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Saturday, 9 June 1928

Mr LATHAM (Kooyong) (AttorneyGeneral) .- The Deputy Leader of the Opposition made one point which requires an answer. As he truly said, this clause does not give power to order individual employers to give a bond. It applies only to organizations which submit industrial disputes to the court. No individual employer can submit an industrial dispute to the court under our system of arbitration.

Mr Blakeley - Under the proposed new clause, they can do it by means of voluntary arbitration.

Mr LATHAM - That proposed new clause has been withdrawn. A dispute can be submitted to the court only by an organization. This requirement for a bond is the result of applying that principle.

Mr Hughes - There can be a dispute between an individual employer and an organization.

Mr LATHAM - That is so, but an individual employer cannot submit a dispute to the court. This section applies only in the case of an organization which invites the action of the court. That is the important feature of the clause, and it enables a judge to require security as evidence of bona fides. It is difficult to see how any objection can be taken to such a requirement in the case of an organization which elects to ask the court to make an award, whether it be an employers' or employees' organization. This explanation shows why the section is limited to organizations. Then as to the amount. When a bond is required, the amount will be determined by the judge in accordance with the circumstances of the case; but it is difficult to believe that a maximum of £500 is excessive. Take, for example, the present position, when we are confronted with a maritime dispute. Would the enforcement of a bond of £500 be unreasonable in such a case? - I say, .no, and I doubt whether any honorable member will disagree with me. Remembering that £500 is the maximum, and, in the circumstances, a moderate maximum, I submit that there is no real substance in the criticism of the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The principle is sound. The bond is a guarantee of good faith. Therefore I ask the committee to accept the clause.

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