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Friday, 30 April 1915

The PRESIDENT - That incident being closed, I would ask the honorable senator not to refer to it.

Senator GARDINER - We are charged with following an unusual procedure in introducing the Bill, but it was before honorable senators yesterday, and there has been only one amendment, limiting the operation of the Bill to six months after the end of the war. When Senator de Largie came into the chamber, I handed him the Bill with that amendment written on it, so as not to take him at any disadvantage. The general principles of the Bill are known to honorable senators, and the printed measure is now before them. This has been done since the other House passed it two or three hours ago. It is not an unusual or unfair procedure.

Senator de Largie - It is most unfair and most unusual.

Senator GARDINER - I want, above all else, to maintain a reputation for perfect fairness, and I hope the imputation of unfairness will not be made against inc.

Senator Long - You will admit that you had a big contract when you joined the Ministry.

Senator GARDINER - I resent the imputation against my colleagues more than I would anything directed against myself. I thank Senator Keating for his criticism, and would point out that, in the Act passed on 29th October, 1914, to amend the Judiciary Act of 1903, subsection b of section 2 refers to Admiralty and maritime jurisdiction. We are not repealing that provision. It still stands in that Act. Honorable senators may fairly ask why it also appears in this Bill. It was repeated in this Bill merely for convenience in drafting. If it is taken out of this measure, it will not come cut of the 1914 Act. Therefore, any fears the honorable senator may have on that point are groundless. The principles of the Bill have been well discussed by the Government, who recognise that it is urgent and, to some extent, unusual, although it cannot be called novel, but that applies to all measures of an urgent nature. It is one of the measures under which the Commonwealth proposes to take direct action. Honorable senators are asked simply to remember that in these stirring times matters which crop up day by day have to be dealt with as they arise. When we find that, perhaps, the already overcrowded State Courts are not dealing with Commonwealth business as effectively and quickly as we should like, and that we can, without injury or injustice, adopt a very effective or expeditious course to deal with it, I think honorable senators will agree that this measure should be introduced, and recognise that it is a measure calculated to give justice quickly, for justice not quickly given is not justice at all. There are advantages to be derived that justify us in asking that the Bill should be passed as a matter of urgency. At the same time I admit that, perhaps, I did not explain it as fully in my opening remarks as I might have done; but no time has been lost through not having theprinted amendments before us, and I trust that no honorable senator has been put to inconvenience.

Question - That the Bill be read a second time - resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee:

Clause 1 - (1.) This Act may be cited as the Judiciary Act 1915. (2.) The Judiciary Act 1903-1914 is in this Act referred to as the Principal Act. (3.) The Principal Act as amended by this Act may be cited as the Judiciary Act 1903- 1915. (4.) This Act shall remain in operation during the present war, and for six months thereafter, and no longer.

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