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Tuesday, 5 December 1905
Page: 6208

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) - This afternoon, I heard from the deputy leader of the Opposition that if honorable members on this side dared to talk some agreement which they had made would be " off."

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I never used the word " dare." As usual, the honorable member is putting in my mouth words which I have not even thought of.

Mr TUDOR - The honorable member said that if honorable members on this side did talk, the agreement would be "off." I have been patiently waiting for an opportunity to say a few words on this proposal!

Mr McCay - The honorable member could have addressed the Committee a dozen times.

Mr TUDOR - Yes, and assisted the honorable member in trying to kill this proposal for a union label, as he did the principle of preference to unionists in the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill. But I had no intention of doing that. The honorable member for Wannon recently read a writ, issued against the Hatters' Society - a society of which I happened to be a member when I was in America - to show that it had to pay damages for restricting the output of a firm by boycotting their goods. From the October number of a manufacturers' journal, called The American Hatter, I learn that in the Supreme Court in the State of Connecticut the United Hatters of North America proceeded against C. H. Merritt and Son, and obtained a permanent injunction to prevent that firm from fraudulently using labels which were imitations of its label. Judge Shumway is reported to have said : -

The injunction is made permanent, and judgment that the defendants account to the plaintiff for profits derived from the wrongful use of such imitation label, as provided in section 4910 of the General Statutes.

Honorable members on the other side wouldbe perfectly agreeable for any society or body of men here to bring a label into use, and to give the proprietors no power to prosecute any person who forged it. I desire to read a few paragraphs from the report of the case to which I have just referred.

Section 4916 of the general statutes makes it the duty of the Court to grant an injunction to restrain the use and display of any counterfeit or imitation of a label adopted by any union of working men.

Section 4909 provides that the record of the label shall be sufficient proof of its adoption, and the right of the union to adopt it.

It is apparent from an inspection of the eight exhibits, C to K inclusive, that they are imitations of the plaintiff's label.

These exhibits were fraudulent imitations of the hatters' label, which honorable members on the other side would not attempt in any way to prevent.

The defendants have used and are using these imitations, and it follows that the plaintiffs are entitled to the relief that the statutes provide in such case.

Honorable members on the other side try to make out that the use of the union label would entail some cost to the manufacturers, but according to this manufacturers' journal -

Paragraph 4 and 5 of the complaint read as follows : -

4.   The Association issues its said labels gratuitously to manufacturers who employ its members in making and finishing hats, under rules and restrictions which prevent said labels from being placed in hats made by unskilled workmen or imperfect hats.

Honorable members opposite also say that the union label is no guarantee as to the quality of an article, but the United Hatters of North America only place the label in perfect hats.

The condition of wages, workmanship, and inspection under which the Association allows its said labels to be used are such as guarantee to a customer that a hat bearing such label is of sound and workmanlike construction.

5.   The said label has become associated in the minds of the public with good workmanship and standard quality, and a large and increasing demand has grown up for hats bearing said label, and the same are now being used in hats at the rate of over 1,000,000 labels a month, under said rules and restrictions.

This report is published in a manufacturers' journal, not in a trade-union journal ; but not one word is said against the union label.

Mr King O'Malley - That is a boodlers' paper.

Mr TUDOR - In the words of the honorable member, it is a boodlers' paper, or one which is used exclusively by employers. Another paragraph of the complaint reads as follows : -

