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Friday, 22 November 1912

The PRESIDENT - The Temporary Chairman has reported that on the amendment made by the House of Representatives in clause 333, Senator Guthrie proposed this amendment -

Upon any port being proclaimed a port at which the pilotage is compulsory all persons folding licences issued by any State to act as pilots for that port shall become officers in the Commonwealth Public Service.

The Temporary Chairman ruled that the amendment of Senator Guthrie was not relevant to the clause which was under consideration, and which had been amended by the other House. Senator Millen, I understand, based his objection to the ruling, not on the first part of standing order 219, but on the latter part, which reads - nor can an amendment be moved to the Bill unless the same be relevant to or consequent upon the acceptance, amendment, or the rejection of a House of Representatives' amendment.

Senator Gouldhas contended that it is competent for the Senate to make an amendment on the amendment of the other House, but that the Senate's amendment must be relevant to the clause under discussion and the amendment of the other House. It has been pointed out by the Minister in charge of the Bill, and I think it has been held, that it is not competent for the Senate to make an amendment to an amendment of the other House which does not deal with the particular matter or clause under consideration. It has also been pointed out that this amendment would have been in order had it been proposed to an amendment to clause 331. I cannot see how there can be any argument against that position being taken up. The whole matter submitted in dealing with compulsory pilotage is confined to clause 331, and if we were to take this matter as dealing with clause 333, which provides for licensing pilots and the ports at which the licensees shall be able to carry out their work, it seems to me that this amendment would interfere not so much with that particular clause as with clause 331, which has already been passed. I think that the ruling of the Temporary Chairman is correct. In my opinion, the latter part of the standing order referred to by Senator Millen means that where an amendment has been amended, agreed to, or dissented from, consequential amendments may be moved to bring the Bill into conformity with the action taken by the Committee. I rule, therefore, that the Temporary Chairman was correct in the ruling he gave with regard to the amendment submitted by Senator Guthrie.

In Committee:

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [12.51]. - I move -

That the amendment be amended by leaving out the words " at which pilotage is not compulsory," with a view to inserting the words "within the Commonwealth."

That would enlarge the power for the appointment of licensed pilots,

Senator Pearce - The honorable senator must be aware that that power is not contained in the State Act.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - That may be so. If my amendment be accepted, pilots will be enabled to act as such for any port within the Commonwealth.

Senator Pearce - Whether they hold a licence or not?

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - No; they will have to hold a licence.

Senator Pearce - Then the proposal is to do away with compulsory pilotage.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - No; but to render licensed pilots eligible to act , in ports at which pilotage is compulsory. If my amendment be carried, I intend to propose a subsequent amendment, which I will indicate. Under my proposal, assuming that Melbourne is made a compulsory pilotage port, licensed pilots operating in that port at the present time would be entitled to be licensed to continue to operate in that port. If the amendment I now move be agreed to, it will' be necessary to amend clause 331 consequentially. Sub-clause 2 of that clause reads - (2.) At any such port the pilotage shall be performed by a pilot in the Public Service of the Commonwealth.

It will be necessary to amend that so as to read -

At any such port the pilotage shall be performed by a licensed pilot.

Under this proposal, any pilot already holding a licence would become eligible for employment in any port for which his licence holds good. It would afford the Government an opportunity to do an act of simple justice, and give the men at present licensed as pilots for the port of Melbourne the right to continue in their occupation. The Government practically say to these men, " We will give you a licence, but we will not take you into the Public Service."

Senator Pearce - We do not say anything of the kind.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - The Government will not necessarily take these men into the Public Service. I desire to bring all these pilots within the one category of licensed pilots, with a right to employment in any port covered by their licence. Of course, the regulations will provide for the necessary qualifications to enable a person to secure a licence. I submit that my proposal offers a fair and reasonable way of dealing with this matter, in view of the difficulties which our Standing Orders presented in connexion with the amendment submitted by Senator Guthrie. The amendment I propose is, I submit, clearly within the competency of the Committee, because we may amend the amendment of the House of Representatives as we think fit, and may then make consequential amendments in the Bill. If this amendment be made, it will be necessary to make a consequential amendment, as I have stated,in clause 331, or otherwise the provision in clause 331 would conflict with clause 333.

Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.30p.m.

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