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Wednesday, 23 March 1927

Senator THOMPSON (Queensland) . - I am wondering if this measure will in any way delay the transfer of the High Court to Canberra. If so, the mercantile community will be inconvenienced and a certain amount of jealousy will be felt by other sections of the Public Service. I take it that the High Court judges and staffs are as much a part of the Public Service as any other section of Commonwealth servants, and if they are to have the privilege of remaining in Melbourne whilst officers of other administrative staffs have to be transferred to Canberra, the proposal will be regarded with disfavour. But I am not thinking of that so much as the convenience of the mercantile community. Canberra is more centrally situated than Melbourne for conciliation and arbitration proceedings, because the great bulk of the people live on the eastern coast of Australia. I should like to be assured by the Minister that the passage of this bill will not unduly delay the transfer of both Federal Courts to Canberra.

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