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Thursday, 3 December 1914

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - When speaking on the second reading I referred to the various States that were early in the field in introducing and passing the principle of compulsory arbitration. I have since looked up the records, and find that what I then said was absolutely correct. The honour of first introducing this kind of legislation in Australia belongs to the late Mr. Kingston, who introduced a Bill as far back as 12th December, 1890, but it did not pass. New Zealand was the next Colony to handle the subject. A Bill was introduced by Mr. Reeves during Mr. Ballance's administration, on 31st

August, 1894, but did not come into force until 1st January, 1895. Western Australia was the first State in Australia to introduce a Compulsory Arbitration Bill that finally passed. This was introduced by Sir John Forrest on the 29th August, read a second time on 18th September, and assented to on. 5th December, 1900. New South Wales introduced legislation of a similar kind, following the example of New Zealand, at about the same stage. The Bill was introduced by Mr. Wise on 28th June, and read a second time on 14th July, 1900, but was not finally passed until 10th December, 1901, or twelve months and five days after the Western Australian Act. I was quite sure of my facts when I made the statement, having been personally connected with the passing of the Bill in Western Australia; but I have looked the dates up in Hansard, and honorable senators may be sure that they are perfectly correct. I knew New South Wales introduced a Bill at about the same date as Western Australia, but I was not quite sure which was passed first. The New South Wales Bill was introduced a little earlier than the Western Australian, but Western Australia was the first of the States to have a law of that kind. I am speaking not of conciliation, or voluntary measures, but of compulsory arbitration Acts. There have been conciliation and voluntary arbitration Bills introduced from time to time in various States, but I cannot speak with any authority as to their history.

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