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Wednesday, 10 August 1904

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) - Although the Government have given notice of the amendments to which they propose to ask the Committee to agree, I would remind the Prime Minister that other amendments were suggested which appear not to have commended themselves to

Mr Watson - We shall not oppose the recommittal of such other clauses as we agreed to reconsider.

Mr DEAKIN - If we were informed why the Government did not think it necessary to make certain amendments, the recommittal of those clauses might not be necessary. For instance, the first point that occurs to me, without reference to my copy of the Bill, is that to which I directed the attention of the Attorney-General, namely, the appointment of a Judge of the High Court. I do not notice that it has been thought necessary to make an amendment there.

Mr Watson - The Attorney-General considered the point, and he thought we had power, under all the circumstances. Of course, that is only his opinion.

Mr DEAKIN - And the Government could not have a higher opinion. My point was not merely, in one sense, whether the Government had the power. I raised the question whether the provision of the Constitution, as to the office of Justice of the High Court, would permit of the appointment being made in that way, at all events, without the consent of the Justices. If the Prime Minister says that the AttorneyGeneral has considered the matter, and is satisfied, I have nothing further to say. When the Prime Minister moves recommittal for the purposes of these amendments, do I understand that in each case he moves the recommittal of the whole clause?

Mr Watson - Yes.

Mr DEAKIN - Because that" will enable me to ask for the justification for retaining the words " subject to the Constitution," to which attention was called in clauses which provide that no awards of the Court shall be capable of being reconsidered by any other tribunal - questioned in any Court whatever. I think attention was drawn to the fact that the words were unnecessary. They were introduced originally, not for any legal effect, but to satisfy the minds of laymen who might suppose the clause to over-ride the Constitution. The words are unnecessary for that purpose, but I do not notice that the Government propose to omit them. I understand, however, that the Prime Minister will afford us an opportunity to consider all these matters.

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