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Thursday, 19 May 1960

Mr COPE (Watson) .- I support the views of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Calwell), the honorable member for Lang (Mr. Stewart) and the honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Haylen), who have referred to the lucrative field being opened for lawyers to present cases to the board. Honorable members, particularly those of the Australian Country Party, have time after time stated that they believe in reducing the costs of production.

Mr Hamilton - So we do.

Mr COPE - If you do, then you should support the contention of the Opposition that lawyers should not be allowed to appear before the board. All of these costs are eventually passed on to the consumer, whether by the successful applicant or the unsuccessful applicant. In this field, it will be done by increasing the cost of advertising on television, which is met by the cost of the product. If the costs keep mounting in these hearings before the board, they will be passed on to the consumer. I believe that we should prohibit the appearance of counsel before the board, because it is quite unnecessary to have them. Mention has been made of trade unions and the Arbitration Commission. The appearance of counsel before the commission costs a lot of money and this is passed on to the members of the union in increased fees. These Cost. are passed on in every instance, no matter what it is, and I believe that it is absolutely unnecessary to give lawyers this lucrative field in which they can charge their 100 guineas and 150 guineas a day.

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