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Tuesday, 12 December 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I have not had time to look up the wording of the section of the Conciliationand Arbitration Act referred to by the Vice-President of the Executive Council, but I direct the attention of the Minister to what would follow the insertion of the words he proposes. It would mean that the Public Service Commissioner would be absolutely debarred from sending any member of his staff to the Court to represent him.

Senator McGregor - No, that is not the sense in which the words " paid agent " are used.

Senator MILLEN - That is just the point. I take it that what is meant by the amendment is that no one shall be specially paid for this purpose, but any person paid for his services while representing the Public Service Commissioner in the Arbitration Court would probably be regarded as a paid agent. If that were so, the Public Service Commissioner could not send1 any one to the Court to represent him, and' he could not carry out his own duties if he had always to be inthis Court dealing withmatters of this kind.

Senator McGregor - He might be represented by the Public Service Inspector of a State.

Senator MILLEN - Exactly; but that officer would be paid for every moment he spent in the Court. The Bill is not mine, and if the Minister cares to accept the amendment it is his own look out. ' I suggest that he would do well to hesitate before he accepts it, with a view to having an amendment drafted which would make it clear that no ordinary member of the Public Service would be debarred from representing the' Crown on the ground that he was a paid agent.

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