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Wednesday, 6 December 1905


Mr CROUCH (Corio) - I do not often disagree with the views of the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne, but I certainly share the opinion of the honorable member for North Sydney that there is a great distinction between this amendment and that proposed by the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne in paragraph a of clause 3. In the first place, under this clause, negotiations will have to be entered into between the Ministry and the Governments of other countries in regard to any arrangement regulating the admission of immigrants to the Commonwealth. This is a proposal practically to place the Parliament in the position of the Senate of the United States. Any treaties entered into by the Government of the United States must be approved by the Senate, and that Chamber has rejected so many agreements that Governments of other countries are disinclined to negotiate with the authorities there.


Mr Higgins - There a two-thirds majority must affirm a treaty, but here a simple majority will suffice.


Mr CROUCH - That is so. The provisions of sub-clause 3 seem to be. still more extraordinary. Under that sub-clause a notice that an arrangement has been made with the Government of any country will cease to have effect upon the .Minister notifying in the Gazette that it is cancelled. That is hardly a power that- is likely to be regarded with favour by a Government with whom the Minister of External Affairs proceeds to negotiate. I do not favour the clause, but if it is to be passed, we should give the Minister power to make the best possible bargain for the Commonwealth, knowing that he will be responsible for his actions to the Parliament. To ask that after he has completed his negotiations he shall obtain the sanction of the Parliament to the agreement is to create a situation that, to my mind, will not work out well.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 7 (Immigrants evading officers or found within Commonwealth).







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