Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Wednesday, 27 July 1921

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - Much time could have been saved if the Bill had been properly drafted. Had I the time to undertake a search throughout the Commonwealth legislation of the past nine years, I would be able to find more than one duplication of these penalty clauses. What has happened, apparently, is that the clauses have been lifted from other Acts, and made to apply to the proceedings of the Tariff Board without perceiving, however,that they do not really fit.Isympathize with Senators Elliottand Benny, yet I am not sure that the amendment should receive support. In a fight between employer andemployee the former always hasthe heavyend of thestick.

Senator JOHN D MILLEN (TASMANIA) - The honorable senator is making a -mistake there.

Senator Henderson - -An employer could win in ninety-nine Courts out of a hundred if it came to an argumentbased uponthisclause.

Senator JOHN D MILLEN (TASMANIA) - Yes, and withoutrequiring to engage counsel.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Asan employer of considerable experience, I can say that I donot think it would be difficult for me to furnish a satisfactory reason why -an employee of mine had been dismissed ; that is, if . Iwishedtodo so, and was so conscienceless. My opinion ofthe great majority of Australian employers is, however,thatallthey want is fair play. They are prepared 'to give it, and they naturally expecttoreceiveit.

SenatorREID (Queensland) [8.44].- Clause 34 has beeninsertedto protect any person who may bedeliberatelydismissed because he has given evidence of a certain nature. It has been pointed out that no employer would dismiss an employeefor such a reason, so long as there existed provisions under which he could be haled before aCourt. If an employee is dismissed because he has given truthful evidence before the TariffBoard, British justice demands that he shall be protected. I support the clause as it stands, because, in all our legislation, we should give special attention to the party who is least able to protect himself.

Amendment negatived.

Amendment (by Senator Elliott) agreed to -

Thatthe following new sub-clause be inserted : - " (3) Any prosecution under this section shall be commenced within three months from the date of the commission of the alleged offence."

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 35 and 36 agreed to.

Suggest corrections