N.S.W. Parliament Labor Government's Programme.

THE N.S.W. State Parliament opened last Wednesday at noon, with the usual ceremonies. The following were the points outlined in the State Governor's speech:
Legislation to provide for the restoration of Arbitration Court rights , to public servants; removal of long-standing injustices to railway workers arising out of the 1917 general strike; legislation to clearly define the powers of the Railway Appeals Board, to remove the veto of the Railway Commissioners, and to extend the powers of the Appeals Board; restoration of the principle underlying Section 26 of the Arbitration Act, which provides that railway and other Government 'employee's should be paid at rates not less than those paid to persons in private employ.


Legislation to provide for rescue stations at mines, and further improvements in connection with the industry; a conference to inquire into the great difference between what the primary producers obtain for their products and the price paid by the consumers, and necessary legislation thereto; removal of disabilities of settlers in the Murrumbidgee irrigation area; Monopolies Act to be put into operation; construction of main roads.


Legislation to provide for the abolition of proportional representation, and a return to single-seat electorates; bill to provide for the eligibility of women for appointment to the Legislative Council; exemption on taxable incomes to be raised from £250 to £300; 44-hour week; amendment of Workmen's Compensation Act; abolition of night baking; pensions, for widows; effective occupancy of land; bill to prevent aggregation of land into large estates; amendment of Local Government Act to provide for adult suffrage for shire and municipal elections; bills relating to the protection of Australian flora, town planning; companies; trustees, law reform, fair rents, capital punishment and superannuation.

The real business of the Parliament began at 2 o'clock on Wednesday afternoon.
After 'Nationalist' members had protested against the introduction of day sittings in Parliament, the various Labor Ministers were bombarded with questions from all sides of the House. The leader of the Progressive Party (Mr. Bruxner) informed the House that the name of his party had been changed to that of the Country Party.

Dr. Evatt (Balmain) moved the Address-in-Reply, and dealt mainly with the industrial side of Labor's programme. K. Hoad (Cootamundra), who seconded, dealt mainly with country matters. The House adjourned at 6 p.m. till Thursday morning.


Last Thursday Sir George Fuller, 'Nationalist' leader, submitted a motion of censure. It was a general attack on the Labor policy. He claimed that the Labor Government was trying to undo everything his Government had done, not because it was bad legislation, but because the Labor Government was actuated by spite and malice. He opposed the introduction of the 44-hour week, the granting of adult suffrage in local government elections, and the introduction of the principle of preference to unionists. He said that the Government had adopted a policy of 'spoils to the victors,' and had endeavored to manipulate finances in order to show a 'Nationalist' Government deficit.


Premier Lang, replying, said that the Government had handled the finances honestly. Despite all the explanations made by Sir George Fuller, it was plain that the 'Nationalists' went out of office with an actual deficit. Regarding the 44 hour week, it was cowardly of Sir George Fulller to say that his Government did not take away the 44-hour week, but that the Court had done so. But the Fuller Government had taken the 44-hour week from the Public Service. The toilers of New South Wales had been despoiled of the privilege of the 44-hour week by the Fuller Government.

The 44-hour week had been placed before the electors at the last elections, and they had approved of it. The Government intended to introduce the necessary legislation.

On the question of finance, Premier Lang contended that. Sir Arthur Cocks had improperly handled matters, with the result that surpluses had been shown where there should have been deficits. The 'Nationalist' Government had created its surplus by refusing to pay its just debts and by avoiding payment of interest due on the Commonwealth loan. Premier Lang concluded by answering other charges made by Sir George Fuller. The House then adjourned.

No comments: