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Wednesday, 31 May 1972
Page: 2339

Senator MURPHY (New South Wales) (Leader of the Opposition) - The proposal which has been made is really useless. The Attorney-General has not answered it. I think he must be well seized of what I said to him. The Democratic Labor Party amendment deals with the potential membership of a union. As one sees the amalgamation provisions of the proposed new section 158h, if something is added to the constitution of the host organisation, under the DLP proposal one has to look at the potential membership, not the actual membership of the deregistering organisation. We have to look at the potential, at what could be obtained by the host organisation. That means that we have a completely indeterminate element. Persons could be admitted to the host organisation, but they might not be admitted because they belong to no union or because they belong to some other union. The fact is that at law they could be admitted to the host union by virtue of the amalgamation, upon or by reason of it. That means that it is completely-

Senator Wright - They are quantified by the number of members of the union amalgamating.

Senator MURPHY - The amendment states: the total number of members that have been, and could be, admitted to the organisation upon and by reason of the amalgamation . . .

Senator Greenwood - The word 'upon' means 'at the time'. You are not giving it sufficient emphasis.

Senator MURPHY - 'Upon' means 'following'. The amendment refers to persons who could be admitted. The moment we change the constitution of the host organisation we have to ask: What is the potential membership that the host organisation could get by reason of this change in its constitution? This is one of the matters under proposed new section 158h. This provision will help nobody because it will be a completely useless provision. Instead of having a sensible provision, either innocently or deliberately an attempt has been made to nullify the simple proposal which we made. I think it is consistent with the attitude of the Australian Democratic Labor Party that it is opposed to amalgamations, and this bears out entirely the approach it has made during the Committee stage.

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Prowse)With the leave of the Committee I propose to put the 2 amendments moved by Senator Little together. Is there any objection? There being no objection, I will follow that course.

Question put.

That the amendments (Senator Little's) to Senator Murphy's amendment be agreed to.

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