9th Parliament · 2nd Session
The President (Senatorthe Hon. T. Givens) took the chair at 11 a.m., and read prayers.
– Yesterday Senator Gardiner referred to a cablegram appearingin the MelbourneEveningSun, and purporting to havebeen received from London. That cablegram attributedto me certain remarks alleged tohave beenmade at a banquet in Londonon 13th inst., and the paperalso published my photograph. Honorable senators know that the remarks in questionwere not made by me, but in its following issue the Sun, adding insult to injury, commented as follows : -
Senator McDougall declaresthat Australians do not realize the importance of dinners and luncheons. But then so few of us, unlike Senator McDougall, are able to get them for nothing.
I would nothave taken any notice of this but for the fact that I was met in the street this morning and asked if Ihad changed my skin, as these remarks attributed to me would make it appearI had done. I like a luncheonaswell as anybody else, and the less I pay for it the better I like it - that is human nature; but when a newspapergoes out of its way to express itself in these terms, it is a disgrace to itself and aninsult to any public man. Therefore, I resent it, and I feel confident that every honorable senator will resent it as much as I do.
The following paper was presented: -
Alteration) Act-Regulations amendedStatutory Rules 1924, No. 69.
asked the Minister representing the Ministerfor Trade and Customs, upon notice-
Is it a fact, as stated by the chairman of the Stock Agents’ Association of Victoria, that-
WhenQueensland is not exporting its beef, the beef comes south for sale; and
NoQueensland cattle are coming direct to the Victorian market to-day, but are coming to Victoria via South Australia and the Adelaide market;
SenatorCRAWFORD.- The information is being obtained.
Savings Bank Branch
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -
Will he inform the Senate what are the reasons which continue to actuate thoseincontrolofthe Commonwealth Bank in only paying 3½ per cent. to the depositors in the Savings Bank Branch of the Bank when the State Savings Banks are paying 4 per cent.?
– The Treasurer has supplied the followinganswer : -
The fixing of the rate of interest payable by theSavingsBank Branch of the Commonwealth Bank is a matter of policy which is solely in the hands of the Governor of the CommonwealthBank, and I urn unawareof the reasons for fixing the rate nowpaid.
asked the Minister representing the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The Treasurer has supplied the following answer: -
I and 2. Inquiries are already being made concerning the mattersinquestion, and I shall be glad to furnishreplies when the information comes to hand.
asked the Minister representing the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– I shall have inquiries made, and advise the honorable senator of the result at the earliest possible moment.
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -
– The Minister for Trade and Customs has supplied the following answers: -
Motion (by Senator Gardiner) agreed to-
That three months’ leave of absence be granted to Senator Barker on the ground of ill-health.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) agreed to -
That leave be given to introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Public Service Act 1922.
Motion (by Senator Pearce) proposed -
That the report be adopted.
– I move -
That the Bill be recommitted for the reconsideration of clauses 1, 5, 12, 21, a new clause to follow clause 22, clauses 23, 24, 41, 46, 47, a new clause to follow clause 49, clauses 60, 59, 63, 64, 66, 67, 74, 82, 89, 93, 94, a new clause to follow clause 94, clauses 96, 97, 119, 121, 122, 131, 134, 149, 152, 155, a new clause to follow clause 155, clauses 156, 157, 159, 160, 172, 180, 181, 187, a new clause to follow clause 187, clause 188, a new clause to follow clause 188, clauses 194, 105, 199, 200, 202, 203, 207, and the Third Schedule.
When the Bill was before the Senate I promised that certain clauses would be recommitted in order to give further opportunity for discussing, and, if necessary, amending them. The whole Bill has been carefully reconsidered, and it has been found desirable to insert certain amendments, some of them vital, and others merely consequential.
