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Thursday, 20 April 1961


Mr McMAHON - I think I have to dissociate myself from the strong language of the honorable gentleman, much as I understand the depth of his feelings about the matter. I should state that there were exceptional circumstances in this case because some of the other witnesses when being given, as it were, an opportunity to restrict their evidence to their basic submissions, preferred to be cross-examined on any aspect of the issue that was before the commission. When the professor himself asked that cross-examination be confined to his paper, the commission decided, in view of what had happened, that it would permit cross-examination relevant to any issue before the commission, but that this would relate only to the present proceedings, and in future the matter would then be judged on its merits. 1 cannot at the moment give the honorable member an answer on the question of how far cross-examination should proceed in arbitration matters before the commission. As Acting Attorney-General, I shall obtain advice from the department, and convey it to the honorable member. I desire to make it clear that the course of action determined upon by the commission was, I think, determined largely by what had previously transpired, and the commission did make its reasons plain to the witness.







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