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Wednesday, 25 July 1906

Mr WATSON (Bland) .- I do not really see the point of the objection made by the Attorney-General to the insertion of " directly," or some equivalent term. If, as, the Attorney-General says, it is clearly understood that laws " relating to shipping " must be laws directly relating to shipping - and I am rather of that opinion - it appears to be wiser to have the specific words, so that there can be no possible error. We do not desire to encourage litigation later on; and surely the contractors cannot object to have clearly specified what is at present understood.

Mr Thomas - Will the lawyers not have litigation over the word " directly " ?

Mr WATSON - They might, but, probably, not so easily. I urge on the AttorneyGeneral that the word " directly " ought to be inserted, so as to make as clear as possible what we are aiming at.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I rise to a point of order. I understand that the question is to be raised later on on behalf of the honorable and learned member for Parkes, who has drafted an amendment dealing specifically with this matter.

Mr Isaacs - Which matter? Not the matter I have mentioned?

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No; the matter raised by the honorable member for Bland. Will it still be open to the honorable member for Kooyong to submit the amendment to which I have referred, on behalf of the honorable and learned member for Parkes, after we have amended the clause in the way indicated by the Attorney-General? The rule of Parliament is that, when in Committee, an amendment is made in a later portion of a clause it precludes any amendment afterwards being moved in a prior part. Does that rule apply to this motion, because, if so, the amendment which the honorable member for Kooyong desires to submit will be shut out.

Mr SPEAKER - In the first place, the rules which regulate business in Committee will not apply to a case of this kind. In the second place, the proposals of the Attorney-General do not in any way anticipate anything I can see in the notice pf motion to which reference has been made. The suggestion of the honorable member for Bland can, I think, be best dealt with when we come to the amendment of which, I understand, the honorable mem ber for Kooyong has charge. Both matters can then be debated, and, if necessary, a vote taken.

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