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Wednesday, 18 November 1914


Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - I move -

That the following new paragraph be inserted after paragraph g : - (gg) Employ a barrister, solicitor, attorney, or other agent to take any proceedings or to take part in any examinations or to do any business which is sanctioned by the Court.

Clause 97 provides that the trustee may, by permission of the creditors, by resolution passed at any general meeting, or of the committee of inspection, or by leave of the Court-

(c)   Employ a barrister, solicitor, attorney, or other agent to take any proceedings or to take part in any examinations or to do any business which is sanctioned by the Court.

The words in paragraph c of clause 97 are identical with the words of the proposed new paragraph in clause 96. The effect, therefore, of my proposal would be to transfer paragraph c from clause 97 to clause 96. It will be obvious to honorable senators that there are matters in connexion with bankruptcy provided for throughout the measure which require intervention by the Court or application to the Court - in many instances matters of routine. So far as they are concerned, I do not think it would be desirable to add the expenses which are involved in securing the authorization required by clause 97 to employ a barrister. The object of my proposal is to leave these matters to the trustee under clause 96 without the necessity of his having recourse to the authority which is provided for in clause 97. The amendment, I may say, has not been recommended by any body of lawyers; it has been recommended by the Committee of the Chambers of Commerce to which I have referred several times. A majority of the members of that Committee were men who had been accustomed to dealing with bankrupt estates. Experienced men like Mr. Borchard, of New South Wales, and Mr. Lemmon, of Victoria, realized that in many instances it is necessary that an application should be made to the Court in a matter which, to a large exteno, is one of routine. The application must be made in order to comply with the law. If it would be necessary in all instances, before employing a counsel, attorney, or solicitor, to obtain a resolution of the creditors, the proceedings would be unnecessarily cumbersome. I hope that the Minister will realize the necessity and the advantage of making this amendment.







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