19 NOVEMBER 1910, Page 14


[TO THE EDITOR 07 THE "SPECTATOR."] SIR,—Regarding the "Osborne judgment" and the Labour Party in Australia, you have been seriously misled by the Melbourne Argus (see Spectator, November 12th, p. 783). In Australia the industrial and the political Labour movements are kept quite distinct. The former is controlled by the Trade-Unions, the latter by the political Labour League, to which all are welcomed who agree with the Labour Party policy. This League has in its ranks many banisters, medical doctors, journalists, solicitors, school-teachers, manu- facturers, merchants, traders, and men of independent means. On the other hand, some Trade-Unions, and many Trade- Unionists, take no part at all in helping the political Labour League. The demand made here for the reversal of the Osborne judgment may be contrasted with the clause in the Industrial Arbitration Act of the Australian Commonwealth, expressly prohibiting the spending on political purposes of any funds of a Trade-Union registered under the Act. It is of importance that the British Labour Party should know that in another part of our Empire the Osborne judgment has been fortified by express legislative enactment without objection from the Australian Labour Party, and that with a strictly separate organisation for political work, and no dragooning of Trade-Unions, a Labour Party can flourish. If there is any real life in the British Labour political movement, it should not fear to set up a distinct organisation, enlisting voluntary members from Trade-Unions and other sources.—I am, Sir, &e.,