EMPLOYMENT OF FEMALE VALIDITY OF DRAFT BILL TO MAKE PROVISION FOR RETIREMENT OF FEMALES FROM ENGINEERING INDUSTRY AT CONCLUSION OF STATE OF WAR: POWER TO REGULATE INDUSTRY: CONCILIATION AND ARBITRATION POWER: DEFENCE POWER
I refer to your memorandum of 5th June, 1942, enclosing a draft Bill to make provisions for the retirement of females from the engineering industry at the conclusion of the present state of war, and asking my advice as to its validity.
The provisions proposed to be included in the Bill constitute, in my opinion, a purported regulation of industry. The Constitution confers on the Commonwealth no direct power to legislate with respect to the regulation of industry.
It is true that the Commonwealth has power to legislate with respect to ‘conciliation and arbitration for the prevention and settlement of industrial disputes extending beyond the limits of any one State’, but even if there were an industrial dispute as to these matters, the Commonwealth could, under this power, only provide for its settlement by conciliation and arbitration