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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Senator DRAKE (Queensland) .- I was always in favour of the appointment of five Justices to the High Court. After a few years' experience we can all see that the work it has to do has been more than sufficient to keep three Justices going. Having regard to the administration of the Conciliation and Arbitration. Act, and the

Australian Industries Preservation Bill, it seems exceedingly probable that in the future there will be sufficient work for a Court of five Justices. The reason why I strongly favour the Bill is because I think it desirable that we should, if possible, have a final Court of Appeal in Australia. At the present time, the High Court is the final Court of Appeal in certain matters, and it may be the final Court of Appeal in all matters if litigants are satisfied that it should be so. I believe that the more we strengthen the Court, the greater will be the tendency on the part of litigants to accept its decisions as final. The more they have reason to be content with the learning and knowledge of local conditions possessed by the High Court, the more satisfied they will be to accept its decisions as final, and not to appeal to the Privy Council. In a matter of this kind, as in all others, I should like to' be with the economists, but I think that the extra cost Qf providing for another Justice will be very small in comparison with the great saving to the people, and also to the Government, bv having a final Court of Appeal in Australia.

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