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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Mr CROUCH (Corio) - I am glad that the honorable member for South Sydney has mentioned this matter. I think that we should strike out the word "King" and substitute the words " Governor-General."

Mr Isaacs - That would be impossible.

Mr McCay - That would mean the Minister of Trade and Customs.

Mr CROUCH - Just in the same way as the word ' ' King ' ' would mean the President of the Board of Trade.

Mr McCay - Would the honorable and learned member permit a Minister of the Commonwealth, by Executive act. to bring into operation here the Statutes of a foreign country ?

Mr CROUCH - It would be better to do that than to allow the King in Council - which would mean the President of the Board of Trade - to do so. I think that we should exercise some control over the power proposed to be exercised under the clause. I would point out. further, that there is no provision made in this clause for reciprocal action, such as is contemplated" in the case of British Possessions. Some of the States have entered into reciprocal arrangements among themselves, and I see no reason why we should not follow a similar practice in regard to British Possessions and foreign countries. But we must keep the control in our own hands in the same way tha,t Queensland did in regard to the treaty with Japan relating to Asiatic immigration. That gave the Government of Queensland the right to bring into force the treaty which the Imperial Government had concluded with Japan. If we take up the position that the Governor-General, acting on the advice of his responsible Ministers, shall be the only person who can bring this provision into operation, a similar article will always be inserted in new treaties. If the honorable member for South Sydney has no amendment to submit, I am prepared to move that the' word "King" be struck out, with a view to insert' in lieu thereof the words "the Governor-General."

Mr. G.B. EDWARDS (South Sydney). - I ask the honorable and learned member for Corio to consider whether the insertion of the words " foreign state or " before the words "British Possession" in clause 100 would not achieve the object which we both have in view. If we applied that provi sion to foreign countries, as well as to British possessions, we should insure that we should receive reciprocal .rights from those countries, and we should give our own representative of the Crown the power to call this latent legislation into existence. Personally, I have a decided objection to introducing into our legislation the King's orders in council.

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