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Friday, 1 July 1949

Mr HOLT (FAWKNER, VICTORIA) - I direct to the AttorneyGeneral a question based upon section 54 of the Coal Industry Act 1946, which provides that any person who refuses to comply with an order given by the Coal Industry Tribunal shall be guilty of an offence against the act. The section provides substantial penalties, by way of fine or imprisonment, for breaches. Is it a fact that the Coal Industry Tribunal issued an order on the 16th June which required the central council of the miners' federation to direct all federation members to attend for work at normal starting times and perform their usual duties? Did the tribunal further direct the persons comprising the central council of the federation and any other persons that they should not advise, encourage, induce or incite- any member of the federation to refrain from attending work on that date ? Is it a fact that later in that day general meetings were held at which members of the centra] council of the miners' federation advised the miners to refrain from work? In view of the apparent breaches of the section to which I have referred, which were committed in defiance of this order, what action does the Government propose to take to enforce the provisions of the section? If no such action is proposed, does the Government intend that the same leniency shall be shown to any persons who may commit breaches of the lighting and power restrictions now in force?

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