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Thursday, 1 December 1938

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (AttorneyGeneral) .- The Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Forde) has asked, not unnaturally, what has become of the provision which Ave inserted in quite a number of bounty acts now on our statutebook. The answer is that if anybody is to blame, I am, because I entertain very grave doubts as to the validity of such a provision. I am, therefore, not altogether disposed to ask the House to pass legislation which, in my opinion, might be of very doubtful constitutional validity. I shall endeavour to explain briefly why a safeguarding provision, on this occasion at least, would be invalid. The amendment moved by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition is -

The Minister may make application to the Chief Judge or a Judge of the Comomnwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration or to any Commonwealth authority established for the purpose of determining wages and conditions of employment, for a declaration as to what rates of wages and conditions of employment are fair and reasonable, for labour employed in the production of such parts of motor vehicles as are specified in the schedule . . .

In the radiator manufacturing industry there may be an interstate industrial dispute. No direction by the Minister would be needed, because the Commonwealth Court would have jurisdiction to deal with that dispute, and settle the wages and conditions, and the law would then provide means for enforcing the court's award.

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