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Thursday, 24 July 1930

Senator DALY (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - Am I to understand that if a provision for correctional jurisdiction is inserted the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Pearce) is 'prepared to withdraw his amendment?

Senator Sir George Pearce - I think the best thing would be to delete sub sections 7, 8 and 9, and to allow opportunity for further consideration of the clause.

Senator DALY - I submit that that is not the right procedure to adopt. Honorable senators appear to be unanimous that it is better that the parties to a dispute should get together in a roundtable conference than that advocates should address the court and place certain facts before a judge., If we agree on that point - and the only difference between the Government and the Opposition in regard to it is that the latter think that the man who sits at the head of the table, whose decisions will be final, will have powers which he might abuse - there is a possibility of introducing a correctional jurisdiction. If there is a possibility of that being done, rather than lose what I consider to be the most vital portion of this bill, I shall be prepared to postpone consideration of the clause with a view to obtaining instructions regarding it. There are other clauses which could be finally disposed of, as, for instance, that which, provides for preference to unionists. I shall ask that the clause be postponed.

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE (Western Australia) [9.7.] - It might be well to postpone this clause with a view to considering whether there is a via media. The Opposition heard only to-night that the Government might be prepared to consider something on the lines of the South Australian law. There has not yet been time for us to consider such a proposal. If this clause were postponed for further consideration, and subsequently amendments were made in the direction indicated, the bill would have to be recommitted in order to make consequential amendments. There would be some consequential amendments of importance, such as that raised by Senator Colebatch as to the power of conciliation commissioners to interpret the Constitution. If the Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator Daly) will agree to the postponement of the clause on those conditions, that would perhaps, be the best course to follow.

Senator Daly - I agree to that.

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