Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 28 October 1914

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - I waited for the Vice-President of the Executive Council to explain the meaning of the clause, which he has not done. It seems to me that the Bill is regarded as a sewer, into which all objectionable matters may run. We are now dealing with political offences, and we are treating them as if they were of no account. Yet there is a penalty of three years' imprisonment attaching to them.

Senator Keating - Look at clause 11.

Senator SENIOR - The Vice-President of the Executive Council should tell us to what particular offence this penalty is intended to apply. There is a beautiful indefiniteness about it. The offence may consist of a threat or a hindrance to the exercise of a political right. But the Bill contains no definition of " political right." The clause, I imagine, will prove a harvest to the legal profession. It is full of barbed-wire entanglements, which are intended to catch all and sundry. The Government may feel secure in the conviction that under it no prosecutions will bo launched which will be harmful to the rival political party. But by-and-by the position may be reversed. This is not intended to be a law for the year of grace 1914 only. Either the term " political right " should be defined, or the VicePresident of the Executive Council should tell us clearly what is the meaning of the clause.

Suggest corrections