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Friday, 21 September 1928


Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Bayley - The honorable member is not in order in imputing motives.


Mr C RILEY (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It appears that the employers may flout the awards of the Arbitration Court as often as they like without causing the Prime Minister to make any complaints; but immediately the workers object to a decision they are condemned and an effort is made to punish them. Apparently all that the worker has to do is to obey. No section of the community, as a matter of fact, is as ready as the workers to abide by the decision of the court. The Government itself does not always abide by the deci; sion of every commission or board that it constitutes. It quite often appoints arbitrators to consider important questions. Only recently certain monetary claims against the Government were submitted to arbitrators, but the Government did not accept the decision that was given. It frequently happens that recommendations of the Tariff Board are not carried into effect by the Government. In these circumstances, is it reasonable to expect the workers to accept every decision that is given against them? I shall not camouflage my attitude on this subject. I think that the workers are justified in reserving to themselves the right to accept or reject awards that are made to govern their callings. If unsatisfactory decisions are given they are, in my opinion, entitled at the earliest possible moment to seek an alteration of them either through the Arbitration Court or otherwise. The Prime Minister and other honorable members opposite during the progress of this debate have prated a good deal about the misery and suffering caused by unemployment. What have they ever done to relieve the position? Their mouthings on the subject may be dismissed as so much cant, hypocrisy, and hollowness.







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