– In a friendly way, I suggest that the Government should allow the Bill to be defeated on the third reading so that they may re-introduce a properly considered measure. It is the first occasion on which such a huge joke has been perpetrated on the Senate. After a Bill has been carefully dealt with during the second-reading and Committee stages, we are asked to recommit it for the purpose of recasting it and making it an absolutely new measure. It is quite evident that the Government were not prepared when they brought down their first Bill, because they now propose to have almost every clause reconsidered. It is not a new measure suddenly sprung upon the Senate. Ten years ago, when I was Minister, the Bankruptcy Bill was before the Chamber. In these circumstances I ask the Government to conduct the business of the Senate in a way that will be a credit to it. It is certainly not creditable to us to pass a measure and then immediately declare that it is unsuitable for present-day requirements, and therefore a large number of clauses must have further consideration. Such procedure does not meet with my approval. I ask the Government to withdraw the Bill and introduce a measure that has had proper consideration, and not one that is, as it were, flung in pieces at honorable senators.
.- The Bankruptcy Bill is of a highly technical character, and as it is an attempt to consolidate the bankruptcy legislation of Australia, it is quite natural that many public bodies are interested in it. As a matter of fact, the Government invited them to offer any suggestions or criticisms they cared to submit, but as these public bodies have other matters to attend to, many of their suggestions for amending the Government
Bill have been belated in arriving. The Government felt that it was their duty to give every consideration to the representations made from various quarters, and that accounts for the delay in drafting several amendments which have been found necessary at this late stage. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Gardiner) overlooks the fact that some honorable senatorswho have taken a deep interest in this measure felt that many clauses needed further consideration, and during the progress of the Bill through Committee they frequently made applications for the postponement of clauses, and extracted from the Minister promises of recommittal. Many of the clauses are being recommitted, at the desire, not of the Government, but of honorable senators who wish to further consider them. They, in many cases, suggested to the Government amendments that have, during the interval, been considered and adopted. This procedure is quite in accord with parliamentary procedure. It is very seldom that we have a Bill like this, with over 200 clauses. The majority of Bills have from 40 to 50 clauses, and, therefore, although recommittals are frequent, we do not have many subsequent amendments. The Navigation Bill was similar to this measure, and necessitated practically the same treatment. I fail to see that any honorable senator is now to be deprived of an opportunity to exercise his right. This recommittal is rather an extension of the right of criticism.
– Is it intended to let honorable senators see the amendments ?
– They are already on members’ files, as is borne out by Senator Drake-Brockman’s file, which I have before me. The amendments have been circulated amongst honorable senators, and no doubt those who have been following the Bill have already compared them with the original clauses. If honorable senators feel that they have not had sufficient time to consider the proposed amendments, the Government, having no desire to rush the Bill through, will consider its postponement. Many questions that are dealt with in these amendments were actually discussed in Committee. Several are being introduced to meet certain criticism levelled at the Bill by honorable senators.
The Government are attempting not to take away the rights of the Senate, but to meet its views concerning this measure.
.- I move-
That all the words after “ recommitted” be left out.
My amendment, if agreed to, will mean the recommittal of the whole Bill. The Government, in submitting the motion now before the Senate, are adopting a farcical attitude, tending to make people believe - as I have believed for a long time - that this Chamber is absolutely unnecessary as far as practical politics are concerned. The Bill passed through Committee without a quorum. Directly an important measure - such as is this or the Lands Acquisition Bill - is introduced, honorable senators, who have no interest in it, rush outside into a more congenial atmosphere. After the Committee stage, they ask the Minister to recommit the Bill for the amendment of certain clauses. Had they remained in their places when the Bill was in Committee, this procedure would not have been necessary. The motion by the Minister precludes an honorable senator from attempting to amend clauses that are not mentioned in the motion. As Senator Gardiner has pointed out, the proper procedure is to withdraw the Bill and to introduce a new measure. It is proposed, in Committee, to reconsider about 60 clauses, which will, undoubtedly, be disposed of in the absence of a quorum.
