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Friday, 24 June 1904


Mr WATSON - I mentioned the other day that I was prepared to accept the suggestion put forward by the honorable and learned member for Ballarat - after consultation with the honorable . and learned member for Indi and myself - as to the advisability of having an additional subclause to clause 67. Since then other suggestions have been made. In the first place, I may say that the Government is prepared to accept the amendment which has been suggested by the honorable and learned member for Corinella in this form -

Provided always that before any preference to members of organizations is directed as aforesaid, the President shall, by notification published in the Gazette, and in such other publications, if any, as the Court directs, specifying the industry and the industrial matter in relation to which it is proposed to direct such preference, make known, that all persons and organizations interested and desirous of being heard may, on or before a day named, appear or be represented before the Court, and the Court shall in manner prescribed hear such persons and organizations so appearing or represented.

That would apply the same provision to the matter of granting preference as we have in clause 46 applied to the granting of the common rule. The Government are willing to accept that, and they are also willing to accept an amendment which has been given notice of by the honorable and learned member for Bendigo, which would follow the amendment suggested by the honorable and learned member for Corinella, and which is stated in these terms -

In any case in which the Court directs that preference shall be given it may subsequently suspend or qualify the direction for such time or subject to such conditions as it thinks fit if it be proved that the rules of the organization are burdensome or oppressive or do not provide reasonable conditions for admission to or continuance in membership or that the organization has acted unfairly or unjustly to any of its members in the matter of preference.

Beyond these amendments explaining the general purpose, and qualifying to some extent the power of the Court in relation to preference, the Government are not prepared to go. We will agree to these amendments if they are moved by the honorable and learned members to whom I have referred, and if they do not care to move them. I shall be prepared, on behalf of the Government, to do so myself.


Mr Isaacs - I understand that the honorable gentleman will also assent to an amendment allowing the President, without action by the Registrar to take notice of the rules of any union.


Mr WATSON - I shall be quite prepared to accept such an amendment to clause 67 when we reach it.







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