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Wednesday, 23 June 1926

Senator McHUGH (South Australia) . - I support the amendment submitted by Senator Lynch. Personally, I have the highest regard for the judiciary of Australia. Senator Reid has just suggested that appointments may, with justice, be made by every other party but the Labour party. My answer to that is that not many judicial appointments have been made by Labour governments in Australia, but those members of our judiciary who owe their appointments to Labour Governments are just as honest and just as high-minded as are judges appointed by Tory Governments. ' Senator Reid also had something to say about caucus canvassing in connexion with an appointment to the judiciary in Queensland. I do not know to whom the honorable senator refers, but we have a right to the name of the judge. If the honorable senator is not satisfied with the appointment - he has. alleged that the gentleman is incompetent - he should agitate for his removal from the bench. Senator Reid has said that, if Senator Lynch's amendment is carried, there will be canvassing. What really will happen will be that the full light of day will be allowed to play upon all applicants, so the honorable senator really furnished an argument in favour of the amendment. The alleged objectionable practice to which Senator Reid referred just now will be impossible if the names of applicants for appointment to a judicial bench are placed before Parliament. If any attempt is made to appoint an incompetent person, public opinion will be so stirred that no government will be " game " to go through with it. As far as the Queensland industrial court is concerned, I happen to know one member of it - Mr. Justice Dunstan - and I can say truthfully, and without fear of contradiction, that no man in Australia has had greater industrial experience, and no mau has reached a higher level of probity. Therefore, I resent very much this personal and unjustifiable attack made upon him and one of his colleagues by SenatorReid.

Senator Reid - I made no personal attack upon the judges. I did not mention any name.

Senator McHUGH - The honorable senator said that they were political appointments. I deny that and I repeat that Mr. Justice Dunstan had as wide an experience in the industrial movement as any other man. For many years he held a responsible position in the Labour movement, not only in Queensland, but also in other States, and he is eminently qualified to discharge the duties of his high office.

Senator Thompson - On the honorable senator's own showing, he must be partisan.

Senator McHUGH - No more partisan than judges appointed by conservative governments.

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