– I second the amendment by Senator McDougall, as I agree, in part, with his remarks concerning the recommittal of the whole Bill. I interjected, while Senator Pearce was speaking, that instead of reconsidering the measure, we might as well have a new one; in fact, start de novo. Senator Pearce instanced the long time it took to pass the Navigation Bill. I was a member of the Senate at that time, and I know that about seven or ten years elapsed before it was finally passed. The Minister omitted to state that the Navigation Bill had an international aspect, and that, before becoming law, it had to be reserved for the Royal assent. That was the reason for the delay. This measure, highly technical, I admit, and certainly an attempt to consolidate the bankruptcy laws of Australia, concerns
Australia alone, so that there is no analogy between it and the Navigation Bill. We might, with credit, copy the system adopted by the Imperial Parliament when a measure of a highly technical nature is before it, namely, to refer the matter to a Committee of the Parliament. Many honorable senators, possessing a knowledge of bankruptcy, took great pains in the consideration of this measure, and instead of recommitting the Bill, the Government might appoint a Committee of the Senate to consider the Bill in its amended form, and to report to the Senate. I agree with my Leader that the motion is preposterous. It is farcical that, after ten years’ consideration and consultation with public bodies in Australia, the Government should now ask us to recommit so many clauses. The Government should have completed their inquiries among the different public bodies, and have placed in the hands of the draftsman the suggestions so obtained before asking the Senate to deal with the Bill.
– Most honorable senators will regret that Senator McDougall, the Deputy Leader of the Labour party in this Chamber, has, under cover of an amendment, seen fit to make a bitter and uncalled for attack upon, not only honorable senators, but the Senate itself.
– It is not the first time that I have done so, and I shall do so again. Unlike some honorable senators, I attend to my work in the Senate.
– I am not reflecting in any way upon Senator McDougall’s attendance in this Chamber, but he well knows that several honorable senators are rarely absent from a meeting of the Senate. His remarks hardly apply to me, since I was keenly interested in the Bill when in Committee. It is well known that some honorable senators have to attend to duties other than those of the Senate. Many of them are members of Royal Commissions and Committees. Probably Senator McDougall is taking this opportunity- to lecture his colleagues on their lack of interest in the affairs of the Senate. I draw his attention to the large attendance of honorable senators on this side compared with the numbers occupying the Opposition benches, from which party half of the honorable senators are absent.
– Compared with the Ministerial party, the Labour party has a greater proportion of its members present.
– Senator Gardiner was on many occasions absent when this Bill was in Committee. The amendment, if carried, would not give honorable senators an opportunity to fully consider certain aspects of the Bill, because the Standing Orders would preclude the consideration of new clauses. The motion moved ‘ by the Minister (Senator Crawford) will give every opportunity to the Senate to reconsider the clauses mentioned. A highly technical measure should certainly have careful consideration, but, to an extent, the method now proposed is a grave departure from the procedure that ought to be followed. The proposed further amendments should have been submitted before the Bill was finally passed through Committee.
– Many of the amendments made in Committee necessitated further amendments in clauses that already had been passed. We could not go back, and those clauses must be recommitted .
– I admit that.
– That could have been done in Committee at the time.
– That is not so. The Bill must be recommitted for the consideration of consequential amendments. Certainly the majority of honorable senators Opposite will not agree with the tirade of abuse launched by Senator McDougall against the Government, but rather will agree that it is better to be sure than sorry, and that the fullest consideration should be given to this Bill.
– That is silly.
– It is, rather, the honorable senator’s amendment that is silly. I hope the Senate will support the motion moved by the Minister.
– Before the question is put I wish to refer to a statement made by Senator Duncan that honorable senators were absent at times from the Senate because they had to attend to other duties. In order that a false impression may not be created in the public mind, I would point out that it was laid down by the first President of the Senate, and has been maintained, I think, by every subsequent occupant of the Chair, that no duty of an honorable senator is superior to his duty in this Chamber. The attendance atRoyal Commissions is a matter over which this Senate has no control, and members who chooseto absent themselves must do so at their own will and pleasure. The Senate imposes no duty on its members to attend meetings of Royal Commissions or any other body while it is sitting, and no duty other than that which he has to discharge in this Chamber can be taken as an excuse for the non-attendance of a member.
– I hope the Government will act on the suggestion made by the Leader of the Opposition. Both Ministers have stated, and we are in agreement with them, that this is a highly technical measure, and as such deserves the serious consideration of the members of this Chamber. It may or may not be true that the attendance was small during the consideration of the Bill. I am not concerned for the moment about that. When we have a new Bill submitted to us it is invariably in print many days before it comes up for consideration, and honorable senators have the fullest opportunity of perusing it clause by clause. This will be practically a new measure if we proceed on the lines suggested by the Minister in charge of it. The work of the Chamber should be done in a businesslike way.
