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Tuesday, 31 August 1920

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister for Works and Railways) . - I hope that the honorable member for Adelaide (Mr. Blundell) will not press his amendment, since it proposes to insert in the Conciliation and Arbitration Act regulative machinery such as is usually associated with factory legislation. The amendment is scarcely relevant to the original Act. The Commonwealth function under theConstitution in this regard is to provide for conciliation and arbitration for the prevention or settlement of industrial disputes, whereas the honorable member seeks to devise machinery for regulating the way in which individual employers shall carry on their business.

Mr McGrath - Under the State Wages Board system employers are required to post in a conspicuous position copies of Wages Board determinations relating to their industries.

Mr GROOM - That bears out the point I have just been making that this amendment is rather in the nature of factory or Wages Board legislation, and that we do not possess the same power that the State Legislatures have to regulate industry.

Mr Blundell - Does not the Minister think that an employer should be required to post in his factory a copy of the award relating to his industry?

Mr GROOM - I am not quite sure as to the feasibility of this proposal. Some of our awards are exceedingly lengthy documents.

Mr Blundell - But the substance of an award could be postedup.

Mr GROOM - I hope the honorable member will not press his amendment. I promise him that I will look into the matter and see to what extent it would be possible to provide for what the honorable member seeks to accomplish in that part of his amendment. The other part is more in the nature of the provisions of a Factories Act. I will look into the matter of the regulative machinery, and if I find that what the honorable member suggests can be done, I will endeavour to have the Bill amended.

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