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Wednesday, 27 February 1952

Mr HOLT (HIGGINS, VICTORIA) (Minister for Immigration) - I do not feel that I can comment in any detail on the award which has been made by the conciliation commissioner, Mr. Galvin, and, indeed, J. consider that this House is hardly the proper place to do so. It is a fact that. the conciliation commissioner recently issued the very important award to which the honorable member for Newcastle has referred, and no doubt its terms have been disappointing to many tradesmen in Australia, who had been expecting to receive some addition to their marginal rates. However, as the honorable member is doubtless aware, cost-of-living adjustments have 'been granted periodically to this group of workers, as well as to other groups that are covered by Commonwealth awards. The request of the honorable gentleman that I ask Mr. Galvin to review the award raises an important matter of policy. I think that the honorable gentleman is aware that the official attitude of the Australian trade union movement on this point at any rate has been one of opposition to any appeal from the award of a conciliation commissioner even to the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration itself. However, I shall examine the question which the honorable gentleman has asked when I see it in print, and if there are any additional points that I can bring to his notice for his information, I shall do so.

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