-point from which I have ever sought to approach it, namely, that of the whole public welfare I do not advocate this Bill in the interests of trades unions, or even of employes as opposed to employers, nor do I defend any part of it on behalf of employers as against employes. I take my stand - as I always did - upon this one pedestal, namely, that in Australia we find industrial controversies of such a nature, of such a magnitude, and of such possible magnitude and importance, that it is in the highest degree desirable in the whole public interest- - in the interests of the consumer as well as of the producer - that there should be a cessation of these conflicts - these civil wars. It is of the greatest importance, not merely to the owner of a coal mine and to the men working below that there should be' no intermittence in the output, but it is equally important to the consumers of coal - to the manufacturers who use it, and to every household which burns it. Therefore, we do not wish the means of production to be obstructed or energy to be neutralized. We desire the whole country to progress.

Mr. -Higgins.- And we wish for no Colorado work here.

Mr ISAACS - We certainly want nothing of that kind. I look upon this question not through the glasses of trades unionists, or of non-unionists, or of employers. But, approaching it from the stand-point I have just indicated, I can find no justification whatever for supporting either of the amendments under consideration. We must look not merely at the objects of the Bill, but at its plan. We desire to stay discord, to prevent disunion and trouble, and we must ask ourselves the question, " Who are the contestants ?" My reply is " the employers on the one side and either single employes or unions of employe's, upon the other." The honorable, and learned member for Angas in effect says, "Let us entirely forget that one of the contestants is a trades union. Do not let us recognise that union." But I would point out that such a union may exist by reason of State law. In four or five of the States, Acts are in operation which invite employes to register as trades unions. Yet the honorable and learned member exclaims, " Forget all that."

Mr Glynn - I say let them federate upon a new basis just as the Commonwealth did as distinct from the States.

Mr ISAACS - The honorable and learned member really supports my statement. He practically says - " We must ignore existing trades unions as such. We must not recognise them as they have existed in the past. We care not how they have laboured to form their organizations, what property they hold, or what ties bind them together. For the future, they shall have no existence, so far as this Bill is concerned. Their members, however, if they choose, may form themselves into another organization, and other persons, who are not members of these trades unions, may come into that organization, which we will recognise, provided that it exists merely for the purposes of this Bill." Is that not ignoring the present existence, and the past, of trades unions? Are the same men, as a trades union, to- exist under State law for one purpose, to pay their contributions, to obey the awards of a State Court, and then, under Federal law, as another organization, are they to obey another order of the Commonwealth Court?

Mr Glynn - They would do that as matters stand.

Mr ISAACS - It is to be the same organization under the Bill.

Mr Glynn - The rules of the organization formed under the Bill may be distinct and contradictory.

Mr ISAACS - The honorable and learned member knows that no sane body of men would have contradictory rules. Mr. Glynn. - The Acts may prescribe different rules. There is nothing to prevent a State Act being different from a Federal Act.

Mr ISAACS - Of course, anything is possible if my honorable and learned friend imagines that men will abandon their common sense. I can find no justification for ignoring bodies of men throughout Australia who have done such magnificent work, not merely for themselves and their fellowworkers, but for the whole continent. Why should they be ignored under this Bill ? Why should they be outlawed for the future? I have heard no valid reason advanced in support of that position. They are told that whether they be unionists or non-unionists under State law, they must register, and comply with certain conditions under this Bill. When they have done that, why should we say to them, " All the State laws are wrong, and trades unions, the members of which are the very persons who it is presumed will be participants in industrial quarrels, shall not have their quarrels settled by this Court ? " We are, forsooth, to recognise employers, but not trades unions. The amendment seems to me absolutely foreign to the purposes of the Bill. The Government ask us to say to the quarrelling parties, " The State will not allow you to quarrel. It is detrimental to the public interest that you should do so, and in future instead of quarrelling to your own disadvantage, but still more to the disadvantage of the public, the State will step in and heal your quarrel by deciding it." But the honorable and learned member, for Angas, for some reason which I cannot understand, says, " We will ignore one of the contestants." How then is he going to settle their quarrel ? He says to the trades unions, " We will not recognise you. " How is their quarrel to be decided? Let us suppose that two men have a dispute, whether it be upon a question of contract, or tort, or anything else. They are not allowed to fight out their quarrel between themselves. They are compelled to go before a properly established tribunal, which decides it for them. Because an organization is constituted under the law of one place, did any one ever hear it suggested that it should not be recognised as a contestant under the law of another?

