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Friday, 16 May 1930

Senator McLACHLAN (South Australia) . - Senator Colebatch has missed the point. The interest which he has in mind is interest on unpaid loans, whereas the interest to which I refer is that to which the words which he proposes to strike out have reference. By striking out the words "until the premiums due and unpaid, together with the interest thereon are equal to" we should deprive the company of the right to bring the interest into computation.

SenatorRae. - Would not the words " or other indebtedness " cover that point ?

Senator McLACHLAN - I do not think so. There are various forms of indebtedness. I have failed to improve on the original drafting of this clause, although I realize that it is not perfect. I suggest that the clause be now passed with a view to its being redrafted to give effect to our common desire.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 68 to 70 agreed to.

Clause 71 (Substitution of industrial policies).

Senator Sir HALCOLEBATCH (Western Australia) [11.37]. - I should like an explanation of this clause. I understand that it has been copied from the English legislation and applies to classes of policies entirely foreign to Australian practice. In such circumstances it can have no meaning in an Australian act, for Australian companies have no substituted policies within the meaning of this clause.

Senator McLACHLAN(South Australia [11.38]. - I understand that the substitution of policies is not a common practice in Australian companies to-day; but we may in the future have overseas companies doing business here, and it would be well to make provision to meet the class of business they transact. Such provision can do no harm. While the substitution of policies is not a common practice of Australian companies I understand that one Australian company does almost similar business. I feel that while we are passing insurance legislation we should provide for contingencies which are likely to arise.

Senator Sir HALCOLEBATCH (Western Australia) [11.39]. - This clause is not in consonance with the rest of the bill. We shouldnot go here and there putting in clauses on the mere supposition that they might some day be needed. The bill should be one comprehensive whole. I suggest that the clause be negatived.

SenatorRAE (New South Wales) [11.40]. - While I do not quite understand the purpose of this clause, I agree with Senator McLachlan that provision should be made to meet cases which are likely to arise. A bill of this nature should have been referred to a select committee. I am acquainted with persons who have taken out industrial policies, and know of one instance in which a person paid an annual premium, instead of. making weekly payments. Subsequently, when through loss of position, he was unable to make his payments annually in advance, and endeavoured to have quarterly payments substituted; his request was refused. There is need for greater elasticity in respect of changing from one class of insurance to another.

Senator McLachlan - Is it not probable that business may develop along those lines?

SenatorRAE. - I think so. There should be greater elasticity in order to meet varying circumstances. Industrial insurance is probably the most expensive of all forms of insurance, largely because of the heavy overhead expenses due to the enormous cost of collecting premiums. Industrial policies return very little for the money expended. If anything can be done to improve these policies, we should do it.

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