– This is essentially a Committee Bill.
– That may be the Minister’s idea. Assuming for the moment that it is more or less a Bill for consideration in Committee, if it were taken in the ordinary way copies would be circulated many days before it came on for consideration. By its recommittal, however, the suggested alterations will be circulated hurriedly, and we shall not be able to grasp their full meaning. It is wrong even to hint at such a procedure. The Leader of the Government (Senator Pearce) said that one reason for its recommittal was that certain honorable senators desire this course to be followed, to enable them to submit amendments. I do not know that when the Bill was previously before us there were many senators who were so disposed. The Minister also stated that copies of the measure had been circulated outside, and people associated with various public bodies had been invited to peruse the Bill and make suggestions for its improvement. How long ago were those people so notified?
– Months ago.
– Are those bodies more important than the Government itself? Why should the Government wait until those individuals feel inclined to give attention to the Bill?
– I did not say that we should.
– In effect the Minister did. He said that some of the responses were belated. It is wrong for the Government now to delay the passage of the Bill because those people did not offer their comments when they were invited to make them. The Government would do well to withdraw the present measure, and introduce a new one. That course would be more satisfactory to the Government itself, to the party with which I am associated, and to the community generally than the present proposal.
– Those ofus who were particularly interested in the measure had an opportunity afforded us by the Government to reconsider some portions of it, and the object of the recommittal is to enable the Committee to deal with the re- presentations that we have made. Some of my own representations are incorporated in the amendments to be submitted by the Government. The Minister, with great courtesy, freely promised us that a further opportunity would be given, so far as the Government was concerned, for the reconsideration of particular clauses. Why any honorable senator should complain because in this instance the Government has been more generous thanit sometimes is I fail to understand. I am sure that my friend, Senator McDougall, will acquit me of any neglect of this particular Bill. I have given it most careful consideration, and have done much work in connexion with it outside the Chamber. The result of my investigations into certain phases of the bankruptcy law, and the consultations I have had with people outside has been placed at the disposal of the Ministry. Thus much time has been saved in this Chamber. I regret to say that I did not observe very great enthusiasm,when the Bill was actually in Committee, on the part of some honorable senators who now complain.. Consequently the measure went through Committee at a greater rate than the outside organizations had reason to expect, having regard to previous experience of a similar Bill. When it was first under the consideration of the Committee of the Senate, some seven months elapsed before any real progress was made. I think it was only last week that representatives of the most important outside organization, so far as this Bill is concerned, really got together and considered the various clauses as they affect the business community. I refer to the Federated Chambers of Commerce, which met in Melbourne, I believe, last week, at the request of the Government. This body has now submitted many criticisms and views on the Bill, and a great many of them deserve the close attention of honorable senators.
SenatorFindley. - When did the Government make the request?
– Several months ago. Any Government that ignored such representations as this body has made, would certainly be foolish . In the circumstances, we should give due consideration to the fresh views that will be placed before us. I have made a number of recommendations, particularly on behalf of the banking institutions,not the least of them being the Commonwealth Bank. Some of my suggestions have been accepted in principle, and in other cases the Government have not gone as far as the banks desire, and as I think correct. In due course, I shall ask the assistance of my honorable friends opposite, and I have no doubt I shall get it, to improve on the Government’s recommendations. Considering that there are 222 clauses, the reconsideration of 49 of them would not be an outrageous procedure.
– Seeing that it is suggested that we reconsider 49 clauses, it would not be (going too far to adopt Senator McDougall’s suggestion, that the whole Bill be recommitted. The real mouthpiece of the Government now appears to be the Whip (Senator DrakeBrockman). We are told that certain people outside have informed the Government that they desire a number of amendments made. Is it not likely that Labour supporters, as well, desire to make certain amendments? It would be advisable to reconsider the whole Bill, otherwise, it might be found desirable to amend clauses that had not been recommitted. It is the business of honorable senators opposite to keep a quorum for the Government ; members on this side are always in their places. If the position is, as the legal representative of the Governmenthas outlined it, and the Chambers of Commerce and banking institutions requested that the Bill be recommitted, it is highly probablethat Labour supporters may require the same privilege as the “masters” of honorable senators opposite.