Mr Glynn - The employes are not recognised as such.

Mr ISAACS - Quite so.

Mr Glynn - Then where is the argument of the honorable and learned ' member?

Mr ISAACS - The honorable and learned member has touched upon a very important matter with which I shall deal at a later stage. But, under this amendment, for the benefit of employers, no number of employes, however organized under State law, will be able to bring their quarrel before the Arbitration Court. If the proposal be carried, I shall submit an amendment which will then be necessary, and will give honorable members who declare that they are fighting the battle of the non-unionists an opportunity of demonstrating how strongly they support that class. The amendment of the honorable and learned member for Angas practically provides that trades unions shall not be recognised. Let me point out a few of the results which will flow from its adoption. When I have done so, I believe that he will withdraw his proposal.

Mr Glynn - That is not likely

Mr ISAACS - Under this Bill' an industrial dispute is a dispute between an em ployer or an. organization of employers upon the one side, and an organization of employe's on the other. The honorable and learned member says that the latter organization must not be an existing trades union, but an organization which is formed and exists only for the purposes of this Bill. Let us suppose that a dispute arises between an employer and a trades union, which under a State law is a different body from an industrial organization under this Bill. In such circumstances, the honorable and learned member must recognise that - a strike or lock-out would not- be prohibited, that the employer might discharge any one or more of his employes simply because they were members of a trades union, and because there was no penalty attaching to their dismissal. How, then, would this Bill make for industrial peace ? All the difficulties that we are endeavouring to overcome would be left untouched.

Mr Glynn - I do not agree with the conclusions of the honorable and learned member.

Mr ISAACS - Surely the honorable and learned member for Angas must see that. The term " industrial dispute " is defined, and under the amendment' of the honorable and learned member no quarrel between a State trades union and an employer could possibly give rise to " an industrial dispute," within the meaning of this Bill. Consequently, any" employer would be in a position to say to a workman, " You are a member of a State trades union, and I refuse to employ you."

Mr Glynn - What is to prevent them from registering under the Act?

Mr ISAACS - It is not the same trades union. The honorable and learned member proposes that the only organizations which shall be recognised by this measure shall be those which are formed solely for the purposes of the Act.

Mr Glynn - They will have to become Inter-State in character in order to come under the Bill..

Mr ISAACS - The honorable and learned member does not wish them to be recognised. Consequently, under his proposal trades unions would remain outside its purview.

Mr Glynn - What is to prevent them from amalgamating into a federal union in the same way as the Commonwealth did in relation to the States?

Mr ISAACS - The honorable and learned member wishes to dissolve the existing unions.

Mr Glynn - The States, as such, were not dissolved when we established the Commonwealth.

Mr ISAACS - But they are still recognised. The more the honorable and learned member thinks of it the more he will see that his proposal will not meet the case. More than that. When wre come to the position of industrial agreements, we see that they are between organizations and employers ; and there is not one of the trades unions which "will be able under this Bill to make an industrial agreement, because it is not an industrial organization under the measure. The whole Bill will fail.

Mr O'Malley - The amendment is an amendment to create strikes.

