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Friday, 20 March 1931

The PRESIDENT (Senator the Hon W Kingsmill - The honorable senator is speaking in rather general terms. I ask him to connect his remarks with the motion before the chair.

Senator RAE - I bow to your ruling, Mr. President; but I thought that as the subject of preference to unionists in one industry had been referred to by other speakers, I also could refer to it. Senator Payne referred to the Trades Hall in Sydney and the manner in which unionists are said to be persecuted hy that institution. A properly-managed union - one in which the rank and file have the final voice in controlling its internal conditions - has a perfect right to limit the output of its members in order to conserve their interests. Why do honorable senators, who defend the employers' point of view, ignore the fact that employers restrict production whenever it suits them to do so ?

Senator Herbert Hays - How does the honorable senator know that they do that? It is only an assumption.

Senator RAE - That employers restrict production in order to maintain high prices is admitted even in the press which the honorable senator so respects. I maintain that employees have as much right to restrict production by decreasing their output as any body of capitalists has to restrict the production of the commodities in which they deal. The honorable senator who contradicts my statement, and says it is pure assumption, has only to read recent newspapers to see where plantation owners decided to restrict the output of rubber.

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