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Friday, 3 September 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) . -There is just one point to which I directed the attention of the Minister for Works and Railways (Mr. Groom) yesterday, namely, whether it is not possible to simultano; ously convene special conferences in the various States - conferences which would be presided over by Deputy Presidents of the Arbitration Court. I was speaking to the secretary of the Carters and Drivers Union in Melbourne quite recently, and he pointed out that during the influenza epidemic the union desired a special conference to be summoned. The Judge of the Court, however, was reluctant to summon it, because by so doing he would have had -to bring men from States, which were free of influenza, to a State in which it was prevalent. Had there been power to summon a compulsory conference in the various States, although those bodies might not have . arrived , at finality, they would have got well forward, in , their negotiations.

Mr Hughes - I am afraid that I have not clearly in my mind the conferenceto which the honorable member refers.

Mr TUDOR - The Bill empowers a special conference to be called, over which a Deputy President may px-eside. The question is whether , more than one- conference cannot be called in the States at the same time. If that course could be adopted, we might be able to get to closer grips of the question in dispute. The Minister for Works and Railways promised to consult the Crown Law authorities upon the matter, and stated that, if necessary, he would have the Bill amended in another place in the direction which I have indicated. I agree with the honorable member for Hunter (Mr. Charlton) that the amendments to which he has referred will not make for that industrial peace which we all desire.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

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