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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) . - I move -

After sub-clause (1.), insert the following subclause: - " (1a.) Subject to the next succeeding sub-section, where, before or after the commencement of this Act, a matrimonial cause has been instituted, then, whether or not that matrimonial cause has been completed, proceedings for any relief or order of a kind that could be sought under this Act in proceedings in relation to that matrimonial cause shall not be instituted after the commencement of this Act except under this Act.".

This clause is part of the machinery-making jurisdiction in matrimonial causes exclusive to the Commonwealth invested jurisdiction. I shall explain the purpose of the amendment. There may be causes of action in the State courts which could be taken to ask for the same relief as could be granted under this bill in a matrimonial cause once it is commenced. I illustrate that in relation to my own State in this way. New South Wales has an Infants Custody and Guardianship Act. It would be possible to bring an action for custody of a child under that act although there was a divorce proceeding already on foot under the federal act unless one had a provision like clause 8(1.) (a). The idea behind the amendment is that the whole of the differences between the spouses, once they have commenced a matrimonial cause, should be confined to this act.

Dr Evatt - And, in fact, continued under this act.

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - Yes. May I further say that I gave consideration during the night to what I could do to assist honorable members to follow these amendments as they were proposed. I found that there was no way in which I could assist through printing. What I propose to do, if I may, is this: Honorable members will have the print of the amendments and each amendment is numbered. I propose, in rising to move an amendment, to call the attention of honorable members to the number of the amendment on the print so that they may immediately place it beside the clause that it proposes to amend.

Dr Evatt - This amendment being No. 5.

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - The one we are now dealing with is amendment No. 5. May I add that if honorable members use the print of the amendments, with explanations, that I have circulated, they will find that the numbers of the amendments will correspond with the numbers of the amendments in the committee's own print, without explanations, until we reach amendment No. 55. The reason is that two formal amendments have been added to the print of the committee.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 9 (Grants to approved marriage guidance organizations).

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