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Wednesday, 8 September 1920

Mr RYAN (West Sydney) .- The Minister (Mr. Groom) seems to be under some misapprehension as to the exact nature of the amendment. I have no desire to increase the tenure of the Arbitrator. In fact, I am altogether opposed to such an appointment, and, therefore, my amendment was submitted in order to give members of the Commonwealth Public Service an opportunity of access to the existing Court of Conciliation and Arbitration if they so desired.

Mr Groom - The honorable member used the question of the Arbitrator's tenure as an argument against the Bill.

Mr RYAN - No. The honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) took exception to his tenure, and because it remained in the Bill I was appealing to him to support the amendment. With regard to the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Fowler), I do not know what are his views on the subject of humour, and I do not care very much. I am not looking for compliments; praise, or encomiums from any of my honorable friends opposite. We, on this side of the House, are standing for a certain policy which, very often, is more clearly defined when only members of my party are supporting it. I can see nothing anomalous in allowing any organization of the Public Service to go to the Arbitration Court if they wish to do so. Why should we not allow them to take that course? I think it probable that, in that event, the Arbitrator would not have very much to do.

Mr Fowler - They would fro to the Arbitrator at one time and to the Arbitration Court at another time. That is the state of affairs the honorable member's amendment would bring about.

Mr RYAN - I want to leave this matter to the officers of the Public Service themselves.

Mr Fowler - You have spoiled a very good case by your amendment.

Mr RYAN - Well, I am very glad that the honorable member for Perth will not be the final judge of my case. I am not looking to my honorable friends opposite for judgment; I am looking beyond them, to the people of Australia. I see nothing inconsistent in the amendment, and I hope honorable members will agree to it.

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