(12)   On or about the 15th day of March, 1904, the defendants, for the purpose of obtaining the advantage of the market for hats bearing the label of the United Hatters of North America, and for the purpose of palming off their hats as hats manufactured under the rules and restrictions imposed by the association of manufacturers entitled to use its labels, and for the purpose of defrauding and deceiving the public by palming off their hats as union-made hats, and for the purpose of injuring the association, and by" unfair devices, competing with manufacturers who comply with the rules and restrictions under which the association permits its labels to be used, adopted and used in their factory at Danbury, Conn., eight several styles of labels made in imitation and counterfeit of the labels of The United Hatters of North America ; all of said eight labels having the characteristic and distinguishing features of the genuine label, asset forth in paragraph 8 hereof, and all of them resembling the label of The United Hatters of North America so closely as to enable the defendants, by use of said labels, to palm off their hats as made by members of The United Hatters of North America. Each of said eight counterfeits and imitations of the label of The United Hatters of North America was recorded in the office of the Secretary of State on the 30th day of March, 1904, as an alleged trade mark claimed to have been adopted by said C. H. Merritt and Son, for use upon hats; and the certificate filed with the Secretary of State certifies in each case that said alleged trade mark was first used by the firm of C. H. Merritt and Son on the 15th day of March, 1904. The following are the legends which are printed between the concentric circles in said alleged trade marks, respectively, viz. : -

(1)   "Honest Labour - Honest Wages. Fair."

(2)   " Skilled labour of America."

(3)   "By industry we thrive,"

(4)   " Not made by a trust."

(5)   " Union gives strength. America."

(6)   " Justice, Unity, Equity. America."

Mr Johnson - Are these the labels?

Mr TUDOR - These are the forgeries, which honorable members an the other side are quite willing to allow.

Mr Johnson - No, no; that is not correct.

Mr TUDOR - The honorable member says " No, no," but he has been talking by the yard recently-

Mr Johnson - I cannot allow a statement like that to go unchallenged.

Mr TUDOR - The honorable member must admit that there is nothing to prevent a union from registering a label here, but the difference in the honorable member's mind between a union and an ordinary trader is such that while the latter has an opportunity to prosecute any person who forges his label, and has all the power of the Courts behind him, the honorable member is not prepared to give that right and power to any trade union.

Mr Johnson - We do not object to a union doing the same thing.

Mr TUDOR - I am very sorry that I was interrupted at that point, because I wished to get the eight imitations or forgeries into Hansard without a break. The list continues -

(7)   " United we hold. Divided we fall."

(8)   " Hand united to hand."

None of these legends are proper, or legitimate phrases to be adopted as a trade mark of a manufacturer, and each and every one of them, in connexion with the pictorial devices and other printed matter which is associated with them, was intended not to indicate the origin or ownership of the goods to which they were attached, but to convey the false impression that the hats to which the same might be attached were made by members of The United Hatters of North America.

Honorable members on the other side have said that if the use of the label were adopted in Australia, prices must go up here as in America. But we learn from a paragraph in this manufacturers' journal that the tendency in America is towards lower prices. We have been told in the various articles which have been quoted that there isno organization in America which has used the union label with such effect as the Hatters' Union. Yet we learn from a manufacturers' journal that the tendency in that country is for prices to come down. This issue of The American Hatter also contains two interviews, one being with a wholesaler and the other with a retailer of forty years' experience. In a series of interviews which are running through its pages, neither a wholesaler nor a retailer says one word against the union label. I admit that the persons interviewed donot mention the union label at all; but if we are to believe honorable members on the other side, no wholesaler or retailer could have been interviewed on any trade in which the union label is used without bringing down upon it a storm of condemnation. Yet we find that in the two interviews to which I have just alluded - and these are not peculiar cases - the persons interviewed didnot say one word either good, bad, or indifferent against the union label. Of course it is not likely to be praised in a manufacturers' journal, but if it is as bad as is sought to be made out by honorable members opposite, these gentlemen would be sure to denounce its use. Surely that is an answer to the absurd statement of the honorable member for Oxley, that the Americans are anxious 'to get rid of the union label. The quotations which he gave had no reference to the union label. In this issue of The American Hatter, the United Cloth Hat and Cap Makers of North America advertise another label; and alongside a fac-simile of it these words are printed -

Ask for this label, as it's the only genuine one. Endorsed by the American Federation of Labour and Organized Labour in general.

