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Friday, 30 April 1915

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (.Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - Senator Guthrie has been discussing the question from tlie view-point that the BilL alters the procedure under which all those cases to which he has referred will be dealt with. The Bill does nothing of the kind. Even if the amendment is carried, the words " in all matters of Admiralty or maritime jurisdiction," as contained in the measure assented to on 29th October, 1914, will stand, I recognise that no man in public life has given greater attention to the interests of one section of the community than Senator Guthrie, and, personally, I listen, at all times with respect to what he ha3 to say ou that subject. The honorable senator should remember that what he objects to has- been the law of the land for the last six months, and I challenge him to point to one case such a3 those he has mentioned which has been brought before the High Court.

Senator Guthrie - Then why re-enact the provision ?

Senator GARDINER - The object of this Bill is to give the High Court power to deal, not with such cases as those to which Senator Guthrie has referred, but with much more important cases. The object is to expedite justice, and if we insert in this measure a provision that it is to apply only to questions arising out of the war, Senator Guthrie must agree, from his own experience in South Australia, that such a provision would enable barristers to carry on a prolonged argument before they came to the trial of a case at all, to decide whether it was one which arose out of the war. The honorable senator has put his case fairly well, and I take no exception to honorable senators putting their views fully before the Committee. But when a matter has been fully discussed, we ought to get to a division upon it. As I do not often have these difficult matters to handle, honorable senators might be disposed to let me down as lightly as they can.

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