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Tuesday, 31 August 1920

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .- I move on behalf of the honorable member for South Sydney (Mr. Riley), who is unavoidably absent -

That the following new clause be added: - "4a. Section 11 of the principal Act is amended by inserting at the end of the section the words' And two assessors to be appointed by the respective parties to the dispute.' "

The object of the amendment is to permit the parties to a dispute to appoint representatives to act with the Judge, and to advise him on matters pertaining to the industry. In connexion with the hearing of disputes many terms are used which it is difficult even for a Judge to understand, and these experts would assist him to grip the position and to come to a more satisfactory decision. This is no new thing in arbitration-

Mr Maxwell - Is it suggested that they shall act purely in an advisory capacity, or will they take part in the determination ?

Mr Groom - The honorable member for South Sydney himself said that they would take part in the determination.

Mr CHARLTON - This is not a new proposal. The first Conciliation and Arbitration Act passed in New South Wales, and known as Mr. B. R. Wise's Act of 1901 provided -

The two members of the Court shall be appointed by the Governor - one from among the persons recommended in the manner and subject to the conditions prescribed in Schedule 2 by a body of delegates from industrial unions of employers, and the other from among the persons recommended as aforesaid by a body of delegates from industrial unions of employees; but, if any such body fails to make such recommendation, the Governor may appoint such person as he thinks fit.

The honorable member for South Sydney is really anxious that a similar provision should be inserted in this Bill, believing that it would facilitate the work of the Court. I think it would be of considerable advantage.

Mr Gregory - Does the honorable member desire that different assessors shall be appointed for each dispute, or that two assessors shall be permanently appointed? The Western Australian practice is for the employers to appoint one assessor, and the employees to appoint another, and they constitute the Court.

Mr CHARLTON - I do not know whether permanent appointments would be in conformity with the Act.

Mr Groom - No, it would alter the scheme of the Act.

Mr CHARLTON - That being so, we have to make provision that assessors may be appointed to deal with each particular dispute. The amendment is reasonable, and I hopeit will receive favorable consideration.

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