Do honorable members think that if the union label were as bad as they have tried to make it out to be, any manufacturers' journal would take any advertisements about it? In England the Hatters Union has had a label for the last twelve or thirteen years, and I have never heard a retailer or person in trade object to its use. I happened to be in England when the label was introduced, and I know that the retailers did hot say a single word against it. In fact, the demands for the label became so great that it was immediately counterfeited by unscrupulous traders, and the union had to print across the fac-simile of the label on the cards which it issued for advertising purposes, because unscrupulous retailers and other manufacturers used to cut out the fac-simile of the label and put it an goods which had not been made under union conditions. Honorable members say - "You are going to compel the manufacturers to use the label." Certainlynot. I presume that the manufacturers in Australia, like the manufacturers in America, will adopt the union label, especially after the magnificent advertisement which it has received from honorable members on the opposite side. The manufacturers must be convinced that the union label is going to be much more beneficial to the workers than even I think it is likely to be, judging by the great amount of opposition with which it has been received in this Chamber. They are afraid of any proposal which, in their opinion, is calculated to improve the lot of the workers. The honorable and learned member for Corinella has told us time after time that he is in favour of labour legislation, but he takes care when such legislation is before us, to propose amendments that will rob it of its beneficial effect.

Mr King O'Malley - Beware of him.

Mr TUDOR - In view of our experience, when clause 42 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill was under consideration, I do not need the honorable member's warning. It is, to say the least, singular that those who tell us that they are friendly to trade unions sit side by side with those who are opposed to all labour legislation.

Mr Frazer - And are supported by opponents of labour legislation.

Mr TUDOR - Quite so. No doubt they will be supported at the next election by the Employers' Federation and others who are opposed to labour legislation. I have before me a copy of the official report of the Employers' Conference, held in Adelaide, at which resolutions were carried against the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act, and in opposition to the legalizing of the eight-hours' day. They also indorsed a paper against the wages board system of Victoria-.

Mr Kelly - When did the Conference take place?

Mr TUDOR - I think that it took place in March last.

Mr Kelly - Was that the Conference which upheld the action of the present Treasurer, and the Vice-President of the Executive Council ?

Mr TUDOR - I do not think the report contains any reference to the honorable gentlemen mentioned, but I shall be pleased to hand it over to the honorable member for Wentworth, in order that he may examine it for himself.

Mr Page - Does it mention the honorable member for Wentworth?

Mr TUDOR - I think that the right honorable member for East Sydney is the only member of the House to whom reference is made. ThatConference, like others, thought that he was not running straight; like others, they thought that he was trying to toy with two parties, and that he was leaning slightly towards the labour side. They opposed the union label provisions of this Bill, and carried a resolution against it. In short, they opposed all labour legislation, and that being so, I fail to see why honorable members opposite should complain when we say that they are in doubtful company.

Mr McWilliams - What about the Treasurer and the Vice-President of the Executive Council ?

Mr TUDOR - I shall leave honorable members of the Opposition to deal as they please with those honorable gentlemen. I am discussing the position of those who oppose the trade union label, and are sitting with others who have always been opposed to labour legislation.

Mr McWilliams - The honorable member is also sitting with such members.

Mr TUDOR - The honorable members to whom my honorable friend refers have seen the error of their ways. They have come round to our way of thinking, and recognise that it is wise to pass legislation of this character. I do not know that they have spoken in opposition to the union label. The Reid-McLean Administration did not say a word against it. I am sorry that the honorable member for Gippsland is not present, but I was a member of a deputation which waited on him in regard to this question when he held office as Minister of Trade and Customs. The honorable member also received a deputation representing the employers ; but he did not say what action the Government intended to take in regard to the union label provisions of the Trade Marks Bill. When these deputations waited on him, nearly twelve months ago his reply in effect was : " The end of the session is drawing near, and if honorable members will consent to the abandonment of the union label provisions of the Bill, we shall be prepared to pass it this session. The honorable member went on to say that the provisions relating to the union label required a great deal of consideration. He did not say on which side of the wall the Government were on ; no doubt he was waiting to hear from the honorable member for Wilmot. We have been told that in the United States there is a growing feeling against the union label ; and that a Citizens' Alliance has been formed to oppose it. I have here an extract from The Meatcutters' Journal, published in April last, in which it is stated that -

At a meeting of the American Economic Association, held in February of this year, reference was made to Robbins Lumber Company, of Wilksbarre, Pa. This company has withdrawn from the Citizens' Alliance. In order to do so they have forfeited 81,000.

