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Tuesday, 5 June 1928

Mr GREGORY (Swan) .- I am in somewhat of a quandary. Havinglistened with great attention to theright honorable member for North Sydney (Mr. Hughes), who certainly should be an able exponent of all matters pertaining to arbitration, I feel it extremely difficult to follow him, because, after pointing out all the difficulties and dangers of this clause, he was unable to. give us any advice as to how we could best accomplish the object sought to be attained by it. The honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) gave me the impression that he had no time for arbitration. If we are to have arbitration, surely to. goodness our laws giving effect to it should be enforced. It is not right that one section of the community should be able to break the law when it suits them,, and to defy the government of this, country. Sooner than that we should strike this law from our statute-book.

Mr Anstey - Then we should have toscrap many acts of legislation, because all our laws are constantly being broken..

Mr GREGORY - To-day certain members of a trade union are openly defying the law.


Mr GREGORY - There are many of them?


Mr GREGORY - We have been dealing to a great extent with the trouble that is existing to-day in connexion with the maritime strike.

Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Who are the honorable members who, according to the honorable member, have openly advocated breaking the law?

Mr GREGORY - The honorable member who has just resumed bis seat said that-

Mr Scullin - Who are they?

Mr GREGORY - The honorable member for Bourke for one.

Mr PARKER MOLONEY (HUME, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Did he advocate breaking the law?

Mr Scullin - The honorable member should give the names.

Mr GREGORY - The action of the maritime cooks has been responsible for holding up the whole of our' interstate trade, and causing widespread unemployment and general depression.

Mr E RILEY (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - How does the honorable member propose to deal with them?

Mr GREGORY - Are we to assume that one section of the community has the right to openly defy a law and hold up industry whilst another section must obey it? Is it right' that a small section should act in this way and that no effort should be made to bring them to heel? It is interesting to note the following, which appeared in the Melbourne Argus : -

The following official statement was issued by the president (Mr. W. J. Buggan), and the secretary (Mr. C. Crofts), of tlie Australasian Council : - Consideration was given to statements ni aclu in a section of the press to the effect that the committee would discipline the Marine Cooks Union, even to the extent of sanctioning free labour being employed by the steam-ship owners to take the place of the members of the Marine Cooks Union. These statements were indignantly refuted by the combined committees, and it was resolved that the pi-ess be requested to give an emphatic denial to any such suggestion.

Instead of an attempt being made by responsible union leaders to bring pressure upon these men to obey the law and return to work, they decline to do anything of the kind.

Mr Scullin - That is. not the correct interpretation to place upon that paragraph. While these men were engaged in negotiations mischievous reports were circulated which destroyed their efforts. Men of that type have done more to settle industrial disputes than the honorable member is likely to do in a hundred years.

Mr GREGORY - The Leader of the Opposition seems to derive some satisfaction from the fact that a certain section of trade unionists are to do these things.

Mr Scullin - I am satisfied that those men are trying to obtain peace in an industry whilst the honorable member is slandering them.

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