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Wednesday, 27 July 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - I am willing to accept the compromise suggested by the VicePresident of the Executive Council (Senator Russell), and therefore I move -

That after the word "Penalty:" the word " Two " be inserted, and that after the word "hundred" the words andfifty " be inserted.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 24 -

If any person appearing as a witness before the Board refuses to be sworn . . . or to answer any question relevant to the investigation ....... he shall be guilty of an offence.

Penalty : Five hundred pounds.

Amendment (by Senator Drakebrockman) proposed -

That the words " Five hundred " be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words "Two hundred and fifty."

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is provision made as to the secrecy of evidence given before the Board?

Senator Russell - Yes.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 25-

(2)   Where any person who has been convicted of any offence against either of the last two preceding sections is subsequently convicted ... of any offence against either of those sections committed by him after the first mentioned conviction ... he shall be liable to a penalty of not less than Five hundred pounds and not more than Une thousand pounds and to imprisonment .......

Senator PRATTEN(New South "Wales) {5.20]. - It is provided in sub-clause 1 of clause 25 that -

Where any person has on any day done or omitted to do something and his act or omission amounts toan offence against either of the last two preceding sections, and does or omits to do the same thing at any meeting of the Board held on some other day, each such act or omission shall be a separate offence.

This is a very drastic provision, and I would ask the Minister to insert after the word " day ", last occurring, in subclause 1 the words " for which he has been duly summoned ". My desire is merely to safeguard any person from being declared in his absence to have committed an offence.

Senator Russell - The necessary safeguard is provided in clause 23, which refers to " any person served with a summons to attend the Board ".

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