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Thursday, 19 November 1914

The CHAIRMAN - If the honorable senator takes exception to the words used by Senator Senior, I am sure that that honorable senator will withdraw them.

Senator Bakhap - I do take exception to the statement that I alone of honorable senators on this side am not in favour of the peaceful settlement of dis.putes

The CHAIRMAN - I call upon Senator Senior to withdraw the statement to which Senator Bakhap objects.

Senator SENIOR - I am quite sure that I never intended to impute to Senator Bakhap anything but what the honorable senator's own words convey. I leave the honorable senator entirely to the effect of his own words, without any interpretation of them by me. I find that there is a tendency towards conciliation, which must justify the Senate in the action now proposed to be taken. Honorable senators on both sides are becoming convinced that the workers prefer arbitration to warfare, and the inclusion of this provision will mark a real advance in that directon. Senator Bakhap has raised the question that the amendment involves a subversion of the Constitution itself. The honorable senator is aware that if that be so the Constitution will remain supreme.

Senator Bakhap - I have said so. 1 have said that this amendment is ultra vires of the Constitution.

Senator SENIOR - If it is, although the amendment be carried, the Constitution will prevail.

Senator Bakhap - The interpreting authority will decide if the occasion to do so should unhappily arise.

Senator SENIOR - Industrial troubles are very often fomented because the worker cannot reach the Arbitration Court to which he is so anxious to appeal, and because the interpreting authority there interprets the Constitution to mean something other than he thought it meant when he went to law. Some statements have been made with regard to the rebellion of the worker against the decisions of the Courts. When the worker obtains a decision that does not violate his sense of justice, or that of any impartial man, he is always willing to abide by it. He does not always get a decision in his favour, and yet he abides by it. But when he finds that in case after case, after years of delay - and the law's delays often extend to many years - his efforts to secure what he believes to be justice are frustrated by mere technicalities, can we wonder that he should rebel 1 In return for' his willingness to surrender the right to strike, the worker is entitled to be afforded every means to reach the Arbitration Court and have his case reviewed there. This amendment will show that we are not in favour of strikes, but that, if they do come, we do not believe in the Citizen Forces being embroiled in them. We want it known that the Defence Force is enrolled for the defence of Australia, not only outside, but within its borders.

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