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Thursday, 22 September 1949

Mr White - I desire to make a personal explanation because I was misrepresented during the debate which has just been gagged. The Minister for Immigration (Mr.Calwell) named four honorable members of the Parliament, including myself, who, he said, had voted for the abolition of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court. There never has been a motion before the Parliament for the abolition of the court. The Liberal party established the Commonwealth Arbitration Court, and the Bruce-Page Government sought to give it additional powers. The maintenance of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court is a plank in the platform of the Liberal party; it is not a plank in the platform of the Labour party. The Minister should he more accurate in his statements.

Mr Bernard Corser - I also rise to make a personal explanation. I dissociate myself from the remarks made by the irresponsible Minister for Immigration (Mr. Calwell), who said that I, with three other members of the Parliament, had voted for the abolition of the Commonwealth Arbitration Court. The Labour and Nationalist and Country parties supported a referendum proposal to give the Commonwealth full power over arbitration so that the system might be effective. When that power was refused for the fourth time, the Commonwealth asked the States to refer to the Commonwealth full power in respect of arbitration, but the States refused to do so. The Bruce-Page Government then decided that the only method by which arbitration could be made to work would be to transfer certain industries to the State arbitration courts so that the full benefit of arbitration might be enjoyed by workers and industrialists and this I supported.

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