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Wednesday, 15 June 1904

Question - That the words " in respect to which" proposed to be inserted be so inserted - put. The Committee divided.











Question so resolved in the negative. Amendment negatived. Mr. WATSON. - I move-

That after the word "binding," line 13, the words " as a common rule " be inserted.

The amendment is largely a matter of drafting, and is in anticipation of power to make a common rule being conferred upon the Court by clause 46. Paragraph c, as it stands, might bear an interpretation which would allow the Court to extend the award to persons or organizations, without the- limitations in paragraphs / and £ of clause 46. The amendment makes paragraph c limited by the conditions set forth in clause 46. Paragraphs a and b, in our opinion, give sufficient power to the Court, irrespective of the common rule, and we take power in respect to the common rule under clause 46. I may add that, with the Attorney-General, I shall take intoconsideration the suggestions which have been made by the honorable member for, Richmond, the honorable and learned mem-, bers for Darling Downs and Corinella, and others, as to the possibility of liberalizing, as some would term it. the proposal I have put forward as to the circumstances under which the application of the common rule may be extended.

Mr. McCAY(Corinella). - As a matter of drafting, I would like the AttorneyGeneral to consider whether it is clear that the power of the Court to first vary the common rule, and then to declare it as varied to be binding, is made sufficiently clear. It is desired to enable the Court to vary its award, to make that varied award a common rule, and then to make the common rule binding.

Mr. HIGGINS(Northern MelbourneAttorneyGeneral). - I thank the honorable and learned member for his suggestion, and I shall endeavour to make the matter clear, if I find that it is not so already. I might remind the honorable and learned member for Ballarat that, in a speech which I made during the debate upon, the introduction of this Bill, I said that this clause was a dangerous one as it stood, because it might be taken to mean that the Court had power to declare an award binding on any organization or person without restriction, and I was assured by him that he meant it- to apply only to the case of the common rule. We all think that common rules are to be applied with the utmost care; but, inasmuch as we provide restrictions in a later part of the Bill, we simply say here that the Court, in declaring that an award shall be binding upon any organization or person, can make it so only in the course of a guarded application of the common rule.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

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