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Thursday, 12 August 1920

Mr HUGHES (Bendigo) (Prime Minister and Attorney-General) . - A District Council will be composed of recognised unionists selected by their own organizations and employers recommended by the employers, and its function will be to inquire into any industrial matter brought before it by a member or referred to it by the Commonwealth Council or any employer, or employee, or association of employees, or recognised or- ganization of employees. Ib will be its duty to secure information as to the best way of dealing with matters in general. For example, it may wish to inquire into the industrial welfare of the State of New South Wales, and may be desirous of conferring with a man like Professor Meredith Atkinson, who has given a great amount of study to the question of settling industrial disputes, and some time ago delivered a series of lectures before the Trades Hall in Sydney- Why should not a District Council have an opportunity of conferring with him, or with Gompers, if he- came here, or Hodges, or any of the other English Labour leaders, or any one who has ideas as to what ought to be done to remove industrial unrest? I put it, therefore, to the Committee that we ought not to strike out the word " persons," since we desire to enable the Council to have access to all sources of information. Paragraph b differs fundamentally from paragraph d.

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