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Thursday, 31 July 1930

Senator HERBERT HAYS (.Tasmania) . - We have provided certain penalties in our arbitration legislation which we all admit cannot be enforced.

Senator Sir George Pearce - That is not admitted.

Senator HERBERT HAYS - Every prosecution under that legislation has failed. The Vice-President of the Executive Council (Senator Daly) suggests that these penalties should he omitted, and that the States should accept the responsibility for prosecuting for offences against the federal law. His argument supports the contention that the Commonwealth should vacate the field of arbitration legislation. If we cannot enforce our laws, we should not pass them. Senator Daly admits that it is the function of the State to prosecute in industrial cases. In that case we only humbug ourselves as well as the people when we say that the Commonwealth should control industrial matters. It is improper , to pass laws imposing penalties which cannot be enforced.

Senator GREENE (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It is a question of constitutional power.

Senator HERBERT HAYS - If we have not the power to enforce our awards, we should not legislate for the making of awards. Laws are obeyed by some only because of the penalties for disobedience. Eventually, this Parliament will have to hand over to the States all industrial legislation. It does not matter whether we agree to the clause or not; it means nothing.

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