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Thursday, 16 June 1904

Mr O'MALLEY (Darwin) - I ask the Prime Minister whether he can give honorable members any guarantee that these penalties will strike employers as well as. employes ? I have been reading the cases up very carefully, and I find that in every great case brought before the Courts in England the penalty has been imposed upon the employes.

Mr Watson - We propose to make that clear on recommittal.

Mr O'MALLEY - I am glad to hear that. At the present time in Colorado these cases are invariably decided against the men. I do not say that it is because the Courts are prejudiced, but it is don:, and the men have to suffer.

Amendment agreed to.

Paragraph, as amended, agreed to.

Paragraph d -

To impose penalties, not exceeding the maximum penalties mentioned in the last preceding paragraph, for any breach or non-observance of any term of an order or award proved to .the satisfaction of the Court to have been committed, and vo specify the organizations or persons to whom such penalties shall be paid.

Mr WATSON - In view of the previous decision of the Committee, I do not intend" to move the amendment of which we have given notice in the first part of the paragraph, but I propose to move the omission of the words " organizations or persons ' ' - and the end of the paragraph will then read - and to specify to whom such penalties s.hall be paid."

Mr. ROBINSON(Wannon).- I wish to have this paragraph so amended that it will carry out the desire of the honorable and learned member for Ballarat. I am not asking for anything which is not reasonable, and I do think that it would be reasonable to allow organizations or persons in certain cases to get costs and damages out of the penalties. I have hurriedly drafted some amendments which I think" will carry out that idea. I propose to move the insertion after the word " penalties, ' T line 1, of the words "and grant damages." Then, after the word "paragraph," line 3, I propose to insert the words " and to award such portion of the penalties as and by way of damages, and such costs as the Court may think fit." I would then move in the last line of the paragraph to leave out the word "penalties, " with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " damages and costs."

Mr McCay - That would enable the Court to give two sets of damages.

Mr ROBINSON - That was the honorable and learned member's suggestion.

Mr McCay - No.

Mr ROBINSON - The object I desire to secure is that the Court shall have power to award a portion of the penalties if it thinks fit, as, and by way of, damages to any injured organization or person. I do not wish that willy-nilly the whole penalty should go to an "organization or person in the case of a breach of an award.

Mr WATSON - I think that what the honorable and learned member for Wannon suggests can be met by amending the paragraph as T have suggested, and inserting after the word " penalties " the words " in whole or in part." That portion of the paragraph would then read - " and to specify to whom such penalties, in whole or in part, shall be paid."

Mr. KELLY(Wentworth).- It seems to me that the proposal of the honorable and learned member for Wannon is to differentiate entirely between damages and penalties. The' Prime Minister's proposal would still leave it open to doubt. We wish to make it clear in this Bill that the Court shall not, in any circumstances, grant penalties to the unions.

Mr Watson - What does it matter what we call them?

Mr KELLY - In an Act of Parliament it matters a great deal what we call them.

Mr Watson - Does the honorable member contemplate granting damages in addition to the penalties? Mr. KELLY.- I take it that at the beginning there will be a great many technical breaches of the Act.

Mr Watson - From our experience in New South Wales I do not think that that is likely.

Mr KELLY - Suppose that there are many technical breaches. In those cases no damages will be awarded. But if there were any cb.ince of a " penalty " being awarded to a union or private informer that brought such a breach to the cognisance of the Court, many informations would be laid in the case of such breaches, although, being technical breaches* they injured no one, and did not interfere with the industrial peace of the community. For that reason I think we should differentiate very clearly between penalties and damages, and make it absolutely impossible for the Judge to award the imposed fines to those giving information of simply technical breaches.

Mr. KNOX(Kooyong). - I wish to understand clearly whether the Crown is included under the word " whom " ?

Mr Higgins - I think so.

Mr KNOX - So long as it is clear that in addition to organizations and persons the penalties may be paid into the Consolidated Revenue, I am satisfied.

Mr. ROBINSON(Wannon).- I accept the Prime -Minister's suggestion. I think it meets the case in fewer words than my own proposal.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) agreed to-

That the words " the organizations or persons," line 7, be left out.

Amendment (by Mr. Watson) proposed -

That after the word " penalties," line 8, the words "in whole or in part" be inserted.

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