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Tuesday, 14 November 1905

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - The intention is to make the Bill apply to Inter-State trade ?

Senator Lt Col Gould - To widen the evil.

Senator GIVENS - Senator Gould mayhold that opinion, but my view of the matter is that while the Bill is a good one so far as it goes, it does not go far enough. I believe' that it is just as necessary, so far as we can, to protect our own people from having goods foisted on them by means of false descriptions where those goods come into one State from another, as it is to protect them from such goods imported from abroad. I believe it is just as necessary to prevent the good name of the trade of a particular State being injured by exports to the other States under false trade descriptions as it is to protect Australian exports generally from injury in markets abroad by exports to those markets under false trade descriptions. Every argument which can be used in favour of the application of this Bill to oversea trade can be used with equal force and effect as applied to Inter-State trade. As a Commonwealth Parliament we have nothing to do with the internal trade of the different States, but we have as complete control over Inter-State trade as we have over trade with other countries.

Senator Lt Col Gould - Under this amendment Queensland producers would have to send only good pineapples and bananas to the other States'.

Senator GIVENS - The interjection reminds me that, while we have heard a great deal about the evils of the harassing inspection and the hardship which this measure would inflict on exporters and importers, so far as the fruit trade is concerned, I am able to inform Senator Gould that in Queensland we have a system of Government inspection in full force now, and that the New South Wales and Victorian Governments will not permit the importation of Queensland fruit which has not been inspected.

Senator Lt Col Gould - That only shows that the States are able to protect themselves, and do so now.

Senator GIVENS - We shall be false to our trust if we refuse to undertake the duties which the people of Australia have asked us to undertake. I do not know whether the States now have power, except, perhaps, under quarantine regulations, to reject exports from other States.

Senator Lt Col Gould - This is not an exclusive power.

Senator GIVENS - When wetake over the subject of quarantine, as we probably shall in the near future, the States will not have the powerto interfere in that way, because, although we may not have an exclusive power, our law will prevail over any State law dealing with the subject.

Senator Pulsford - Perhaps the honorable senator will allow me to raise a point of order at this stage. I ask the ruling of the Chairman as to whether the amendment is in order? This is a Bill relating to "commerce with other countries," and Senator Givens has proposed an amendment which will, if passed, make the Bill apply to trade between the States.

The CHAIRMAN - As this is a proposed Bill for an Act relating to commerce with other countries, I am afraid I should be straining its provisions if I did not declare the amendment out of order.

Senator Givens - I propose, sir, to ask that your ruling be referred to the President.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - I direct attention to standing-order 199, which provides -

If any amendment shall have been made in the Bill not coming within the original title, such title shall be amended, and a question put "That this be the title of the Bill," and the amendment thereof shall be specially reported to the Senate.

Senator Pearce - I think it will be foundthat the amendment is covered by standing order 194, which says that all amendments must be relevant to the subjectmatter of the Bill, and not to the title of the Bill.

In the Senate:

The Chairman of Committees. - In Committee, Senator Givens moved an amendment which would have had the effect of applying the provisions of the Commerce Bill to commerce between State and State. I rifled that the proposed amendment was not in keeping with the subjectmatter of the Bill. Senator Givens has dissented from my ruling in the following terms : -

I dissent from the ruling of the Chairman of Committees as to the relevancy of the proposed amendment to bring Inter-State commerce under the provisions of the Commerce Bill, on the ground that amendments are governed by their relevancyto the subject-matter of the Bill, and not by its title.

I do not think that I said that the proposed amendment was out of order merely because the title read "a Bill for an Act relating to commerce with other countries ; " but it seemed to me that the whole subject-matter of the Bill as it passed its second reading was the regulation of commerce with other countries - that is to say, imports to Australia and exports from Australia. I did not understand, when I voted for the second reading of the Bill, that it in any way dealt with the question of commerce between States of the Commonwealth.

Senator Givens - It was with great diffidence that I dissented from the ruling of the Chairman. But it appeared to me that under standing order No. 194 I was per fectly entitled to move the amendment. That standing order says that -

Any amendment may be made to any part of a Bill, provided the same be relevant to the subjectmatter of the Bill, and be otherwise in conformity with the rules and orders of the Senate.

It appears to me that my amendment, which was intended to makethis Bill apply to Inter-State commerce, was perfectly relevant to the subject-matter of the Bill, and that it was a simple matter, if; the amendment were inserted, to bringthe title into conformity with it. For that reason, I took the liberty of dissenting from the Chairman's ruling. I am content to leave the matter in your hands.

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