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Thursday, 29 October 1931

Mr BRENNAN (BATMAN, VICTORIA) (Attorney-General) - Answering first the last portion of the question, I assure the honorable member that the Government will collaborate with the State Government, so far as may be necessary, to make the policing of awards effective. The Government is watching with interest, legislation that has already been submitted by the Victorian Government to prevent sweating.

It is not usual, nor would it be considered proper, for the Commonwealth Government, to intervene in every dispute inter party. The Attorney-General has a specific right to intervene in cases before the court when either the basic wage or the standard of hours is under considera-tion, and to address himself to those matters. In other cases the AttorneyGeneral may, like any other person, ask leave to intervene. There is no doubt in my opinion that, in the special circumstances that apply to the case now before the court, such leave would be granted. It is one of the duties of the commissioner or the judge in arbitration, when considering the matter of preference to unionists, to take into account the welfare of society. Having regard to the fact that, as a matter of policy, this Government regards preference to unionists as being directed against the abuse of sweating, among other things, it has decided that the AttorneyGeneral shall ask leave to intervene, and put the Government's point of view before the court in this case.

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