Mr ISAACS - It is an amendment to nullify the whole Bill. I will take the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corinella. I have explained that I disagreed from the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Angas, but it has at least one great merit. It is consistent. It says - "We will have nothing to do with your trades unions." The honorable and learned member for Corinella, however, moves an amendment that has not even the merit of consistency, and I will show why. It says that State trades unions shall be recognised. They_ may be registered. If they are, and if they only dare to permit either in their rules or in their practice any tinge of political action, they can be subjected, and they shall be subjected, to all the penalties of the measure, and to none of its benefits. Under the conditions that I have mentioned, a trades union is forbidden to strike, because it is an organization; but if an employer locks out the employes there is no ground of complaint. The employer may discharge every man, because they are members of an organization ; but the trade union has no cause of complaint. If they strike they are criminals. If the employer discharges them it is quite legal and they must bear it. That, I say, is a most lopsided amendment. Not only is it unjust from the stand-point which I have indicated, but it is even worse ; because what is a firm or a mining company ? Take a very large mining company that is employing, say, 500 or 1,000 men. That company is to all intents and purposes an organization. It is not technically an organization under this Bill, but it is an organization to all practical purposes. It is one employer in law ; it is one employer in fact. It is a number of shareholders organized, for the purposes of carrying on a business. That employer can vote as much money as it pleases for political purposes. It can sustain a candidate. It can pay his expenses. ' It can urge the adoption of political views. The amendment permits all that as being perfectly lawful. But let the men have one simple rule for political purposes, and they are to be punished. They can be locked out, or they may be dismissed because they are members of an organization, but they are forbidden to strike. Is that fair and just? Not only companies, but firms may do the same thing. Any individual employer, any number of employers in association in a company or firm, may do it. Yet under this amendment the employes are laid hold of by the heels, but the employer goes scot free. That is not evenhanded justice. That is not looking at the matter from the public stand-point. I cannot see how that position can be upheld for a single instant . by any fairminded man looking at it fairly and squarely.

Mr Glynn - An employer is not allowed to submit a dispute under this Bill.

Mr ISAACS - My honorable and learned friend must not overlook the definition of " industrial dispute " in clause 4. An industrial dispute under paragraph a of that .clause means a dispute - in relation to industrial matters arising between an employer or an organization of employers on the one part and an organization of employees on the other part.

Mr Glynn - I know that; it is not the dispute I am talking of, but the initiation of a case.

Mr ISAACS - That definition governs the whole matter of industrial disputes, and the employer is put in the same position as a hundred employes in an organization. There is no question about that. I must say that, when I look at the matter from an impartial stand-point, as I hope I do, this position strikes me as being unsatisfactory. I have no personal interest in" trades unions. I have no personal interest in any employers. I have no personal interest in non-unionists, except the interest that I have in them all as citizens, of this Commonwealth. And, looking at it from an impartial stand-point, I cannot understand how this position can be maintained for a moment. What do these trades unions come into' Court for? Because they are told - " You shall not in future use the weapon that you have been allowed to use hitherto- a strike." They say- "What are you giving us in return ?" My honorable and learned friend the member for Angas says - " Nothing ; we will not recognise you." The honorable and learned member for Corinella says - " Oh, we will give you permission to come before the Court, provided you drop what every citizen of this Commonwealth can claim the peaceful right to look after your interests by constitutional means." What concession is that? As far as any disputant is concerned, the Bill gives no concession. It provides a remedy. It is a remedial, measure, but that is all. It is a mere machine for settling disputes. We know that in olden times men used to resort to violence, both in civil quarrels with their neighbours, and also by means of trades unions against employers. That was at a time when the most severe legislation existed aimed directly arid specially at labour. Down to comparatively recent times - to a long way in the nineteenth century - that was the case. Deeds of violence were committed by labourers that were unjustifiable arid were properly punished. They were the outcome of the times. When we are told that there shall be no political action on the part of these trades unions, it is forgotten how political action was forced upon the unions.

Mr Groom - How they got even the right to exist in law.

