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Wednesday, 23 June 1926


Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - It is quite true that the clause provides for the intervention of the AttorneyGeneral, but that provision would not be. destroyed if my amendment were accepted. Whom does' the AttorneyGeneral represent?


Senator Pearce - The AttorneyGeneral will not appear before the court. He will send a notice to the registrar merely for the purpose of giving persons an opportunity to appear before the court.


Senator NEEDHAM - A plea has been made for the representation of the community. If the Attorney-General, who represents the community, desires to protect the public interest, it is his duty to appear in person or by counsel.


Senator Pearce - The honorable senator misunderstands the clause. The AttorneyGeneral will intervene only in order to enable the public to make application to appear.


Senator NEEDHAM - Senator McLachlan said that Senator Barnes was under a misapprehension. 1 would pit the practical experience of the court that is possessed by Senator Barnes against the legal knowledge of Senator McLachlan, and have no fear of the result. The keynote of the second-reading speeches upon the bill was that it would prevent delay in the settlement of industrial disputes, and do away with appeals to a higher tribunal. If the clause is passed in its existing form the "resent delays will continue, because one individual after another will be able to claim the right to be heard. Senator Pearce referred to companies that are not embraced by either associations of employers or organizations of em- .ployees. It would be quite an easy matter for them to be heard, through the medium of the advocate who represents the employers' association, when the questions of standard hours and basic wage were being determined. The right honorable senator went further and referred to works and railways and other governmental activities. There is a Public Service Association, whose duty it would bo to appear on behalf of any Commonwealth employee who otherwise would not be represented. I have heard no effective reason advanced against the. amendment, anient, and I therefore intend to press it to a division. '







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