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Friday, 6 August 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- I am of opinion that your ruling, sir, was quite right; but it is absolutely opposed to the decision of the House with respect to a similar motion the other day.

Mr Hector Lamond - It is not.

Mr TUDOR - I think I am entitled to my own opinion on the matter. I do not propose to support the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) in his dissent from Mr. Deputy Speaker's ruling; but he should certainly be able to claim the vote of every honorable member who supported the ruling and defeated the motion of dissent to which I have just alluded. However, if honorable members were now to carry this motion of dissent, the position would be that Parliament would not be able to discuss any Bill for the amendment of any Act which was involved in any Court case. I am convinced that honorable members behind the Government were in the wrong when they voted as they did the other day, but I do not propose to perpetuate that wrong by now placing myself in a false position. The honorable member, for Melbourne Ports was rightly incensed at being prevented from discussing a case which, although it was held to be sub judice, was not sub judice in the ordinary acceptation of the term. However, no good can be gained at this stage by objecting to the House proceeding with the Industrial Peace Bill on the ground that its subject-matter is sub judice. I take the view that the Bill is rightly before this Chamber, and that Mr. Deputy Speaker is in the right in permitting debate upon it. It would be a very serious position if Parliament found that it was unable to amend the Arbitration Act so long as there was a single case pending before the Arbitration Court.

Mr Mathews - Hear, hear!

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