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Friday, 13 August 1920


Mr BRUCE (Flinders) .- Before such an amendment is moved I desire to put before the Prime Minister (Mr. Hughes) a point as to which I am not quite clear. Paragraph a of clause 15 declares that a Special Tribunal shall have cognizance of any industrial dispute referred to it by the persons or associations parties thereto. That is an exceedingly broad provision. It appears to me that under it it would be possible for an association of employers or employees to request a Special Tribunal appointed for a specific purpose and relating possibly to an entirely different trade to deal with a dispute existing in their industry.


Mr Hughes - That could not be done.


Mr BRUCE - If, for instance, a Special Tribunal had been created in relation to the coal trade, the wharf labourers, being pleased with the way in" which that Tribunal had dealt with the coal miners' case, might be able under the clause as it stands to invite it to deal with a dispute between them and their employers, and the Coal Tribunal might express ite willingness to do so. The point might be raised that the Tribunal, having been specifically appointed for the coal trade, had no power to deal with the wharf labourers' dispute, but the answer would be made that under clause 15 a Special Tribunal has power to take " cognizance of any dispute referred to it by the persons or associations parties thereto." Is there anything to prevent that being done?







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