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Thursday, 7 July 1904
Thursday, 7 July 1904

Mr.Speaker took the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.


Mr. WILLIS.- I desire to ask the Prime Minister a question, without notice. I direct his attention to a paragraph appearing in thisday's Argus, under the heading "The Union's Claims." Referring to the speech of the honorable member for' Dalley, the newspaper proceeds -

He was prepared to fight either outside or inside Parliament for the recognition of unions. His objection to the amendments was that all the- powerful unions would refuse to register under such a provision, and therefore they would not be controlled by the Court.

Mr. Wilks.- I am glad to see the. Prime Minister fighting for this principle. I believe he would rather lose the Bill and his position as Prime Minister than sacrifice it.

Mr. Watson.- Hear, hear;

Mr. Wilks.- I am glad to hear the Prime Minister say, "hear, hear."

In view of that paragraph, I wish to ask the Prime. Minister whether it is a fact that he led the Committee to believe that he would rather lose the Bill and his position as Prime Minister than, sacrifice the provision for the recognition of preference to unions as they at present exist? I wish to' ask, also, whether it is a fact that the honorable gentleman intends to retain the office of Prime Minister, seeing that the following amendment has been made in the Bill :-

Provided that no such organization shall be entitled to any declaration of preference by the Court when, and so long as, its rules or other binding decisions permit the application of its funds to political purposes, or require its members do anything of a political character.

Mr. WATSON.- I suggest to the honorable member for Robertson that he might get a legal definition of the position from his leader, the right honorable member for East Sydney.

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