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Thursday, 30 August 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I think that Senator Pearce's amendment, while constituting an alteration in words, does not constitute an alteration in the intent of the sub-clause the honorable senator seeks to amend. It seems to me that the words of the amendment are not happily chosen, and will require some alteration before we adopt them. I take it that what is desired by Senator Pearce, the draftsman of the original subclause, and by the Committee generally, is that when the Comptroller-General or Justice is called upon to determine a question under this part of the Bill, he shall consider whether the management, processes, plant, and machinery in the local industry are reasonably efficient. The difficulty, in my mind, 19 as to whether Senator Pearce's amendment exactly expresses that.

Senator Pearce - It is expressed in exactly the terms the honorable senator has just used.

Senator MILLEN - I have no objection to the words of the amendment in themselves, but coupled with the words of the sub-clause, it seems to me that their meaning will be affected. If the amendment were adopted the sub-clause, as amended, would read -

In determining whether the competition is unfair, regard shall be had to the management, the processes, the plant, and the machinery, employed or adopted in the Australian industry affected by the competition, being reasonably efficient, effective, and up-to-date.

I think I might safely say that thatis a cumbersome form, although I make every allowance for the difficulty with which an honorable senator is necessarily confronted in seeking to frame such an amendment in the Chamber.

Senator Trenwith - I think that we require the words " as to whether."

Senator MILLEN - Senator Trenwithhas detected what seems to me to be the weakness of the amendment. Without some such words as the honorable senator has suggested, it appears to me that Senator Pearce's amendment may be read to be an affirmation that the processes, management, and plant are efficient and up-to-date. What we require is some form of words which will make it necessary for the authority to consider whether they are or are not. If Senator Pearce will accept Senator Trenwith's suggestion that may overcome the difficulty.

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