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Tuesday, 13 September 1904

Mr REID - It is evident that the words " Subject to the Constitution " may lead to confusion, and as they are absolutely unnecessary in any of the Commonwealth Acts, which are, every line and word, subject to the Constitution, I accept the amendment of the honorable and learned member for Ballarat.

Amendment agreed to.

Mr REID - In regard to this clause, the late Government made certain suggestions which I propose to adopt, if the Committee are agreeable. I move -

That the following new sub-clauses be inserted : - " [z\ The President may, if he thinks fit, in any proceeding before the Court, at any stage and upon such terms as he thinks fit, state a case in writing for the opinion of the High Court upon any question arising in the proceeding which, in his opinion, is a question of law. " (3) The High Court shall hear and determine the question, and remit the case with its opinion to the President, and may make such order as to costs as it thinks fit."

It is obviously desirable that the President should have the opportunity to take the course which this amendment would empower him to take in the interests of all parties, so that the law may be ascertained at the earliest possible moment on perhaps some vital point.

Mr. HIGGINS(Northern Melbourne).Although the members of the late Administration do not take any responsibility for the Bill as it stands, still I think that in courtesy to the Prime Minister, I ought to state that the words which he proposes should be inserted were adopted by the late Government in pursuance of the promise made to the honorable and learned member for Corinella in the course of the discussion.

Mr McCay - I think the promise was made to the honorable and learned member for Darling Downs.

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