Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 14 May 1915

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I suppose that honorable senators, in introducing Bills, are responsible for the form in which they are introduced, but personally I have no objection to Senator de Largie's amendment, since its object appears to be to confer more power on the Minister under this Bill and to make him absolute master of the situation. I am prepared to accept the amendment if the Committee force it upon the Government. Senator de Largie says that this is a reasonable amendment, and there is always a certain amount of reasonableness about a hard case. It proposes to- give powers to the Minister which, in ordinary circumstances, Legislatures are not inclined to give to any Ministers. I take the moving of this amendment, especially coming from Senator de Largie, as a most friendly act. It goes to show that the honorable senator has absolute confidence in the present Government.

Senator Senior - It is a temporary power, to be used only .for a short time.

Senator GARDINER - I recognise that this is an emergency measure. In another place, when a measure was submitted to deal with cases of the greatest emergency, considerable exception was taken to the powers proposed to be given not to a single Minister, but to the whole Government. It is a kind of embarrassment of riches to have powers thrust upon us in the way proposed by Senator de Largie. I shall, as Minister in charge of the Bill, call for a division on the amendment, should that be necessary, but personally I can take no strong exception to the proposal if a majority of honorable senators see their way to grant powers to the Minister under this Bill which are not usually granted without protest, and with which it may not be wise to intrust to a Minister.

Senator BAKHAP(Tasmania) laws are indications of a high degree of civilization. We do not find them amongst savage communities.

Senator de Largie - The honorable senator is not quite correct, because there are a great many patents in Germany.

Suggest corrections