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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1487


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the principle espoused by Senator Wright was' perfectly clear to him, it was not always clear to those who sit or sat on the same side of politics as Senator Wright. I quote, for his edification, a contribution to a debate in 1934.


Senator Greenwood - Did you say 1934?


Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Yes, 1934. The debate was o.n this subject- arbitration.


Senator Greenwood - I knew that you were living in the past, but I did not. know that you were living that far in the past. .-

SenatorJAMES McCLELLANDArbitration is as old as 1 934. Wait for it. I warn you not to be too brash about this. In 1934 the power of ministerial appointment of inspectors was first introduced by what was then 'known as the

United Australia Party. I am sure Senator Greenwood finds that title sacred and is not affronted in any way by the fact that that was a name which his predecessors adopted as long ago as 1934. Let me read the words which bear on the subject which we are discussing today. They are: . . it is desirable that the widest area of choice should be open to the Government in order that someone of very definite industrial experience and knowledge may be appointed. If that be so, it is undesirable that the appointment should be restricted, as it would be under the terms of the Act as it stands, to those who are already within the Public Service . . . The Government definitely believes that it has a responsibility in relation to the enforcement of awards, particularly in the case of some awards in respect of industries that are not in themselves highly organised from an industrial point of view.

They were the words of a distinguished AttorneyGeneral, a predecessor of Senator Greenwood and Senator Murphy, a man who was known as Mr Menzies. To be acused of living in the past when one invokes the name of Menzies, is an odd reproach to fall from honourable senators opposite. They have had nothing like him since. It appears unlikely that they ever will. At least on a subject such as this he was able to bring his legal mind to bear on the subject and to espouse exactly what we are espousing today.







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