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Friday, 31 October 1913

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I am still not entirely satisfied. It is very cheerful indeed to see the Minister of Defence and the ex-Minister jointly offering reasons why we should feel no alarm. I was very pleased to hear Senator Pearce give the facts regarding the land monopoly, which I intend toaccept from hearsay evidence, but about. which I did not know as much as he has indicated. There is still: another matter which, while I have not detailed information, may be a factor. I am told that the authorities frown on trade unionism. If anti-unionism, combined with land monopoly, could not crush a factory, I would like to know what combined forces could ? I am given to understand that there is a kind of bogus bosses' union in the district.

Senator Pearce -That is not correct.

Senator RAE - I would like to know more about the facts. I am given to understand that there isa kind of union which has a suspicious resemblance to a union of which Senator Millen knew something in the past.

Senator Needham - What is it?

Senator RAE - It is the M.S.U- a bogus union, subsidized by the bosses in order to kill the genuine article.

Senator Pearce - That is absolutely incorrect, unless it has been started within the last three months.

Senator RAE - I am not saying that it is on exactly the same lines, but I am informed that there is a kind of union which discriminates against the genuine unionist, or makes it almost impossible for him to join. A number of men who were put on during the régime of the previous Government escaped their obligations by joining an affair to which the contributions are very little, and in which the conditions of membership are very light.

Senator Needham - Is it a branch of the Independent Workers Union?

Senator RAE - I am told that it is virtually a section of that objectionable crowd in Melbourne known as the independent workers. While I do not expect that the Minister knows or hears much about trade unionism, I wish to intimate that I shall try to get more detailed information on the matter to bring forward on another occasion.

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