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Thursday, 2 November 1911

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - We have not yat had an answer from the Minister to the objection which has been raised. I think that Senator de Largie was wrong in his contention. It will be left to the magistrate hearing a case to say whether a fine shall be imposed or not. All that we can do is to prescribe that persons failing to comply with the Act shall be liable to a fine. We cannot enforce the payment of a particular fine in every instance. We can provide that the penalty shall be' ^2, but the magistrate hearing a case will have the power to say that the penalty in that case should beonly a shilling, or it might be the costs of the prosecution. No one contends that the. Minister should have the power to impose all fines. The Government propose that the Governor-General in Council " may " prescribe a penalty or not; but in dealing with the issue of a proclamation they use the word " shall." The Committee is entitled to some consideration, and the Minister cannot expect to force the Bill through by refusing to answer reasonable questionsI ask him now to say why the word " may" is used in some of the clauses and the word " shall " in others ?

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