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Tuesday, 16 August 1960

Mr MCMAHON - I think it is a fair generalization to say that it is not practicable to compare the old and the new awards of Mr. Justice Foster, because under the new award you have to take into con sideration the increased allowance of leave with pay, a 3 1 per cent, increase in margins, and other allowances that are granted to the seamen. However, what I could say, Sir, in quite specific terms, is that Mr. Justice Foster has pointed out that the average wages of seamen under the new award will be between £28 and £29 a week. Some seamen earn £60 a week, many more earn £50 a week and many more earn between £40 and £50 a week. 1 can say that if the leaders of the seamen - not the seamen themselves, because I am quite sure that many members of the Seamen's Union are losing confidence in their leaders - are in any doubt about this matter they have the remedy open to them. That is, they can take their problem to the full Arbitration Commission.

As to the second part of the honorable gentleman's question, 1 have some hopes that the leaders of the Seamen's Union will obey the direction of the Australian Council of Trade Unions. I repeat that if they do not they will quickly lose the confidence of the seamen themselves, because all the evidence coming to me shows that not only are the s:amen becoming discontented with the leaders of the Seamen's Union, but so too is a very large section of the A.C.T.U. If Mr. Elliott V. Elliott and Mr. Brennan continue their fun and games - that was the term that Elliott himself used - I repeat that if they continue their Communist fun and games for too long they will find that they have no Seamen's Union to play any more fun and games with.

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