Withdrawal from the Alliance involved the forfeiture of the amount of the bond into which they had entered to observe its rules -

In the future union men with their "buttons" will take the place of non-unionists. They say, "We withdraw from the Alliance, because we believe it to be unlawful, unjust, ana against the best interest of the community, because it believes in a systematic boycott against employes, who are to be, at the will of the employer, blacklisted, boycotted, and starved into submission ; that a member of the association may brand an employe as unworthy ; and that he will not be given employment by any other member."

These are the statements not of a walking delegate, as the honorable member for Wentworth would describe the representative of a union, but of a firm which was a member of the Citizens' Alliance. They were made, not at a trade union gathering, but at a meeting of the American Economic Association. The firm explained that they had withdrawn from the Alliance, not because they had been compelled by the unions to indorse union conditions, but because that/ association believed in a systematic boycott against employes, who were to be starved by their employers into submission.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - And these provisions are to encourage that system.

Mr TUDOR - As I have seen the trade union label legislation of the United States in operation, it is idle for honorable members of the Opposition to try to force their fairy tales upon me. I know full well that the use of the label there has not led to a boycott. I challenge any honora&le member to bring forward a single case of boycotting resulting from the use of the union label by any trade organization. I invited the Opposition to produce such proof during the debate on the motion for the second reading of this Bill. But' what did they do? We know that the United States has a population of about 80,000,000, distributed over a very wide area, and that there are probably more newspapers published there than in any other country. And yet, when we ask for proof of their assertion that the union label has led to boycotting, honorable members opposite content themselves by quoting extracts from American newspapers, the dates, and even the names of which they suppress, so that it is impossible for us to verify their quotations, I think that many of the alleged quotations from American newspapers that have been published here are the concoctions of Mr. Walpole, or some other individual who, like himself, believes that marriage is a luxury for the workers, and is strongly opposed to any provisions of this kind. Honorable members of the Opposition assert that a label used by a union has never been counterfeited by a manufacturer in Australia. Some honorable members have even gone so far as to say that if proof of such an occurrence were given thev would be prepared to reconsider the decision at which' they have arrived in reference to these proposals. Let me cite a case in point. The Bootmakers' Union of Perth. Western Australia, used a trade union label, but I cannot say for the moment whether or not it was registered. '

Mr Frazer - It was.

Mr TUDOR - That label was counterfeited by a manufacturer - one of the counterfeiters and forgers for whom honorable members opposite have been pleading.

Mr Conroy - Those are the very men whom the honorable member would seek to assist by twisting the powers of the Parliament. Next week we may have a proposal to take money out of the Treasury to assist them.

Mr TUDOR - The honorable and learned member seems to be worried in regard to this matter, but I may say that I have more hope of being able to convert him to our views than I have in regard to most other honorable members of the Opposition ; surely he would not permit an injustice to be done to any body of workers.

The Bootmakers' Union of Perth found that the manufacturer in question was counterfeiting their label. The Argus to-day inquires, " Who would counterfeit a trade union label?" Here is a case in point. I have also shown that one manufacturer in the United States had no less than eight counterfeits running at the one time, and that an injunction was granted by the Superior Court of the State of Connecticut against their use.

Mr Kelly - Are these the men whom the honorable member is going to assist by means of a higher Tariff?

Mr TUDOR - When the question of Tariff revision is submitted to the House, I shall have something to say in regard to it. When the Bootmakers' Union of Perth found that their label was being counterfeited, they requested their solicitor to commence an action against the manufacturer in question ; but they were told in reply, "You might as well keep your money, because there is no law in Western Australia to prevent a manufacturer counterfeiting your label." The same remark will apply to the position in every other State.

Mr.Conroy. - No.

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