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Wednesday, 11 May 1960

Mr McMAHON (LOWE, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Labour and National Service) - I was aware of the statement made by a professor - I did not know he was a South Australian professor - that increased information should be put before the Arbitration Commission. If the honorable member would look at the submissions made in the recent basic wage case, I think he would see that we are attempting to collect the maximum amount of evidence and put it before the commission. I had noticed the statement to which the honorable member has drawn attention. I will certainly write to the professor and ask him, in specific terms, what he means and how he thinks his suggestion can be met.

With regard to the second part of the question, I think the honorable member well knows that the power under which the basic wage and margins are fixed is the power relating to industrial arbitration. I think that it would be going beyond the scope of that constitutional power to permit the commission to look at the question of profits. Nevertheless, this problem is constantly examined by the Government as a Budget problem. I can assure the honorable member that it is never lost sight of.

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