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Wednesday, 26 October 1910

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - Sub-clause 2 of this clause provides that the Commissioner shall direct attention to any breaches or evasions of the Act which have come under his notice. How can he direct attention to breaches or evasions of the Act which have not come under his notice? It seems to me that the provision requires some explanation.

Senator Millen - The Government have not much of an opinion of the gentleman who is to be appointed Commissioner, and who is to receive a salary of £1,200 a year.

Senator ST LEDGER - Exactly. After the exhaustive criticism to which this Bill was subjected in another place, the Vice-President of the Executive Council gets up and airily moves amendments without condescending to assign any reasons for them. It is obvious that the Commissioner cannot direct attention to evasions of the Act which have not come under his notice.

Senator de Largie - We agree with the honorable senator.

Senator ST LEDGER - Then why not eliminate the words " which have come under his notice"? Either the Ministers or their draftsmen, or both, have failed to look into this provision. Surely our Acts of Parliament should bear upon their face some semblance of common sense. What is the meaning of sub-clause 2 of this clause ?

Senator Walker - It is tautological.

Senator ST LEDGER - Absolutely. I think that it is stupid.

Senator de Largie - Does the honorable senator suggest that the Commissioner should report upon breaches or evasions of the Act which have not come under his notice ?

Senator ST LEDGER - No. I merely suggest the omission of the words I have indicated, because it is obvious that if evasions of the Act have not come under the notice of the Commissioner, he cannot report upon them.

Senator Rae - It is simply a question of redundancy; that is all.

Senator Millen - It is only absurd, therefore let it go. That is the argument of honorable senators opposite.

Senator ST LEDGER - I move-

That the words " which have come under his notice " be left out.

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