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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr HAWORTH (Isaacs) .- I do not support the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The more I have heard of his arguments and also of the chit-chat, if I may call it such, that has been going around the Committee, the more I have been confirmed in my early opinion that this Bill had its origin in the universities. There seems to be a profound desire to have as members of this tribunal persons of academic economic background. Let me read clause 10 of the Bill to the Committee so that honorable members will recall how it is worded. It says - (1.) A person shall not be appointed as a presidential member unless he is or has been a barrister or solicitor of the High Court or of the Supreme Court of a State of not less than five years' standing. (2.) A person shall not be appointed as a member other than a presidential member unless he appears to the Governor-General to be qualified for appointment by virtue of his knowledge of, or experience in, industry, commerce or public administration.

There is no question that a person aspiring to membership may become a member not just by virtue of his experience but by virtue of his having some knowledge. So I come back to what I said a little while ago, that I believe this Bill had its birth and origin in the universities. One can very easily understand that a person might have a knowledge, which he could get out of a book, of the building industry. He might have a very good knowledge of the building industry, but all of us who know something about that industry realise that it would require more than just having mere knowledge of it to set the industry straight so that people engaged in it would not become insolvent.

Mr Irwin - Everybody knows how to run a person's business except the person himself.

Mr HAWORTH - That is true. The point I want to make to the Committee is that the provision is dangerously wide when it relies simply on the word " or ", referring to knowledge or experience. I think it has to be more specific. Since the tribunal will be dealing with various industries, I think it should have among its members at least one person with experience in the particular industry that is being dealt with at a particular time. I believe that at least one-third of the people on a tribunal which is going to decide the business life of an industry should have some experience of that industry. They should have more than mere knowledge. It is not enough just to have a knowledge of an industry. As I have said, any academic could read a book on the machine tool industry and still know nothing about it except how it functions. He would have only textbook knowledge 1 think it is very important, if we are to engender confidence in this tribunal, to ensure that it will not be simply an academic body. It should be composed of persons of experience who know what they are doing. I do not believe that academics or top public servants have sufficient knowledge of the industry, and I believe that we should have at least one-third of the members of the tribunal persons of practical experience. We do not want this tribunal packed, if I may use that expression, with perhaps leftwing Socialists, particularly if another government happens to come to power. I can imagine, for instance, the honorable member for Yarra (Dr. J. F. Cairns) being Prime Minister of Australia.

Mr Buchanan - Oh, no!

Mr HAWORTH - After all, such things do happen. The honorable member for Bradfield (Mr. Turner), who sits next to me, is always talking about the wheel turning. The wheel could easily turn in such a direction and the honorable member for

Yarra might one of these days become Prime Minister. No doubt he would like to see this tribunal packed with a lot of leftwing Socialists. Private enterprise, which the Attorney-General (Mr. Snedden) is so anxious to preserve, would then be almost forgotten. I think it is important for the Attorney-General to consider this question so that when we come to a later clause in Part II of the Bill we may introduce an amendment for the purpose of having onethird of the members of the tribunal, or one member of it, with some practical experience of the particular industry being adjudicated upon.

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