Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 11 June 1928

Mr ATKINSON (Wilmot) (2:29 AM) . - This is a clause of such vital importance that I cannot allow it to go by in silence. I am very sorry that the Government cannot see its way to accept the amendment of the honorable member for Swan. I hope that at the conference of State Premiers which is about to be held the Attorney-General will be able to obtain some satisfactory solution of the present difficulty. This has been a vital issue in Australia ever since the High Court upset the decision which it had previously given. It is a very serious position when the Federal Arbitration Court is empowered to fix the wages that have to be paid by the States. If the States have to pay the piper, run the railways, and keep their instrumentalities in operation, no outside body, which is not responsible for raising the money necessary, should have the right to fix the wages to be paid. Above all things, we want harmony in industry, and it is our duty to see that the best is done for the States. After all, the members of a State Parliament, and of this Parliament represent the same people. There is no call for the Arbitration Court to interfere in these matters. I feel that something more than putting such a clause as this into the Arbitration Act will be necessary to overcome the difficulties that confront us as a result of the decision in the engineer's case, though I accept the AttorneyGeneral's assurance that this Parliament could make the amendment suggested by the honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) and that it would not be contrary to the decision of the High Court in the engineers' case. I hope that the Government will see its way clear to take action along these lines. It is unfortunate that this matter did not come up earlier, so that it could have been debated fully, but I have taken this opportunity .to express very briefly my opinion upon it.

Suggest corrections