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Thursday, 24 July 1930

Senator MCLACHLAN (South Australia) . - I agree with what has been said by the Leader of the Government in the Senate (Senator Daly) as to the legal effect which will follow from the repeal of this section. But I think there is one danger which should not be over- looked. I refer to the impression that might be created in the minds of certain people that the repeal of this section will free arbitral tribunals of the obligation to pay regard to the probable economic effects of awards on industry. I suggest that if we eliminate the word "the" before the word "industry " in the second last line of the section and also strike out the three last words, the safeguard might very well remain in the act. It will then provide that the court shall, before making any award or certifying any agreement, consider the probable effect of such award or agreement upon industry. I make this suggestion because there is a considerable body of opinion which holds the view that, if the section is repealed, the courts may disregard the economic effects of awards on industry. I repudiate entirely, as the Minister did and the judges do, that the courts will take that view of the law; but I suggest that the section, if amended as I have indicated, might very well remain as a safeguard.

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