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Wednesday, 25 August 1920

Mr RILEY (South Sydney) .- I desire to amend section 11 of the principal Act by providing for the appointment of two laymen, whose duty it will be to assist the Judge of the Arbitration Court. The President of that Tribunal has experienced a very trying time for a number of years, and, during that period, has received no assistance whatever from experts. The Act would be considerably improved if the industrial class were permitted to elect one representative, and the employing class another representative, to assist him in the determination of cases.

Mr Blundell - The honorable member suggests the appointment of assessors?

Mr RILEY - Yes. We have already recognised this principle in the Industrial Peace Bill, in which provision is made that both sides to any industrial dispute shall have a representative on the Boards which are to be constituted under that measure, with an independent chairman. Why should not that system be applied to the Arbitration Court? If the Act be amended in the direction I have suggested, both the employees and the employers will have more confidence in that Tribunal than they have at present. By adopting the plan which I have outlined, great good may be accomplished. The experiment is not a new one. The old Arbitration Court in New South Wales was constituted of a Judge and a representative from both the employers and the employees. I have no desire to occupy time unduly, but I ask the Committee to give my suggestion favorable consideration.

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