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Tuesday, 29 May 1928

Mr LATHAM (Kooyong) (AttorneyGeneral) . - The honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Anstey) is under such a complete misapprehension regarding this clause that I may be pardoned for speaking again. The honorable member apparently believes that the existing act imposes no liability upon any individual, particularly an individual workman.

Mr Blakeley - He said no such thing.

Mr LATHAM - The honorable member appears to be under the misapprehenson that section 6 of the principal act in no way penalizes an individual worker for taking part in a strike.

Mr Anstey - I say so still. Parliament never intended that an individual should be penalized.

Mr LATHAM - It . is sufficient to refer to the case of Tom Walsh, who was convicted under that section or section 6a, which is in similar terms; and although on appeal to the High Court one conviction was set aside on certain grounds, another conviction was upheld. There has never been any contention as to the applicability of the original section to an individual employee.

Mr Anstey - If the fine provided by law was £1,000, why was Tom Walsh fined only £100? He was not fined under section 6.

Mr LATHAM - Evidently the honorable member does not understand that under the Acts Interpretation Act, the penalties provided in section 6 and section 6a, under one of which Walsh was convicted, are in all cases the maximum penalties. The penalties imposed by this legislation are therefore the maximum penalties which may be inflicted. The honorable member speaks with a high degree of inaccuracy when he says that the original section was never meant to apply to individuals. Not only does it expressly apply to individuals, but it has also been so applied both in the lower and in the higher courts.

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