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Tuesday, 28 June 1904

Mr SPENCE (Darling) - I think that it would be better to leave the clause as it stands. It might be necessary to make an inspection at some time other than during working hours. For instance, something might crop up in connexion with the use of certain machinery.

Mr Watson - An inspection could be made by consent at any time.

Mr SPENCE - We have to assume that a reasonable amount of common sense would be used by the President of the Court or the Registrar. We have no right to assume that they would, unless some good object could be served, choose inconvenient hours for the purposes of inspection. Generally speaking, no doubt, premises would be entered by the Court officials .during ordinary working hours, but cases might arise in which it would be preferable to make an inspection at some other time. Why should we not leave it to the discretion of the Court?

Mr Johnson - The clause gives power to enter premises at any time of the day or night.

Mr SPENCE - That may be very necessary.

Mr Johnson - It may be very unnecessary.

Mr SPENCE - I do not think that we should hamper the Court officials by imposing too many restrictions upon their actions ; but that on the other hand we should allow them full power, and rely upon their exercising reasonable discretion. We should not allow any avenues of escape for those who may be disposed to act unjustly to their employes. We should be departing from the main principle of the Bill if we imposed unnecessary restrictions upon the Court. We cannot Jay down any hard and fast rules in reference to this matter. We all recognise that if these inspections are made at unsuitable periods the cause of those who are responsible for them will be injured.

Amendment agreed to.

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