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Friday, 19 July 1912

Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - When this clause was before the Committee yesterday, sir, I moved an amendment which, according to your ruling, does not carry out exactly what I desire. I ask leave to alter the amendment by omitting the word "extra."

Amendment amended accordingly.

Senator SAYERS - I think that the amendment in the altered form ought to meet the views of the Committee and of the people of this country, because if it is carried, there will be no discrimination whatever. The reason why I objected to a fine of £5, or no fine at all, was that too much discretion was left to the magistrates, who might be accused of showing favoritism in some cases. Under my proposal, the offending cadet, whether he be the son of the Chief Justice of Australia, or the son of the Chief Justice of a State, will be subjected to the same punishment as the son of the poorest man in the land, and there can be no discrimination. I have noticed that in a great number of the cases brought before the Courts an order for 10s. costs has been made. If this amendment be passed, no costs will be ordered.

Senator Pearce - Yes, the costs of the summons.

Senator SAYERS - If the amendment be made law, cannot the Minister or the area officer enforce it?

Senator McGregor - He will have to, prove the offence.

Senator SAYERS - I am sorry to find that there will still be' some expense to be borne. Under my proposal there could be no favoritism shown to any person. If a boy failed to attend three hours' drill, he would have to serve six hours in all. If we call ourselves a democratic community, let us do away with any opening for favoritism, and let each cadet know that if he fails to do his duty the same punishment will be meted out to him as to any other boy. I feel certain that the amendment will meet with the approval of a large number of the parents. I trust that the Minister will see his way to accept it, or some other amendment embodying the same principle. I do not care in what form it is framed so long as it is enacted. I am aware that the Departments do not like a measure to be altered at the instance of a private senator once it has left the hands of the draftsman, but I hope that that objection will not be taken in this case.

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