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Tuesday, 22 June 1926

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) .- I move-

That so much of the Standing and Sessional Orders be suspended as would prevent the bill being passed through all its stages without delay.

In submitting this motion, I desire it to be distinctly understood that I do not wish the Senate to pass this bill to-night. I merely wish to move the second reading, and shall then grant an adjournment of the debate in the ordinary way. There is a special reason why this measure should be passed as early as possible. As honorable senators are probably aware, the term of office of the President and the two Deputy Presidents of the Arbitration Court terminates on the 30th June. It is necessary that the bill should be passed before that date, because it empowers the Government to re-appoint the two deputies for such a period as will enable them to complete the hearing of the cases on which they are now engaged. In the case in which the railway servants are involved the hearing has been protracted. The deputy president of the court has been engaged on it for many days, and the representatives of State

Governments and the unions concerned have incurred great expense in the presentation of their evidence. If this measure is not passed before the date mentioned the whole ground will have to be covered again by the newly-constituted court. It is the desire of the Government that there shall be no hiatus, and that the cases which are now being heard by the two deputies shall be completed. In these special circumstances, I ask the Senate to agree tothe motion and thus enable me to move the second reading of the bill to-night.

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