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Friday, 6 August 1920

Mr HECTOR LAMOND (Illawarra) . - The contention of the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) that, because there are cases before the Federal Arbitration Court, this House has no right to discuss or legislate upon matters dealing with the subject of industrial unrest, has only to be stated in order to be ruled out of order. There is no connexion between his contention and the well-established .practice of every British Parliament, namely, that while a case is actually before a Court, Parliament shall not be made a platform for the discussion of its merits or demerits " - so, possibly, influencing the presiding Judge or the jury. There is nothing in the Industrial Peace Bill which could influence or interfere with the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court in the matter of cases before it at this moment.

Mr Mathews - Nor was there in the matter of the Jerger case.

Mr HECTOR LAMOND - It is thoroughly well established that Parliament may not deal with matters which are sub judice; otherwise, there would be no such thing as 'trial by jury. Judgments would, in effect, be passed by politicians from the floor of Parliament, in that they would be inflaming the people either for or against a case in Court. Juries might easily be influenced ; Judges themselves might be swayed; and there would be an end of British justice. The issue involved in the previous motion of dissent, to which allusion has been made, had to do with the point whether or not a certain case was sub judice. Whether it was or not I do not know; but the fact is that it was so reported to Mr. Speaker. And, if the case was sub judice, Parliament had no right to discuss it. However, I emphasize that there is no con-' nexion between that matter and the issue raised by the present motion of dissent. I hope honorable members will vote unanimously against it.

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