– If the honorable senator will name any clause he desires to have recommitted, it can be included in the motion.
– Senator McDougall says that clauses 1 to 222 ought to be recommitted. That would be a simple method of dealing with the matter. Out opportunities for discussing measures in Committee have been so circumscribed that our speeches are limited to a period of fifteen minutes, which is not sufficient for dealing with a difficult, technical matter. It has been stated that 49 clauses require amending. That practically amounts to a new Bill. I have seen these amendments in the newspapers, but in my simplicity I thought that the Government, having disposed of the Committee stages of the measure, would not take steps to have them inserted. Now the Minister practically proposes to place before us a new Bill. I am not able to consider amendments without comparing them with the provisions of the principal Act to which they relate and seeing the effect which is thereby caused. If Senator McDougall’s proposal is accepted the recommittal can be adjourned until such a time as the masters of honorable senators opposite can peruse the amendments, and tell them what to do.
– If the average reader of Hansard reads carefully the discussion on this motion, he will be mystified, and will have difficulty in understanding the reason underlying the opposition to the course proposed by the Minister. If any Government not composed of men holding the views of honorable senators opposite were to complete the passage of a Bill without embodying in it valuable provisions which have been shown to be necessary, honorable senators opposite would be the first to charge it with having forfeited the confidence of the people. The Honorary Minister (Senator Crawford) has been placed in possession of certain information proving the necessity for material amendments. If he did not give the Senate the opportunity of discussing those amendments, he would be failing in his duty. No more important Bill than this has ever been brought before an Australian legislature. It affects, more or less, the whole of the community. If a further three months’ work is required to make the Bill comprehensive and satisfactory, we ought not to begrudge the time. I cannot understand the attitude of the Opposition, because I know very well that, if the Ministry had been careless enough to disregard suggestions that are worthy of consideration, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Senator McDougall) would have been the first to criticize the Ministry for its negligence, and would have stressed the point later for political purposes.
– The honorable senator ought not to impute motives.
– I am not imputing motives; I am stating a fact . Unnecessary opposition has been displayed in order to prevent the speedy consideration of these important amendments.
– I do not agree with the view expressed by honorable senators opposite that this proposal by the Minister is a joke. I agree with Senator Payne that it is a very important Bill, for which the mercantile community, and the commercial community generally, have been waiting many years. I have two or three amendments which I had not the opportunity of having inserted previously, and which I do not think are included in the proposal of the Minister. I favour Senator McDougall’s amendment to recommit the whole Bill.
– The honorable senator can move to add to the motion the clauses he wishes to have reconsidered.
– Is there any good reason why we should not go through the whole Bill again?
– Come over here.
– I shall not go over there. This is not a matter of party politics, it is one that affects the good of the whole community. The reason I suggest the recommittal of the whole Bill is that I understand the amendments which the Minister has in view have been suggested by a conference of the Chambers of Commerce of Australia.
– Some of them have.
– Queensland was not represented on that conference. Lacking that representation, the conference resembled the play of “ Hamlet “ without the Prince of Denmark. I have pointed out at various times that Queensland has the benefit of a particularly good measure that was drafted by that master, the late Sir Samuel Griffith. Quite a number of provisions which have been rejected by the Senate, Queensland would like to see inserted in this Bill; and, if the whole Bill were recommitted., a further attempt would be made to have them embodied in it. Before making that attempt, however, I should like to secure the imprimatur of the Chambers of Commerce of Australia, representatives of which will assemble in Adelaide next week. Bankruptcy has been placed on the agenda-paper, and the Senate would thus have the last word from the mercantile community. I understand there is a prospect of a period when we shall have no work to do, and it will be proposed to go into recess for some little time. That is no good to me. I would sooner occupy the time in so framing this measure that it will be acceptable to the whole community, rather than one which is acceptable only to the southern States. That is what we are up against at the present time. The southern parts of Australia have not experienced the benefit that is conferred by the Queensland Act. They say that because it operates in Queensland it is no good. I wantto have the opportunity of including those beneficial provisions in this Bill. I intend to support the amendment.
