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Thursday, 18 May 1972
Page: 2756


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Is the Treasurer aware that when I moved the motion at the Launceston conference of the Australian Labor Party to provide for adequate representation of trade unions on boards, commissions, trusts, etc., and in the management of banking, insurance, mass media, transport and other things I told the conference that the Leader of the Opposition and the Leader of the Opposition in the

Senate, Senator Murphy, Q.C., had made it clear to our committee that there was no constitutional power-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The question that is being asked of the Treasurer does not come within his province. The honourable member must relate his question to the portfolio that the Minister administers.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - This question is supplementary to the one asked of the Treasurer by the honourable member for Warringah. I am dealing with precisely the same matter as he asked about. He was allowed to ask his question and the Treasurer was allowed to answer it.


Mr SPEAKER - Order! Provided the honourable member for Hindmarsh relates his question to the Minister's portfolio I will be happy.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - 1 am doing that, because the Treasurer sought to give the impression that he knew quite a lot about what happened on this matter at that conference. Is the Treasurer aware that when I moved the motion I told the conference that the Leader of the Opposition and Senator Murphy had made it clear to the policy committee recommending it that if the motion were carried it could never be made mandatory by Act of Parliament because the Constitution would prohibit that, and that all that could be done would be for a Labor government to encourage employers in Australia to follow the example of employers in Sweden, the other Scandinavian countries and in the United Kingdom?


Mr SPEAKER - Order! Question time is not a time for making policy speeches. I suggest that the honourable member relate his question to the Minister's portfolio.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Mr Speaker,I will bow to your ruling, but fair go. The Treasurer certainly dealt with policy from his point of view when he answered the previous question.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! This is a question without notice. The answer that was given by the Minister to an earlier question was in the Minister's hands. Provided an answer is relevant I have no jurisdiction, but I do have jurisdiction over the form of questions and I-


Mr Hayden - Especially from an Opposition member.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will withdraw that remark.


Mr Hayden - I withdraw it.


Mr Cope - Mr Speaker, on a point of order: How can you say that you have no jurisdiction over replies from a Minister? You certainly have jurisdiction when a Minister touches on things which do not concern that Minister's portfolio? The Treasurer was quoting what the Leader of the Opposition said at the Launceston conference.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will resume his seat. The honourable member is making the point which I am trying to make to the honourable member for Hindmarsh.


Mr Cope - I am making-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Cope - I am taking another-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Cope - I am seeking to take another point of order.


Mr SPEAKER -I am replying to the point of order. The situation that the honourable member has endeavoured to put to me is exactly the same as that which I have been seeking to put to the honourable member for Hindmarsh.


Mr Cope - Not quite, Mr Speaker.


Mr SPEAKER -Order! That is my ruling on the matter.


Mr Cope - I am taking a further point of order.


Mr SPEAKER -The honourable member will resume his seat.


Mr Cope - Mr Speaker, I am taking another point of order.


Mr SPEAKER - What is the point of order?


Mr Cope - Mr Speaker, it is quite obvious to me that you are trying to restrict a member of the Opposition from putting a question, yet you have allowed a Minister to talk about things which have nothing to do with his portfolio.


Mr SPEAKER - The honourable member will resume his seat. There is no substance in the point of order. I call the honourable member for Hindmarsh.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Is the Treasurer aware that many employers, and certainly most of the enlightened employers in Australia, are already making provision for representatives of trade unions to sit on their boards? Does the Treasurer know that the only opposition that has come to this proposition so far from within the trade union movement has come from the communist section of the trade union movement which looks upon this as a sell-out of trade union principles and a proposal to soften up the representatives of the workers by putting them on board's of management so that they may betray their fellow workers?


Mr SNEDDEN - I did not know that the Leader of the Opposition had offered his opinion on the constitutional power to the Launceston conference. The other day a question was asked in relation to insurance and the honourable member for Chifley took a point of order - I think it was the honourable member for Chifley who took the point of order - for the purposes of explaining that Labor Party policy in relation to insurance could not be carried out because there is a constitutional objection. The honourable member for Hindmarsh today says: 'Do you not know that although we adopted this policy at Launceston, for constitutional reasons advised to us by the Leader of the Opposition and by Senator Murphy we could not cany out our policy?' What sort of a charade is this that you go through where you adopt a policy which you put in writing to placate one group of the Party and in the meantime you go to the public and say: Take no notice of it because we are not going to do it.'? That is the clear implication that is involved in it. So far as the particular issue that has been raised by the honourable gentleman is concerned, that has nothing to do with what might be called worker participation in plant management. What this has to do with is all boards and government bodies. As far as the constitutional power is concerned, I would like to see the written advice of the Leader of the Opposition on the constitutional issue saying that the Labor Party does not have power mandatorily to require adequate representation of the trade unions in the management of such area as broadcasting and television, insurance and banking in which there is undoubted Commonwealth power to legislate. As to whether the Constitution would prevent it being carried that far, I would like very much to see the written advice of the Leader of the Opposition on that constitutional question.


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.


Mr SPEAKER -Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?


Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Yes. I did not say-


Mr SPEAKER -Order! I suggest to the honourable member, as I suggested earlier during question time this morning, that he wait until question time is concluded when I will give him the call.







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