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Thursday, 7 December 1905
Page: 6526

Mr DEAKIN (Ballarat) (Minister of External Affairs) . - The effect of this provision is to prevent a contract immigrant from reaping the benefit of his own practical breach of the contract - that is to say, if he landed in Australia he would make the contract void and. become free. If that were done deliberately to take advantage of his employer, it was thought only fair that the contract immigrant should be subject to a penalty.

Mr McWilliams - Suppose that he were brought out under false pretences ?

Mr DEAKIN - The contract immigrant would be protected. If by his own act he could make the contract void, and he were not liable to a penalty, the contract would be one-sided. The employer would take all the risks, and the contract immigrant would have the opportunity of voiding the contract merely by landing before the terms of the contract had been approved. I do not consider the paragraph of much importance, because it is intended to meet a case in whichthe contract had not been submitted to the Minister for approval. It would be made beforehand, and those who made it would take their chance. If, under these circumstances, the Committee think it is equitable to strike outthe paragraph, I am indifferent.

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