This section says that:
"This Act and the Trade Union Acts, 1871 to 1935, may be cited together as the Trade Union Acts, 1871 to 1941."
I do not think this Bill is worthy to be classed with what have been called the Trade Union Acts of the past which have been steps of progress for labour, for working organisations, and for peace, harmony and progress in industrial life. We asked, originally, that the consideration of this Bill should be postponed until we had the report of the Commission on Vocational Organisation, and of the evidence given before that commission. On the Second Reading of the Bill we indicated why the members of the Oireachtas and the ordinary people of this country should have expected that nothing in the nature of this Bill would be brought forward until the report of that commission was before them, and more particularly in view of the fact, as has been pointed out, that since the beginning of the emergency nothing has occurred to upset ordinary conditions or the social life of the country in the way of strikes. Quotations, are frequently given from the Encyclical letters of our Holy Father the Pope with regard to labour conditions and labour organisations, and the outlook in regard to them. In the Encyclical,Rerum Novarum, we find this in paragraph 42 under the head of Trade Unions:
"The most important of all are workingmen's unions; for these virtually include all the rest. History attests what excellent results were brought about by the artificers' guilds of olden times. They were the means of affording not only many advantages to the workmen, but in no small degree of promoting the advancement of art, as numerous monuments remain to bear witness. Such unions should be suited to the requirements of tills our age — an age of wider education, of different habits, and of far more numerous requirements in daily life. It is gratifying to know that there are actually in existence not a few associations of this nature, consisting either of workmen alone, or of workmen and employers together; but it were greatly to be desired that they should become more numerous and more efficient. We have spoken of them more than once; yet it will bewell to explain here how notably they are needed, to show that they exist of their own right, and what should be their organisation and their mode of action."
It is one of the distinguishing features of trade unions, as pointed out there, that they have in no small degree promoted the advancement of art, and on another side have become more numerous as well as more efficient. I say that this Bill is not worthy to be classed with the other Trade Union Acts, because Section 6 of it completely wipes out any of the smaller unions that would naturally be so close knit with regard to the organisation of their personnel that they would give a, contribution to art: that they would be craft unions in the sense that we spoke of craft unions. In paragraph 34 of the same Encyclical we find that:
"When work people have recourse to a strike it is frequently because the hours of labour are too long or the work too hard, or because they consider their wages insufficient."
Because a union is a craft union is no reason why it should be prevented from dealing with some of the things that are most important to it.