Mr ISAACS - Quite so. No, one who has ever read that inimitable book, The History of Trades Unions, by Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Webb, or the graphic account of trades unions in such a book as Justin McCarthy's History of Our Own Times, can fail to understand and appreciate the necessity under which trades unions were compelled to adopt political action. As Mr. and Mrs. Webb say, the original idea and the long-continued idea of trades unions was abstention from political action. Instances are given where the rules of the unions forbade political action - or political wrangling, as it was put in one case. But when they found that the Legislature was governed principally by the influence of those who were antagonistic to them, what were they to do? At first they were driven to deeds of violence that could not be tolerated in any civilized community, and were properly suppressed. Then they resorted to strikes ; and, at first, and for a long time, strikes were treated as criminal. Down, to 187 1 men were not allowed with impunity to strike. So late as that trades unions - I am giving in very brief form the ' results of such works as I have mentioned - struggling for recognition of even their own existence, and struggling to help the Liberals in the enlargement of the franchise in 1867, suddenly, and to the surprise of a large number of people, took a very prominent part in politics. In 187 1 they were still without representation in Parliament - I mean without special representation. An Act was passed which .did not at all meet the situation, and under which certain de- cisions were given. It was the first recognition of their right to strike, but only in a limited form ; and if they did anything, however trivial we may think it, to make their strike effectual, the criminal law was down upon them. Seven women were sent to gaol in South Wales for saying " baa " to a certain "blackleg." Almost any action on the part of trades unionists, in the direction of persuading men to assist them, was punished by imprisonment. Employers, on the other hand, were quite at liberty to use "black lists," and what were called " character notes." The criminal law did not apply to employers, but it applied to employes. The matter became intolerable. Strikes were . rendered almost impossible or ineffectual^ Ultimately the trades unions were driven to use their political influence to obtain redress in Parliament for their wrongs; and that is how this political action was forced upon them. In 1875, for the first time in the history of the House of Commons, two labour men, Mr. Macdonald and Mr. Burt, were elected.. In 1875, the first real ameliorating Act was passed ; and from that time the real emancipation of the workers began. Factory Acts, Shipping Acts, Sanitation Acts, Dwelling Acts, the proper regulation of Woman and Child labour, the Mines Regulation Act - all these measures have come in a legitimate and proper course, and as a direct result of political vigilance on the part of the trades unions. Not for their own benefit only ; they were merely representative of. millions of their fellows. It may be admitted, even by those who would have opposed them at that time, that they have done what was humane and proper. That is how political action was 'forced upon the trades unions. But when once you have won a right you have to guard it. The honorable and learned member for

Corinella said, " When the Bill is passed, all reason for political action will be gone." Is that true ?

Mr Mauger - No.

Mr ISAACS - Have they not still to guard their rights ? Is it not possible, if they are once disarmed, that next year, or after the next election, some measure may be introduced into this Parliament which will cut down their rights, or even threaten their existence ? How are they to watch the administration of Acts? Parliament alone can do that with any effect, and I cannot see how it. can be condemned that men should do nothing more than unite for the purpose of exercising the highest attribute of citizenship. We must look facts clearly in the face. Capital has no more and no less a claim to our consideration than labour. But capital possesses attributes that labour does not. It is always organized ; it is always acting in the same interest: it is always ready. But what force and what effect can single atoms of labour have?

Mr McColl - That is not proposed under the Bill.

Mr ISAACS - My honorable friend will forgive me for saying that it is most material here. The only effectual way of defending rights and securing redress from wrongs is by uniting, and parliamentary influence is one of those means. Does my honorable friend say that because an organization has a plank that it shall 'strictly and vigilantly guard its political rights, it shall be denied its ordinary industrial rights? If he suggests that, next we shall have it proclaimed that any society, Friendly or other, which is a religious one - it may be a Jewish 01 Catholic or Protestant society, its members are to bet denied access to the Court for their contractual or proprietary rights because thev have a bond of religion'. What has religious creed to do with industrial rights ? What, has political faith to do with industrial rights? Nothing whatever. So long as these industrial organizations come into the Court and say, " We want nothing more than any other person. We do not claim any advantage over any other worker in Australia," I see no reason for denying them access to the Court, no matter what their political faith may be. But the moment they ask for an advantage or a preference ; the moment they say, " We want something more than a non-unionist can get," then coercion commences, if .they get it. If the Court gives it to them it says to other workers, " You shall not get equal rights unless you join an organization." If that organization has a compulsory political platform it is not giving political freedom to the Outsider, and we should prohibit preference under any circumstances, so long as that political platform exists. The honorable and learned member for Darling Downs has been good enough to associate himself with me m trying to frame an amendment which I intend to propose, and which I understand the Prime Minister is willing to accept.

