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Wednesday, 1 September 1920

Question - That the proposed new clause be added - put. The Committee divided.

DIVISION:NOES 27 (6 majority) AYES 21 PAIRS 0
AYESNOESPAIRS

Majority . . . . 6

 

AYES

 

NOES

 

Question so resolved in the negative.

Proposed new clause negatived.

Mr.GROOM (Darling Downs - Minister for Works and Railways) [9.39].- I move -

That the following new clause be added: - " 4a. Section 11 of the principal Act is amended by adding at the end thereof and such Deputy Presidents as are appointed in pursuance of this Act.' "

Section 11 of the principal Act provides -

There shall be a Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration which shall be a Court of record, and shall consist of a President.

It is proposed to add "and such Deputy Presidents as are appointed in pursuance of this Act." In the amending Act of 1918, and in the amendments which this Committee has already passed, it is provided that the Governor-General may appoint any Deputy Presidents that are necessary, and that those Deputies must be either Judges of the High Court or Judges of a Supreme Court of a State. We are constituting the Court of the President and such Deputies as are appointed under the Act.

I shall ask the Committee to debate proposed new clauses 4a and 6a together, as they are interrelated. In new clause 6a, proposed new section 18a, to be inserted in division 2 of part III. of the principal Act, after section 18, provides that the jurisdiction of the Court may be exercised by the President or a Deputy President. The object of that is to enable each or any of the Judges to hear cases sitting alone as a single Judge. We next provide that the President, or a Deputy President, may, in any case in which he thinks it desirable so to do, invite one or more Deputy Presidents to sit with him for the hearing and determination of any dispute, or part of a dispute. If the Court is dealing with a matter of very serious importance, and the Judge feels that he ought to have the assistance of' another Judge in dealing with the whole, or any part of a dispute, that provision gives him power to invite a brother Judge to sit with him, and constitute the Court in that way. Thus we shall get the considered judgment of more than one Judge. We next provide that, where the Court is constituted of the President, and one or more Deputy Presidents, or of two or more Deputy Presidents, and the members of the Court are divided in opinion on any question relating to the prevention or settlement of an industrial dispute, that question shall be decided according to the decision of the majority, if there is a majority; but that if the members of the Court are equally divided in opinion, then the question shall be decided according to the opinion of the President, or, in his absence, according to the opinion of the senior Deputy President. That practically follows the practice which prevails in other Courts. The next provision is also very important. It is that, notwithstanding anything contained in the Act, the Court shall not have jurisdiction to make an award (a) increasing the standard hours of workin any industry to more than forty-eight per week, or when the standard hours of work in any industry are more than forty-eight hours per week, increasing the standard hours of work in that industry; or (6) reducing the standard hours of work in any industry to less than forty-eight hours per week; or, where the standard hours of work in any industry are less than forty-eight hours per week, reducing the standard hours of work in that industry, unless the question is heard by the President, and not less than two Deputy Presidents, and the increase or reduction, as the case may be, is approved by a majority of the members of the Court by whom the question is heard.







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