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Wednesday, 15 June 1904

Mr MCWILLIAMS (Franklin) - I recognise that, as the result of the introduction of improved machinery in any trade affected by a decision of the Court, an award which to-day would be quite proper and just, might be two or three years hence positively absurd. The whole of the conditions of the trade might be altered by the introduction of "machinery, or by increased competition, or the introduction ot some other new element; but I think that an award should not be varied unless the circumstances attending the making of it had also altered. If an award were made, it should not be possible for any one to apply three, six, or twelve months afterwards to have it varied.

Mr Watson - We are aiming, as far as possible, at the fixity of conditions. That is one of the purposes of the Bill.'

Mr MCWILLIAMS - 1 think that before application to vary an award could be made, the onus of proving that the conditions of the trade affected had changed since the making of the award, should be thrown on the applicants. That would be a sufficient safeguard. I agree with the honorable and learned member for Corinella that if it is to be possible for applications to be made at any time to vary an order, there will be no fixity of award, and that this Bill, instead of aiding the settlement of trade differences, will give rise to continuous disputes.

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