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Friday, 18 September 1942

Mr CURTIN - The Government will not interfere in any way with the functions of the Arbitration Court.

Mr Marwick - It did in Western Australia.

Mr CURTIN - The honorable member's interjection is irrelevant, but I must answer him because otherwise ii. might convey a false impression. The Government pegged wages by regulation, and provided for automatic adjustments up or down according to the cost of living figures. We have given authority to the Premier of Western Australia to apply this provision, because the Arbitration Court in Western Australia decided that it could not take into account automatic adjustments in accordance with variations of the cost of living. As for the question of the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Harrison), the Government will not interfere with the functions and powers of the Arbitration Court, but it will not lessen its own authority.

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