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Wednesday, 15 June 1904

Mr GLYNN (Angas) - Under this clause, if the parties to a dispute come to an agreement among themselves, it is declared that the agreement shall have the effect of an award. In other words, the common rule may be made to apply, and parties who are not concerned in the original dispute may be bound by- the agreement.

Mr Watson - I do not think so.

Mr GLYNN - There is no limitation of the effect of the agreement.

Mr Watson - An award does not involve the application of the common rule unless the Court so directs. An agreement could not contain any provision for the application of the common rule.

Mr GLYNN - That may be so; but under the terms of the Bill an agreement arrived at between the parties to a dispute is to have the same effect as an award. A dispute might be brought about throughcollusion between an employer and his employes, and, after an agreement had been arrived at, the Court might extend its application to every person engaged in ' the industry. Surely this would he giving toowide an effect to a mere agreement between the parties to a dispute. No provision is made by which parties other than' thoseimmediately concerned in the dispute may be heard by the Court with regard to the terms of the agreement. I know that thePrime Minister has stated that some qualifying conditions in regard to the application of the common rule are to be introduced, but at present there is nothing in the Bill that would have the effect of limiting the application of an agreement. I would suggest that the clause should be amended in order to limit the application of the agreement to the parties immediately concerned.

Mr Watson - That is the position now.

Mr GLYNN - Then there would be no harm in making the provision more explicit. I move -

That after the word "shall," line 7, the following words be inserted, " as between the parties to the dispute," and that the word " shall," second occurring, line 7, be omitted.

Mr Watson - I would point out that the dispute referred to in this case is not such a one as would come within the cognisance of the Court after the parties had failed to arrive at an agreement.

Mr GLYNN - But there are two classes of agreement under the Bill. There are industrial agreements which are not preceded by a dispute, and agreements which are arrived at during the course of a dispute. In" the latter case the parties to a dispute would 'be able to settle the terms of the award, and to prescribe the conditions of employment for all persons engaged in the industry. An employer might, in order V.o gain an advantage over a competitor, precipitate a dispute, and arrive at an agreement which would ultimately result in the application of the common rule. If we do not wish the provision to have such a wide effect, it is for us to limit its application.

Mr Watson - I think the amendment is quite unnecessary.

Mr GLYNN - It will only have the effect of making the provision more explicit. It should be our desire to avoid possible litigation, and as the Prime Minister appears disposed to take a reasonable view, I would urge him to accept the amendment.

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