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Friday, 16 May 1930

Senator MCLACHLAN (South Australia) . - Senator Colebatch, with his knowledge of insurance practice, doubtless considers that this amendment is necessary. T atn somewhat conservative in matters of this kind, and also with respect to legal procedure. Subclause 1 of this clause provides for a separate instrument, of assignment, as set out in the seventh schedule, and the procedure laid down is similar to that provided' in connexion with a Torren's title under the Real Property Act. An ordinary transfer form is to be signed by the transferor and the transferee; but it is now proposed that the transfer shall be endorsed upon the policy and the document registered. The duplicate retained by the company would be endorsed by the Registrar, and the original document returned to the policy-holder, who, for the time being, would be the person to whom the assignment had been made. That is contrary to the principles of registration with respect to land transfers. When the instrument of transfer is signed and witnessed, it is handed to the Registrar, and remains with him as a permanent record of what has occurred. This proposal would provide an opportunity for a person who was evilly disposed to destroy any evidence of an evil act. If the companies are obliged to file a transfer form, as proposed, with the original policy, the instrument is available at all times. For these reasons I ask the committee to leave the clause as it is, because if these words are included it would give undue opportunities to an undesirable assignee. The proper course is to place the instrument of the transfer in the keeping of the company which has to find the money.

Senator Sir HALCOLEBATCH (Western Australia) [12.36]. - Following the amendment I have moved, it was my intention to submit a further amendment to sub-clause 2.

Senator Sir George Pearce - What would be its effect?

Senator Sir HALCOLEBATCH.To reverse the practice which it is proposed to bring into force. The clause at present contemplates a reversal of the present practice.

Senator McLachlan - I admit that.

Senator Sir HAL COLEBATCH - In view of the explanation of Senator McLachlan, I am not prepared to say that his argument is altogether unsound, and that the present system is the only one possible ; but I suggest that he should consent to the recommittal of this clause, so thathonorable senators may have an opportunity to consider the view which he has put forward. While I feel that there is some justification for my contention, I am not in a position to say whether there is any occasion to reverse the present practice. If he will agree to a recommittal of the clause I shall not for the moment press my amendment.

SenatorMcLachlan. - We should consider it from the point of view of what we have already done but I am willing to recommit the clause.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 90-

An assignment registered and indorsed in accordance with the last preceding section, shall have the effect of vesting the policy absolutely in the assignee, who shall thereupon become the policy owner, and may thereafter sue, as well at law as in equity, in' his own name, on the assigned policy, and the receipt of the assignee shall be a valid discharge both at law and in equity for all moneys payable thereunder.

Amendment (by Senator McLachlan,) agreed to -

That after the word "vesting" the words "all the right, title and interest of the assignor in " be inserted.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 91 to 93 agreed to.

Clause 94-

Any number of mortgages may be registered against the same policy, but they shall take effect and have priority according to priority of the date of registration.

Amendment (by Senator Sir Hal Colebatch) agreed to -

That the following words be added to the clause: - "but no mortgage shall take priority of the company's lien for money advanced prior to registration of the mortgage together with interest thereon nor for premiums and interest due in terms of section 67."

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clauses 95 to 98 agreed to.

Clause 99 -

A memorandum of discharge shall be registered by leaving the mortgage with the memorandum indorsed thereon, together with the policy, at the office of the company, whereupon the secretary shall, if the memorandum is, in his opinion, in due form and properly executed, indorse on the policy a memorandum in accordance with the form or to the effect set forth in the Fourteenth Schedule to this Act, and shall also indorse on the mortgage a memorandum of its having been registered in accordance with the form or to the effect set forth in the Fifteenth Schedule to this Act, and shall return the mortgage and policy so indorsed to the person leaving it.

Amendment (by Senator Sir Hal Colebatch) proposed -

That the following new sub-clause be added - " 2. No such registration or indorsement by the secretary as is prescribed in this division, shall be deemed to impose upon the company any liability to any person claiming to have any right, title or interest in or to the policy, against the title conferred by such registration or indorsement."

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.

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