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Tuesday, 21 June 1904

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) - W.hilst I would recognise the wisdom of including a provision of this kind in a State Arbitration Bill, I do not think that the arguments for the exclusion of counsel and solicitors from the Arbitration Court apply with the same force under a Federal Bill. . It must be remembered that the Court will deal with disputes removed far beyond the particular area in which they have arisen, and the distance of the place at which the Court sits may be so remote from the place of residence of the parties chiefly concerned as to make it almost impossible for them to attend in person. They must, therefore, secure representation, and the only way in which they can do so is by employing counsel or a solicitor or an agent.

Mr Hughes - There is no reason why the secretaries of the organizations should not appear before the Court.

Mr JOHNSON - It may not always be convenient for them to do so.

Mr Hughes - Certainly, and they may not be capable ; but the argument applies to both parties.

Mr JOHNSON - It must also be remembered that the Court may not sit always in the same place; but may remove from one State to another. The proposed excision of the words under discussion still leaves it optional to parties to employ counsel or solicitors, and there may be questions of law in regard to which either party may feel compelled to take professional advice.

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