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Monday, 11 June 1928

Mr LATHAM (Kooyong) (AttorneyGeneral) . - Honorable members opposite have questioned whether a resolution can be a resolution of an organization or branch. The ordinary practice will prevail; a resolution of a meeting of Parliament is a resolution of Parliament, and a resolution of any association is a resolution passed at a meeting of that association. Similarly, a resolution proposed to be adopted by an organization or branch is a resolution proposed for adoption at a meeting of ihe organization or branch. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Blakeley) carried his second point too far. If the facts he has related regarding union medals are indicative of an extensive practice, it would be impossible for a satisfactory secret ballot of any organization to be conducted under the control of either the court or the organization itself. We' know that in organized industries a man is required to produce his union ticket or badge, or medal, before he gets a job, and most union secretaries and vigilance officers take precautions to ensure that the man in possession of such a token is entitled to have it. That is one of the most important duties performed by the vigilance officers of the union. They have their own methods of identification, and, generally speaking, they take care that only persons rightly in possession of union tickets, and who are financial, are employed. That being so, the point raised by the honorable member for Darling (Mr. Blakeley) is without substance. If there are in some unions members who are prepared to make available to nonmembers means of. identification, which are intended to be used only in good faith, by members, that fact will be brought before the judge when the officer of the union is given an opportunity to submit a statement as to the bona fides of the application, and will no doubt be given due weight by the court. A secret ballot would be sought, not upon matters suddenly arising, " but upon subjects of real controversy between members of the union. There have been many occasions in the past when a minority would have been very glad to take advantage of this procedure openly and publicly to obtain a secret ballot.

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