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Friday, 13 August 1920

Mr HUGHES (Bendigo) (Prime Minister and 'Attorney-General) . - The best thing to do is to include the whole of section 85 of the Arbitration Act, which says that the penalty for disclosing any evidence shall be £500 or three months' imprisonment.

Mr Charlton - If a person refused to disclose evidence when requested to do so by the Tribunal, would that penalty apply?

Mr HUGHES - No. If a man refuses to give evidence which is within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to demand, he is liable to the penalties provided for in the Arbitration Act which clause 16 provides shall apply to this Bill. Section 84 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act provides that any person summoned to appear, or who has appeared, before the Court as a witness, or refuses to obey the summons, or to be sworn as a witness, or to answer any question he is required by the Court to answer, or to produce any books or documents he is required by the Court to produce, shall be liable to a penalty of £100.

Mr Charlton - No such provision is included in this Bill.

Mr HUGHES - No; but it is covered by clause 28, which reads as follows: -

Any contravention of this Act, or of the regulations, for which no other penalty is provided, shall be punishable, on conviction, by imprisonment for a period not exceeding six months, or a fine not exceeding £ 100, or both.

Mr Charlton - Personally, I am not favorable to the supplementary part of the Bill. I would rather have the penalty inserted in the clause we are dealing with._

Mr HUGHES - If it is the wish of the honorable member, the whole of section 85 of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act may be added to his amendment.

Mr Charlton - I am agreeable to that course.

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