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Thursday, 20 May 1920

Mr BLUNDELL (Adelaide) .- I desire to bring under the special notice of the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) the congestion of business in the Conciliation and Arbitration Court. Some time ago, when this question was discussed in the House, it was stated that forty-two cases were listed for hearing. Since then seven additional plaints have been lodged, bringing up the total to forty-nine. I realize that the Government have done something to relieve the congestion by appointing an assistant to Mr. Justice Higgins, but I would urge that an attempt should be made, by the appointment of temporary Deputy-Presidents of the Court, to clear up the arrears of work. It is utterly impossible for the arrears to be overtaken under existing conditions. The delay in hearing these cases is responsible for a greal deal of industrial unrest, and is playing into the hands of those who are to-day advocating direct action.

I desire now to bring before the PostmasterGeneral the position in regard to oversea mail steamers calling at the Outer Harbor, Port Adelaide. Recently a mail steamer bound from the Old Country failed to call at the Outer Harbor, and so caused a great deal of inconvenience to those engaged in the commerce and industry of the State. The overseas mails had to be closed earlier than usual in order that they might be sent to Melbourne to be placed on board the steamer there, while intending passengers had to journey either to Melbourne or Fremantle to board her. It has been the practice of these vessels always to call at the Outer Harbor, and, having regard to the fact that Adelaide is the third city in the Commonwealth, I hope the Postmaster-General will see to it that its citizens are not again subjected to such inconvenience.

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