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Wednesday, 15 June 1904

Mr LONSDALE (New England) - The New South Wales Arbitration Act contains a provision similar to that embodied in the clause, and yet three or four appeals have been made against the decisions of the Court.

Mr Watson - On questions of jurisdiction.


Mr LONSDALE - In two or three cases the decisions of the Arbitration Court have been upset. A judgment was given against the Arbitration Court in connexion with the award in settlement of the butchers' dispute.

Mr Watson - The decision of the Court was held to conflict with the Early Closing Act.

Mr LONSDALE - It so happened that there was a conspiracy between certain employers and employes to crush out two butchers who were selling meat cheaply, to the advantage of the public. They managed to have the common rule applied to one man, and the other joined the employers' organization. The man. who stood apart contended that he had the right to keep his shop open after 5 o'clock in the afternoon, the hour fixed by the Arbitration Court. The Supreme Court upheld the decision, of the Arbitration Court, but the High Court decided that the award of the Arbitration Court was wrong, and that the appellant could keep his shop open until 6 o'clock, so long as he did not employ any one contrary to the provisions of the arbitration award. There have been two or three other appeals.

Mr Watson - Not appeals which have been successful.

Mr LONSDALE - The fact that there has been a number of appeals shows that in New South Wales the Arbitration Act is being used for tyrannical purposes. We require, therefore, to exercise extreme caution before placing such legislation on the statute-book. In my judgment we should make the right of appeal as free as possible.

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