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Thursday, 7 June 1928

Mr BLAKELEY (Darling) .- The point raised by the honorable member for Fawkner might have had a much more interesting sequel had his mood carried him beyond the mere desire to placate the Opposition. He stated that he approached the consideration of this clause with an open and an impartial mind. Then he took sides, and, quite impartially, belaboured the trade-union movement and the Opposition.

Mr Maxwell - I did not belabour the trade-union movement.

Mr BLAKELEY - The honorable member discussed the responsibilities of trade unions, and pre-judged their members in the same way that the AttorneyGeneral has pre-judged them, by taking it for granted that they will commit offences against the act. He did not give his suggestion of a -qualification of the clause his personal blessing, but merely advanced it so that we on this side might feel more assured of a fair deal being given.

Mr Maxwell - I made the suggestion in a spirit of conciliation, and to meet the views of the Opposition.

Mr BLAKELEY - If the honorable member cannot sincerely advocate the suggestions that he makes, we on this side invite him not to make them. What is the use of throwing out suggestions of such a character merely with a view to placating a hostile Opposition ?

Mr Maxwell - Then it is not a fair thing to try to meet the views of the Opposition in a conciliatory spirit?

Mr BLAKELEY - The honorable member will not succeed in meeting our wishes if he talks with his tongue in his cheek.

Mr Mann - The honorable member should withdraw that remark.

Mr Maxwell - I do not mind.

Mr Parkhill - The honorable member for Darling is most ungenerous.

Mr BLAKELEY - I willingly withdraw any statement to which exception is taken. The honorable member for Fawkner is standing behind the Government. He claimed to have approached this question with an open mind and a desire to deal impartially with it; but, in my opinion, his speech was tinged with bias and prejudice from its beginning to its end. He capped his previous efforts, however, by -throwing out a suggestion merely in order to pacify those who are continually launching objections against this clause and the bill generally.

But he has made his offence even worse by his interjection that to his mind no great principle is involved. This and quite a number of other clauses in the bill both prejudice and pre-judge the trade unionists of this country, because they presuppose the guilt of those men. Dependence is to be placed solely upon the weight of the " big stick." The AttorneyGeneral has said that this is the ordinary usage of law.

Mr Latham - I have pointed out the manner in which the ordinary usage is being alleviated and made milder by this bill.

Sitting suspended from 6.15 to 8 p.m. .

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