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Tuesday, 13 September 1904

Mr REID (East Sydney) (Minister of External Affairs) . - I did not happen to speak when this debate was initiated. Possibly, by some prescience, I thought it would be more convenient that I should be in a position to make a few remarks at the present stage. I wish to say that the Government have considered the proposals embodied in the motion, and are perfectly prepared to go into Committee for the purpose of considering them. As to, I think, all the propositions but one, we are in a. position practically to approve of' them. Many of them are unimportant, others are intended to remove drafting difficulties, and the only one of serious importance, to my mind, is the first. We have not had the advantage of a discussion, either upon the second reading of the Bill or in Committee, upon the precise matter involved in the first proposal, and I' shall be interested to hear the reasons which influenced the late Administration in suggesting this al-, teration.

Mr Higgins - What is the first proposal ?

Mr REID - To eliminate from clause 4, paragraph b of the definition of " industrial dispute." The clause provides that, apart from disputes between organizations of employes and employers, or organizations on both sides, the Registrar, can certify that existing disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State are disputes which in the public interest ought to be brought within the jurisdiction of the Court. The proposal of the late Administration was that this provision should be. omitted.

Mr Watson - Such cases are provided for in another sub-clause.

Mr REID - That is the point with regard to which I should like to hear an explanation by. my honorable friend. I intend to suggest an alteration in the paragraph as it stands, which, I think, would effect a great improvement, but I should first like to hear, in Committee, the reasons to be advanced for omitting the provision..

Mr Groom - What is the right honorable gentleman's proposal?

Mr REID - I think that it would be only fair to the late Administration if we were to first hear what were their reasons for suggesting that the paragraph should be omitted.

Mr Page - What do the Government propose to do with regard to clause 48?

Mr REID - That is not now embraced in the motion.

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