Once more let me say, for I have been criticised uphill and down for my attitude towards the strike, I cannot agree that the Church should stand aloof from such questions as those which concern us to-night.
These words express the heart of Farnham Edward Maynard's commitment to British seamen striking while in Australian ports during August to November 1925. Two principal issues arose to precipitate this strike. Uppermost was the poor level of pay provided by the shipping companies, and associated distress for the seamen's families when their principal ‘bread-winner’ was overseas. Their wages had been reduced from £10 per month to £9 by a board on which they believed they had inadequate representation. Such low wages were not, they maintained, adequate recompense for their work, particularly when coupled with the second issue: the living conditions aboard ship. Still angered by the waterside workers' industrial action at the end of 1924 and the following riots in Sydney during January 1925, local industry had little sympathy with the demands of overseas militants, however; nor had the Australian government, which made it clear that British seamen responsible for causing strike action in Australia would be deported. Not even the Waterside Workers' Federation, blamed for many of the recent troubles, supported the British seamen; declaring that the action proved the futility of a minority opposing the great majority', and provided ‘sufficient proof that no section of a union can accomplish success when attempting to achieve an objective against its executive, combined with majority rule’. The seamen were advised ‘to take their disputes to where they belong and rectify them there’.