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Wednesday, 11 May 1960

Mr McMAHON - I am now in the middle of preparing a letter to the honorable member for East Sydney giving him details of the number of occasions in which fines have been imposed under section 109 of the Arbitration Act since 1952. I regret, Sir, that my memory will not take me back beyond the last two years, but last year only one fine was imposed and I think it was of the order of £200 or £300. This yearif you do not mind my using this phrase, Mr. Speaker - except for the current spate of industrial turmoil due to the seamen's and waterside workers' disputes, there was one case only and no fine was imposed. However, two cases involving the seamen and waterside workers have recently taken place and I think there the amount of fines amounted in total to £800. So leaving the seamen and the waterside workers out of it, there have been two convictions only in the last two years. I think those facts should be made known.

As to the second part of the honorable gentleman's question whether the amount of the fines is large, naturally I regret that the fines have been imposed. I regret that it was found ncessary for any one to approach the Arbitration Court to see that awards were maintained.

As for the last part of the honorable gentleman's question, I think if he claims that among the rank-and-file members of the trade union movement there is loss of confidence in the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission or the Commonwealth Industrial Court, I am absolutely positive that he has lost touch with the feeling of the rank and file in the Labour movement. If he wishes to come up to date, he should try to find out what happened at the discussions with the 98 federal unions that took place in

Sydney on Thursday and Friday of last week. He would learn that most of the unions, and certainly the leaders of the responsible unions, said quite frankly that their members did not want to go on strike. They were resentful of those unions which had unnecessarily pulled their members out on strike and occasionally took members of other unions out with them.

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