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Wednesday, 7 July 1915

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - I think the Vice-President of the Executive Council is right in proposing to postpone the clause for further consideration. It has been suggested that the word "policy-holder" should be struck out of sub-clause 1, and I direct attention to the fact that the word occurs also in sub-clause 3. I raised the question whether it necessarily follows that if the word be struck out of sub-clause 1 it should also be struck out of sub-clause 3. It may be advisable that in certain instances a policy-holder should be heard by the Court in resisting a proposed amalgamation. Under sub-clause 1, notice of a proposal for amalgamation must be sent to the shareholders of a company, and to each policy-holder of each company concerned in the amalgamation " unless the Court otherwise directs." To secure the non-sending of notice to policy-holders there would have to be an application to the Court. If the idea suggested by Senator Millen is given effect, there will be no necessity for any resort to the Court at all, since the policy-holders will not be entitled to the notice, which, under 'the clause as it stands, they must receive in the absence of any direction of the Court. I find that there are such companies as mutual fire insurance companies.

Senator Millen - Where?

Senator KEATING - There is one carrying on business in Tasmania.'

Senator Watson - In' that case the policy-holders will be recognised as shareholders.

Senator KEATING - I do not know exactly what is the constitution of the society. The Mutual Fire Insurance Company of Tasmania was established in 1375.

Senator Millen - It may not be mutual in principle, though called mutual by name.

Senator KEATING - That occurred to my mind. I knew the name well, but whether the society is mutual by name only I am not in a position to say.

Senator Millen - The clause fixing the amount of capital required answers the question.

Senator KEATING - I think that is so. If a company is formed upon mutual principles, it is obviously necessary that' the policy-holders should receive some notice of a proposal for amalgamation. As the claus® is to be reconsidered, I should like the Vice-President of the Executive Council to direct his attention to the recurrence of the word " policyholder " in sub-clause 3, and to consider whether it is necessary that it should be allowed to remain, should the word - be struck out of sub-clause 1.

Clause postponed.

Clause 18 -

Any notice which is by this Act required to be sent to a policy-holder may be addressed and sent to the person to whom notices respecting the policy are usually sent, and any notice so addressed and sent shall be deemed and taken to be notice to the policy-holder.

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