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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Senator DOBSON (Tasmania) .- Senator Keatingmight use arguments that are fair and reasonable; but the case has been placed bv him before the Committee in a very unfair way. I do not for one moment wish- to impugn the opinion of the Chief Justice, who must know better than we do ; but I point out that, while the Minister declares that the Chief Justice claims that five Judges are absolutely necessary, Mr. Castle, on whose evidence the Minister appealed to the Committee in the first instance, says nothing of the kind.

Senator Keating - He was never asked, and it is not likely he would be asked.

Senator DOBSON - Neither the Minister nor the Chief Justice can contend that two additional Judges are necessary unless the Conciliation and Arbitration Court is taken into consideration. I cannot conceive that the business of that Court will occupy one Judge all his time, and Mr. Castle, on whose evidence the Minister relies, only speaks of probability. Mr. Castle does not give a single instance of a dispute which he thinks will extend beyond one State, but he mentions a number of cases in, connexion with which he hears that some technical or preliminary point may have to be submitted. I contend that no case has been made out for the appointment of a fifth Judge, though there is room for the appointment of a fourth. In the interests of economy, without which Tasmania's finances will get into a very disastrous condition, I feel bound to vote against the clause. Senator Keating has said nothing to convince me that a fifth Judge is necessary at the present moment, and until the necessity arises a fifth Judge should not be appointed.

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