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Wednesday, 6 July 1949

Mr ARCHIE CAMERON (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) - Can the Prime Minister say whether the Commonwealth Shipping Board is continuing to employ the crews of those of its ships that have been tied up because of the strike? If so, on whose instructions is that being done, and why are the men being kept on full pay at the expense of the Government when other seamen put out of work because of the strike have had to seek unemployment relief?

Mr CHIFLEY - I do not know of any examples of the kind mentioned by the honorable member for Barker. I had hoped, as I am sure most people did, that the striking miners would at an early date see the wisdom of accepting the advice offered to them, and of going back to the tribunal to have this dispute settled. I know that many private employers have continued to employ their staffs though there was not sufficient work to keep them fully occupied. They want to keep their staffs together so that they will beavailable as soon as the machines begin to work again. It may be that, in some instances, the Australian Shipping Board is doing what the private employershave done, although I cannot say that for certain. I shall ask the Minister forShipping and Fuel for a report, which will be furnished to the honorable member when it comes to hand.

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