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Tuesday, 12 July 1904

Mr KNOX (Kooyong) - No honorable member desires that counsel should be employed in cases involving simple issues, but. it must be manifest to all of us that the majority of causes which will be pleaded before the Court will be of high importance and involve interests .of considerable magnitude. Since this measure started upon its career, the ideas of honorable members as to its scope have undergone many changes ; but I think that we can all agree that in the majority of cases the assistance of counsel will be desired by the Court. Although I quite admit that the amendment will greatly modify the original proposal, I am very sorry that honorable members do not feel disposed to entirely do away with the proposed prohibition. In the Broken Hill case, which came before the New South Wales Arbitration Court, the President admitted that much time was saved, owing to the assistance rendered by counsel, who met beforehand and agreed as to the points which should be submitted to the decision of the Court, and dispensed with a number of witnesses whom it was at first proposed to call. I should have much preferred to see the clause amended in such a form that it would have been open to either party to employ counsel ; but after consulting several honorable members I feel that no good purpose would be served by pressing for a division.

Amendment agreed to.

New clause, as amended, agreed to.

Mr WATSON - I desire to move the addition to the Bill of a new part, to be temporarily numbered Va. It relates to the application of the measure to oversea ships engaged in the coasting trade. Perhaps it would be well, Mr. Chairman, to allow a general discussion of these provisions to take place upon the first of the proposed new clauses. If that course be adopted, it will probably result in a considerable saving of time.

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