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Thursday, 29 April 1915


Mr WATT (Balaclava) . - I suppose, as the editors say, this correspondence between the Attorney-General and his formidable protagonist from Bourke is now closed. I am interested to know whether the amendment as proposed by the honorable member for Batman will effect the object aimed at. It seems to me that even those who want to make some such amendment are adopting a wrong course. The proposal of the honorable member for Melbourne is surely preferable in form. Why should we have two dicta stretching across these two sub-clauses when we can easily put them in one, particularly sub-clause 6?


Mr Brennan - Sub-clause 6 will no longer have any meaning.


Mr WATT - That will depend, of course, upon what is said by sub-clause 8, which will still govern the amendment.


Mr Kelly - The honorable member proposes to strike out both sub-clause 6 and sub-clause 8.


Mr WATT - I did not gather that from the honorable member.


Mr Hughes - Sub-clause 8 will govern sub-clause 2 as amended just the same as it will govern sub-clause 6. The amendment is in the wrong place, and is badly drawn. " Civilian " is a very loose term. A man has to prove that he is a civilian, when he ought not to need to prove anything of the sort.


Mr WATT - If the honorable member for Batman is moving his amendment with the intention of moving as a consequential amendment the omission of subclause 6 and sub-clause 8, we ought toknow it before we vote for it.


Mr Brennan - Both of them will be meaningless if the amendment is carried.


Mr WATT - Then I, for one, cannot vote for it. I may be prepared to vote for some amendment to which the Government agree, but not for the elimination of two very important provisions of the Bill which they have described as vital.







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