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Friday, 6 August 1920

Sir ROBERT BEST (Kooyong) . - I join in the request that has been made by several of my honorable friends that further time be given for the legitimate discussion of the Bill in Committee. I have always felt the keenest interest in the subject of the settlement of economic disputes between employers and employees, and now that an opportunity is given the House to deal with that question in the light of our sorry experience, the Government is entitled to the very best efforts that can be put forward from all sides to perfect the Bill. The position would be wholly different if there were any attempt at obstruction. I have not had an opportunity to discuss the Bill, and many other honorable members are in the same position. It is in Committee that the real work attaching to the consideration of the Bill will be done. We are likely to have there the advantage of many valuable suggestions from those who are specially fitted to speak on the subject, and I think, therefore that the fullest opportunity for its discussion should be afforded. Honorable members generally are animated by a desire to put an end to the disastrous condition of affairs associated with industrial unrest, and if we join together with that object in view, the best results will ensue. I therefore put it to the Prime Minister that if he finds, as I am sure he will, no attempt to indulge in anything but a legitimate discussion of the Bill, the House is entitled to that legitimate discussion, and the best interests of the country will be served by permitting it.

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