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Conciliation and arbitration legislation

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SENATOR GEORGES - I refer the Attorney-General to my question yesterday concerning the letter which was written

to the Minister for Industrial Relations, Mr Street, by Mr Justice Staples and which was referred for attention to the Attorney-General by Mr Street. I now ask my supplementary question: Why did the Attorney-General not reject out of

hand Mr Street's overtures to him on this matter and recognise them for what they were - a blatant attempt to intimidate Mr Justice Staples and other members of the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission?

SENATOR DURACK - The reason I did not reject out of hand the request from Mr Street is that I reject completely the suggestion that what Mr Street did was any attempt, blatant or otherwise, to intimidate Mr Justice Staples. I regard that suggestion as utter nonsense. As I said in answer to a question yesterday, Mr Street asked me to look at Mr Justice Staples' letter to see whether there were any legal or constitutional implications arising out of it in regard to the proposed amendments to the Conciliation and Arbitration Act which will be debated irt the Senate later today. That was the basis on which Mr Street referred the letter to me.

That was the basis of his request to me. It was a perfectly proper and sensible Step for him to take to obtain legal advice, no doubt out of abundant caution. He was perfectly

entitled to have my advice on it.

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