Mr Watson - I have not seen the phraseology of the amendment, but I am willing to accept it in spirit.

Mr ISAACS - I do noi commit myself to the phraseology. I wish, as far as I can, to carry out the views I have -just enunciated. The spirit of the proposal is as follows : -

No preference shall be declared to any organization under this Act if its rules, decisions, 'or practices, or any of them provide for or permit either the application or appropriation of its funds, or any part thereof, tpi any political purpose whatever, or any political action on the part of the organization.

Whenever an industrial organization says, " We- want to gain an advantage over our fellow workers, then they should add, "We drop our political platform."

Mr Glynn - -That proposal does not differ in principle from the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corinella. It is only a question of degree.

Mr ISAACS - My honorable and learned friend has quite missed the whole point. Does he see no difference in principle between sharing rights equally with the public and gaining an advantage over the rest" of the public? Does he not see, to apply the simile I used before, that if there were, for instance, a Jewish society of workers, and only persons of that particular faith were allowed to join, and they went into Court and stated, " We want ordinary rights, such as fair wages, or hours, like every one else," they should not be denied them? On the other hand, if they stated, " We want some special distinctive rights," would not that be a difference in principle ? Would not the Court say, "As long as you make profession of a particular faith part of your deed of membership, you certainly shall not have a preference."

Mr Glynn - According to the honorable and learned member's argument, there is no reason why they should not profess politics in their rules.

Mr ISAACS - Mv honorable and learned friend seems to pass by the very distinction which stares him plainly in the face. If he cannot see a distinction between sharing in equality ordinary citizenship, and gaining an advantage oyer other citizens, then, of course, I cannot explain the matter further.

Mr Spence - How would that amendment affect the ownership of a newspaper?

Mr ISAACS - If it had a political purpose that would be a matter for the Court to deal with ; it would come under the Act.

Mr Watson - When they asked for a preference.

Mr ISAACS - Yes.

Mr Watson - Not before.

Mr ISAACS - My proposed amendment only refers to preference. The Court, apart from preference, has nothing to do with the political creed or religious faith or tendency of any person before it. Tt is an unwarranted interference with the right of other persons to say that they shall cease to hold any political faith. How can it be defended? If large companies of employers can, under the Bill, as they may, not only pr, .e,9 a political faith, but expend any proportion they please of their wealth to advance that political faith, how can they justly complain if their less fortunate brethren, the employes, do the same thing in a minor degree ?

Mr Glynn - Does not the honorable and learned member believe in preference under the Bill ?

Mr ISAACS - I should much like to see no preference, if it could possibly be avoided. I think that preferences ought, in any case, to be. most sparingly dealt out. That is a matter which we can safely intrust to the Court, as long as there is no appearance of forcing political faith on to any person. But a case might arise when the granting of a preference might be strongly to the advantage of an employer, because the only alternative might be tha passing the common rule. He might infinitely prefer that the Court should decree preference to a union, because when the union was exhausted the common rule would not apply. That explains why I cannot support the amendment. In Western Australia a registered trade union may be registered under the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act of 1902, and every branch may be registered, and sub-section 3 - of section 7 says- -

For the purposes of the Act, the rules for the time being of the trade union with such addition or modification as may be necessary to give effect, to this Act shall, when registered, be deemed to be the rules of the industrial union.

