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Tuesday, 16 May 1972
Page: 2601

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) - I would like to think that the Government will be encouraged to abandon clause 50 and not to proceed with it in this Committee. If the Minister will give an indication that the Government will, have another look at the implications of this clause, I will not continue with my observations. But, in the absence of that undertaking, I indicate that I would speak in opposition to the proposal and I certainly would vote against it. Now, as I understand the Minister, he has indicated that he is prepared to listen to fresh argument that I may advance to him outside the Committee - in other words, clause 50 would not be passed by this Committee- and that it would go-

Dr Mackay - Oh!

Mr KILLEN - It is all very fine for the Minister for the Navy withasense of unctuousness to say 'Oh!' I am talking of matters that deal with fundamental Liberal principles. There is no gathering on the front bench of this Parliament - none - which will persuade me. to abandon the stand that I take- none at all. I will not be persuaded by any person who takes the view that this Committee should lightly embark on support for a fundamentally new principle. The Minister for Labour and National Service is in charge of this Bill. Happily, the Minister for the Navy is not. If the Minister for the Navy wants to move a censure motion here or anywhere else, I hope he can muster the quality of courage to do so. If the Minister for Labour and National Service will indicate to me that this provision-

Mr Bryant - Which clause is it?

Mr KILLEN - I am talking about clause 50 which requires every organisation to register with the Registrar where it does its banking. If the Minister for Labour and National Service were to say that he was prepared to listen to fresh submissions and argument on the matter, I would not continue. However, if the honourable gentleman were to say that we must have the argument out here and now, I would offer no complaint about that and I would continue with my views on the subject.

To me, this invites argument and I hope that the invitation will be accepted by every person, irrespective of his views on politics. In my view, this is the most extraordinary proposal I have ever seen in a statute. Yesterday, in the chambers of one of the most distinguished lawyers in this country, Mr Dan Casey, I pulled from the shelf at random a statute volume of the Queensland Parliament and I opened it at random. It dealt with the Rabbit Act Amendment Act and the penalty provided for was $200. Is it seriously to be suggested that, every time a penalty is provided for in an Act, those who may possibly infringe it should indicate where they do their banking? I will have no bar of this. I issue no threats. I am not like some wilful individuals whom I see around me who, irrespective of the issue, will walk across and say: 'I will defeat a government'. I will indicate my views in this Committee and in this Parliament on the merits and I will defend my views in the Parliament and in the country. This to me is one of the most reprehensible proposals I have ever seen. I do not know who was the genius who thought of it. I only hope that he does not get a C.B.E. for it. If the Minister would say to me that he would have another look at the clause, that would be the end of it.

I want to illustrate very quickly to the Minister and to the Committee how easily this could be defeated. If individuals or organisations - an organisation is a trade union, an employers organisation such as the Metal Trades Industry Association Qf Australia or anything else - do not put before the Registrar where they bank, they are exposed to a penalty. I do not complain about that. But what are the provisions of the Bill? It provides that a 'financial institution' means:

(a)   a bask; or

(b)   any person carrying on ' business in the course of which -

(i)   he receives money lent to him by way of deposit for a term or to the credit of a current account; or

(ii)   he provides safe deposits.

I will give the Minister for Labour and National Service one quick illustration as to how this could be circumvented by a person who would still be within the law. He could nominate a person to be a trustee and that would be the end of it. A trustee is not a financial institution. A trustee is not a bank. A trustee is not one who receives money lent to him by way of deposit. A trustee is not one who provides safe deposits. That is the answer to the provision in one simple practical explanation. The second one is this: Assume there is a dispute and union X is opposed by organisation A and the matter is before the court. It is obvious that there will be a row, so the president of the union says: AH right, here is a cheque, go over and clean out the bank account. Here is a biscuit tin. Put the money in that tin and bury it near the pawpaw tree in my back yard.' Suddenly he is before the court after the court has issued an order garnisheeing the bank account or some order of attachment. When asked where the money is, he refuses to answer. This is precisely the case in which Mr O'Shea was involved. I am not canvassing that; I am talking of practical politics. I look back upon the Federal platform of the Liberal Party, which is something which I have had to do with in contra-distinction to some of the Johnnycomelatelys in this place. Section 92 refers to democratic control of their own organisation by unionists, assisted where appropriate by secret ballots and supervised where necessary by the industrial court. If any person tells me, with their cerebral processes normal, that this legislation gives democratic control of their own organisation by unionists, then I will be prepared to argue the point.

I turn now to 'Broad Highways', a Liberal Party publication put out some years ago. The chairman of the Party research group was the Rt Hon William McMahon. I do not want to embarrass him or the Committee, but I served on that Committee too. We came to this conclusion on the platform dealing with industrial matters:

The platform clearly sets out the industrial principles that should shape Liberal thinking- high wages, industrial organisation, conciliation and arbitration, profit sharing, the progressive increase of leisure and living standards, democratic control of unionists of their own affairs.

I say to the Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Manufactures and to every metal trades and employers organisation in Australia that if this proposal had been introduced by a Labor Government there would have been a hue and cry up and down the countryside.

I will have no part of this, none at all. Even though I stand alone, stand I will. I oppose this proposal. I oppose it here, I oppose it outside, and I will oppose it wherever the suggestion is made for needless intervention and forthe state to say You shall do as we say'. No person, no matter the quality of his divinity, will persuade me to depart from that.

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