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Wednesday, 14 May 1930

The PRESIDENT - Order!

Senator HOARE - It would have been more to the credit of Senator Ogden if he urged his loader (Senator Pearce) "to take a stand against, these unnaturalized foreigners who are securing- employment while Australians are unable to get work.

The PRESIDENT --Does the honorable senator intend to disobey my ruling? If so I shall have to take further action. I have asked him to endeavour to adhere to the subject, of the motion, which asks the - Senate to disallow the regulation.

Senator HOARE - Do you rule, Mr. President, : that I may not refer to foreigners? I was simply replying f-o interjections.' .

The PRESIDENT - There is

Senator HOARE - Will. I be in order in referring to foreigners who are ' in employment while our own men are out of work?

The PRESIDENT - In connexion with these regulations, yes.

Senator HOARE - Very well. These foreigners are working on our wharfs, and their presence is detrimental to the interests of Australians. Senator McLachlan, I understand, said that foreigners working on the waterfront represented about 12^ per cent, of the total number of employees. That, I suggest, is a serious situation, especially as a considerable percentage of the men are unnaturalized British subjects. It is the duty of the Opposition to urge that licences' under the Transport Workers Act should not be issued to unnaturalized aliens. Senator McLachlan endeavoured to persuade the Senate that the volunteers working at the various seaports were rendering good service. Their employment has proved very costly to some ship-owners, who have had to pay a great deal more for labour because volunteers cannot load or unload a vessel as expeditiously as the regular waterside workers. In some instances waterside 'workers have been employed to reload vessels that have been loaded by volunteers because the work has been done so badly' that the owners' representatives refused' to allow the vessels to proceed to sea. I should mention also that the men who were chiefly responsible for the trouble at Port Adelaide, the men who kicked the ballot box to pieces so as to prevent' a ballot from being taken, were -among the first to join the volunteers and secure employment. . Actually the men who were responsible for the trouble were rewarded by the ship-owners. They scabbed on their fellow-unionists and since then have been -.working fairly regularly. They taught the volunteers how to do the work. I am, aware, pf course, that a considerable number' of the volunteers were in .'a serious position and were, glad of the work offering, but -it is a fact, nevertheless; that many men who have lived... on unionism and t scabbed on the movement " when ' the trouble occurred at- Port Adelaide got all the pickings. These men attended ' the . annual conferences regularly, and when'' the trouble occurred they "became virtually bosses of the volunteers for the ship-owners. They let their maces down in their time of need. I remember the genesis of the trouble at Port Adelaide; how a meeting was arranged by Mr. Blackburn, seemingly on a sudden impulse, to see how a certain number ofmen could be got together to protect the volunteers. The meetingtook place at the Stock Exchange, and. it was necessary to get those people drunk before they would go down to the port.

Senator Chapman - That is not correct.

Senator HOARE - It is, and it cannot be denied. I have in my hand a press cutting of recent date which may interest honorable senators. It reads -

The Chief Commissioner of Police (General Blarney) has appealed to men on the waterfront, and the public, to assist the police in detecting the bombers. He says waterside workers are just as eager to get rid of criminals in their ranks as anybody else.

That goes to prove what I previously stated, that the men who made the disturbance, the extremist element, represent only a small percentage of the unionists. General Blarney paid a well-deserved tribute to the Melbourne watersiders.

Senator Rae - The extremist is not necessarily a criminal.

Senator HOARE - I do not contend that he is. He merely views the world through differently tinted spectacles from mine. I well remember that in the early days of the Labour movement I and others were classedas extremists, agitators, and so on. The same thing was said of Senator Sir George Pearce, Senator SirJohn Newlands and others, then prominent members of the Labour party. Similar rash statements are still made. The only difference in the party is the change of personnel.

It is but fair to. expect those in authority at Port Adelaide to honour their promise and to give a more equal distribution of work. I am hoping that something will be done in that direction. I fail to see what Senator Sir George Pearce can hope to accomplish by the disallowance of this regulation. I do not believe that it will benefit anybody. The best thing that could be done would be to bring about the intermingling of these two sections, as is the case at Port Adelaide.

Senator Chapman - They are still separated there.

Senator HOARE - They would not be so if the rule regarding one picking-up place were observed. Sooner or later the two factions must mix, one with the other.

Senator Reid - Why did not, the Government include the port of Adelaide in this regulation?

Senator HOARE - That is best known to the Ministry. The Government has expressed the desire to give the scheme a try-out in Melbourne.

Senator Daly - It has been successful so far.

Senator HOARE - Yes, it has operated successfully. No one has been arrested on the waterfrontsince the idea was put into effect. Why not give it a proper try-out? If it did not work satisfactorily Senator Pearce would then be justified in moving for its disallowance. In the meantime I urge that it shall be given a fair trial.

Debate (on motion by Senator Chapman) adjourned.

Senate adjourned at 10.7 p.m.

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