– This matter has been before the Senate for a considerable number of years.
– Let us get it through this session.
– I do not think it will go through this session. If it does, I feel quite certain that it will require amending in the very near future. By this Bill the attempt is being made to consolidate in one measure the whole of the Australian bankruptcy laws, and to incorporate in it some of the more recent decisions of the British Courts. It is not a measure that can be satisfactorily discussed by the average member of the Senate .
– The honorable senator is not entitled to discuss the Bill at all at this stage; he is entitled only to give reasons why it should or should not be recommitted either wholly or in part.
– With all due respect, I am giving that as a reason.
– The honorable senator must obey my ruling, or take the proper steps to dispute it. He Was proceeding to make a second-reading speech. He has full opportunity to state any reason why the Bill should be recommitted either wholly or in part, but he is not entitled to make a second-reading speech.
– I regard this as a very important Bill, and one that ought to engage the attention of the Senate from every possible stand-point. It affects not only the mercantile community, but the whole population of (the Commonwealth. The time already devoted to it has been well spent, but we have not, so far, succeeded in producing a measure which is satisfactory to a large number of honorable senators. I am not at all surprised atthe Government bringing forward many additional amendments. I venture to say that very few honorable senators, apart from those who have asked the. Government to insert these amendments, are capable of successfully dovetailing those amendments with the provisions now in the Bill, and understand what they are doing.Honorable senators on this side also have considered the matter, and they desire to propose further amendments.
– On which clause ?
– Surely that is a most reasonable request. It may be contended by the Government that this would greatly delay the passage of the Bill. I donot accept that view of the matter. Therecommittal of the whole Bill or its withdrawal, and the introduction of a new measure incorporating the proposed amendments, would be much more satisfactory than this piece-meal proposal that is now made to us.I thought the Bill had been finally disposed of. It is a measure that I do not profess to understand.
– Then why does the honorable senator want to recommit it?
– In order to give those who understand it an opportunity to further consider it. I resent the statement made by Senator Duncan that honorable senators on this side have not paid close attention to this Bill.
– Senator McDougall made that statement, and I endorsed it.
– I was one of the silent senators practically all through the prolonged debates that took place. I would not have spoken on this occasion but that I desired to resent that remark and to support the proposal to have another “ fair-and-square go “ at the Billto see if it is possible to place it upon the statute-book in a way which will meet with the approval of the Government for at least a longer period than that which has elapsed since it was passed through Committee.
– There seems to me to be a very easy way out of the difficulty if the Senate is prepared to take it. The usual procedure in such cases, if honorable senators feel as keenly as some honorable senators in opposition profess to feel, is to nominate the clauses on which amendments are desired, and ask that those clauses be added to the list - a somewhat long list, I admit - which has been prepared. That will provide them with the opportunity to ventilate their feelings on the matter. I recognize that the fervency and acuteness of the desire of the Opposition to make amendments is equalled only by the suddenness of the attack.
– If the Government will agree to an adjournment until Wednesday, I shall bring down half a dozen amendments. I cannot say at the moment exactly what they are, because I have not had sufficient time to give the matter full attention.
– I am sorry that the Leader of the Opposition is so placed.
– I did not know that this was to be sprung on us this morning.
– Why did not the Leader of the Opposition submit his amendments when the Bill was in Committee? As I have said, the fervency and acuteness of the desire of honorable members opposite to make amendments is equalled only by the suddenness of the attack. The Leader of the Opposition would possibly have had some amendments ready had he known this procedure was to be followed. I cannot see that there is any occasion to recommit the whole of the Bill, but the obvious and reasonable course for those honorable senators who wish to submit amendments is to signify their intention in the usual manner by adding clauses to the motion already submitted.
Question - That the words proposed to be left out (Senator McDougall’s amendment) be left out - put. The Senate divided.
Majority … … 5
Question so resolved in the negative.
– I desire to amend the motion by moving for the addition of certain other clauses.
