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Monday, 11 June 1928

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .- I agree with the honorable member for Maribyrnong (Mr. Fenton) that the proviso is quite unnecessary. An organization would not expel or suspend a member without having good cause for taking that -action. While proposed section 70a gives the organization power to suspend or expel a member, the proviso gives that member the right to appeal to the court to enable him to be eligible to hold office in the organization. I agree that this proviso does not seek to reinstate that member as a member of the union ; but his action in asking the court to remove the embargo placed upon him is tantamount to saying that the union has done him an injustice. It is a backhand slap at the organization. The union, and not the court, should have the power to remove the incapacity, if it thinks necessary.

Mr Brennan - What kind of incapa-. city has the Attorney-General in mind ?

Mr Latham - The incapacity of holding office.

Mr E RILEY (SOUTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Who is to be the judge?

Mr CHARLTON - The organization itself ought 'to be. Supposing that I am an officer of the organization, and I do something that causes me to be expelled.

Mr Latham - In that case the honorable member would be rendered incapable of holding office.

Mr CHARLTON - If I am expelled, why should I have the right to go to the court and ask for the removal of the incapacity? The court cannot restore me as a member of the organization, and this proviso does not provide for that.

Mr Latham - Proposed section 70b provides for an appeal against suspension or expulsion from membership, and I suggest that the union should be given notice of such an appeal.

Mr CHARLTON - That does not concern the proviso. The proviso should be eliminated because it does not serve any good purpose. Even if the court does decide that an expelled member is eligible to hold office, that does not make him a member of the organization. He should have to apply to the organization to readmit him. The court cannot do it, and, consequently, this proviso gets us nowhere.

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