That is about the latest exposition of the whole matter. In Western Australia they recognised trades unions as they stood with their rules for the purposes of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. Why should we depart from that plan? Why should we in this Federal Parliament decline to recognise the unions in Victoria, .New South Wales, Western Australia, or Queensland, although established under Acts of Parliament, or even the unions in South Australia and Tasmania, which exist voluntarily, but which undoubtedly are recognised practically ? Why should they all be ignored ? What is the necessity for it? If we go to the length which has been suggested by these two amendments I see very great force in the Prime Minister's statement that the Bill will be seriously imperilled. I believe that to carry the amendments would amount to almost an evisceration of the measure. - I can- quite understand the anxiety of the Prime Minister in this matter. I entirely agree with him this is not a Bill for the advancement of trades unions. If I thought it was a Bill to advance trades unions -at the expense of other workers I would vote against it from the very beginning to the very end. I do not think it is even a Bill for the advancement of labour as against capital, or I would vote against it.

Mr Watson - The Court will not be presided over by a Labour Judge.

Mr ISAACS - I believe' that the Bill, in its inherent meaning, is one that shows no favour to either side. I do not wish it to show favour, but I do desire to see. a fair balance established and maintained between the two contending parties. I think that we must recognise the contending parties as they stand before us to-day ; and recognising them and their quarrel, we sayto them. " You shall not have private strife, you shall have a public settlement of your dispute." That at once gets rid of the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Angas. It at once shows, too, how unfair the operation of the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corinella would be. When the right honorable, member for East Sydnev was asked by me whether he limited his remarks to preference, he replied " Yes," and I said that I agreed with him. With all the observations we have heard with regard to preference and forcing men into unions, I thoroughly, agree. I intend to support every ' proposition which can prevent that from taking place. But I cannot agree with some of the animadversions which were passed on the Prime Minister to-night, when it was said that they did not agree with his anxiety about the Bill. The prevention of preference, when a union is a political as well as an industrial union, is a legitimate thing, but the denial of ordinary rights is another thing. '

Mr Watson - - Even to submit a dispute under the amendment.

Mr ISAACS - Even to submit a dis.pute. How can any man defend an amendment which says, " We will admit that association or trades union to recognition under the Act, but only' for the purpose of punishing it if it offends against the Act, and not for the purpose of giving it its rights?" That is the meaning of the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Corinella. It says to the organization, "You shall be a target to be shot at, but you shall have no rights and you shall have no weapon to strike in return." I do not want any of them to have weapons. I wish all weapons to be laid aside. I desire to see the State dp justice between the two. To put my. argument in another way-, I appreciate the Prime Minister's statement with regard to the measure, and the answer that I think ought to have been given . to the. honorable and learned member for Corinella, when he said that he was surprised that that honorable gentleman, had talked of dropping the Bill. Mind, I do not counsel the dropping of the- Bill, but merely say there is ground for anxiety. The honorable and learned member .for. Corinella asked, "Why should he drop, the Bill - why should such a want pf sincerity be shown as would be shown by the abandonment of the measure?" Is it not sufficient answer to say that unions have recognised rights at present which they Have never abused, and to ask why these unions should be called on to lose the rights they Have? I do not mean merely the right to strike, but the right to complain in place of striking. Unions would be placed in the position that either they would not register at all - in which case no possible dispute could be decided, and the whole Bill would be ineffective as regards them - or, if they did register, they would have to submit to the humiliation and material loss of abandoning what is every Britisher's right - the right to appeal to Parliament for redress of wrongs, or maintenance of rights. The wording of the amendment is distinct - " That no such organization shall be entitled to submit any industrial dispute to the Court," and so ()n. Why should an organization not be allowed to submit an industrial dispute?

Mr Watson - Who would be injured ?

Mr ISAACS - The Court is not called on to be a political partisan, but is concerned only with industrial disputes; and, provided that no preference is permitted to the Court, I cannot see that we are justified in adopting either of the amendments before the Chair.

Mr McColl - I suggest that progress be reported.

Mr WATSON - I have no objection to progress being reported now, but I trust that honorable members will assist the Government to arrive at a. decision to-morrow night.

Mr Glynn - Some honorable members were anxious to have a division to-day.

Mr WATSON - I think it would be reasonable to report progress now, but I shall expect the' assistance of honorable members in coming to a division to-morrow.

Progress reported.

Rouse adjourned at 10.33 P-m-

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