– As the honorable senator has already spoken to the amendment, he is not entitled to move in the direction indicated.
Senator Sir THOMAS GLASGOW [12.8]. On behalf of Senator Thompson, I move
That the motion be amended by adding the words “ and clause 117 “.
– When the Bill has been through Committee, shall I be in order, Mr. President, in moving for the recommittal of certain other clauses if I should so desire?
– I cannot answer a hypothetical question, but it will be quite in order at the report stage for any honorable senator to ask for the recommittal of the Bill for the reconsideration of certain clauses.
Amendment agreed to.
– Shall I be in order in moving that the whole of the amendments be printed ?
– The honorable senator cannot move in that direction at this stage.
– When can he do so?
– The amendments are already in print, and the question now is that the Bill be recommitted, for a specific purpose.
– May I ask the Minister a question ?
– No. The hon- orable senator has already spoken, but, perhaps I may be able to answer the question the honorable senator wishes to submit.
– Will the clauses be re-numbered in the amended Bill?
– That is always done.
Question - That the motionasamended be agreed to - put. TheSenatedivided.
Ayes … … …14
Noes … … … 7
Majority … … 7
Question so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
In Committee (Recommittal) :
Clause I (Short title).
Amendment (by Senator Crawford) agreedto -
That the figures “ 1923 “ be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the figures “ 1924.”
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 5 (Application of Act).
Senator CRAWFORD (QueenslandHonorary Minister [12. 16]. - I move - that the following proviso be added : - “ Provided that where by virtue of any- thing done priorto the commencement of this Act under any Act, State Act, or lawofa Territory, any property, real or personal,. is made, before thecommencement of this Act, subject to a charge in respect of an; debt due to the Crown as representing the Commonwealth ora State or in respect ofany rates imposedby any local governing body, nothing in this Act shall affect the operation of that Act, State Act or law in respect of that charge.”
This is a saving clause in favour of accrued rights of State authorities before the commencement of the Act.
.-Not having had an opportunityto consider these amendments and their effect upon the Bill, I am unable to discuss them, andmust simply accept the Minister’s word as to their purport.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 12. (Districts,Registrars and Official Receivers). -
Amendment (by Senator Crawford). agreed to -
That the following new sub-clauses be inserted: “ (2a.) An Official Receiver may, if the GovernorGeneralthinksfit, be remuneratedby fees and commission only. “ (2b.) Where an OfficialReceiver is remunerated by fees andcommission only -
if; in respect of any estate, no trustee is appointed,he shall receivesuch commission, not exceeding the highest commission whichunder the provisions of this Act could have been paid to a trustee of the estate, as the Court directs; and
if, in respect of any estate, a trustee is appointed, such fees as are prescribed, and such commissionas the Court directs, but so that the total commission payable in respect of the estate shall not exceed the highest commission which under the provisions ofthis Actcould have been paid to a trustee of the estate.”
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
Clause 21 verbally amended and, as amended, agreed to.
SenatorDUNCAN (New South Wales) [12.18]. - I ask the Minister to consent to report progress until the Senate has been furnished with copies of the Bill showing theamendments agreed to in Committee, andhow they will be affected by theamendments now proposed. I cannot follow his new proposals. Apparently, they areof considerable importance, and I think it would expedite business if he would do as I have suggested.
– Iam in fullagreement with Senator Duncan. It is impossible at present for anymember of the Committee to thoroughly grasp the effect of the proposed amendments.I venture to saythateven the Minister does not thoroughly understand their effect. This is a very technical measure, and if wewere to asksome of the legal senators to give, on the spur of the moment, the meaning of some of the amendments, they wouldprobably ask for time for consideration.Honorable senators are handicapped in considering theBill,and I hope that the Minister will do as suggested by SenatorDuncan.
Honorary Minister). [12.25].-I accept the suggestion put forward. Before the Senate meets again, a memorandum will be prepared showing the effect of the proposed amendments on the Bill as agreed to in Committee.
Report No. 1 presented by Senator Findley.
Senate adjourned at 12.32 p.m.
Cite as: Australia, Senate, Debates, 16 May 1924, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/senate/1924/19240516_senate_9_106/>.