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Tuesday, 28 June 1904

Mr WATSON - I move-

That after the word " shall," line 3, the words " if the Court in its discretion so orders" be inserted.

I intend to propose later on the insertion, after the " words " subject to," line 5, of the words " any or all of," thus giving the Court discretion in the first place to apply any of these penalties, or all of them. The clause, as originally drafted, seemed to me to be somewhat too drastic. Of course,

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it applies extensively to organizations or employers and employes, and individuals in those organizations. At the same time, in many of the employes' organizations, they have benefits which members have been accumulating for twenty or twenty-five .years, and it would be a very serious thing indeed if a man who has qualified for important benefits by a twenty or thirty years' membership should, because he is adjudged guilty of any contravention pf Part II. of this measure, which honorable 'members will recollect deals with strikes or locksout, no matter how slight, and without any real intent to defeat the object of this Bill, should lose all those benefits automatically. It is certainly provided that the Court may in its discretion reinstate him ; but it could not reinstate him in his benefits. It could reinstate him as a member of the organization ; but, owing to the break in his membership, he would have to start from scratch again for the lengthened term necessary to qualify him for benefits.

Mr Kelly - Is this Bill supposed to take cognizance of benefits?

Mr WATSON - Not at all ; but the honorable member will see that incidentally a man would be robbed of the benefits to whicli he had become entitled if, under a measure of this kind, he ceased to be a member of an organization. I therefore propose to leave it to the discretion of the Court to say whether an individual judged guilty of any. contravention of Part II. shall, in addition to any ordinary penalty imposed directly for the offence, be and continue subject to any or all of . the other disabilities. If the case is ari aggravated one of a man who has wilfully committed offences, and shows no disposition to behave himself, I think it is right that the Court should have the power to say that he shall cease to be a member of a union, and shall lose all the benefits which have accrued to him by his previous membership. In some cases that would be very severe punishment. In the case, for instance, of the Amalgamated Engineers and the Typographical Society, and- some other trade societies, extensive benefits accrue to members in proportion to the number of years the member has been in the society. I think we shall sufficiently achieve the object of the clause if we agree to the amendment' I have moved, leaving the matter in the discretion of the 'Court.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (bv Mr. Watson) agreed to-

That after the words " subject to," line 5, the words " any or all of " be inserted.

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