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Wednesday, 25 July 1906

Mr McCAY (Corinella) . - I desire to say a few words regarding the suggestion of the honorable member for 'Bland in connexion with clause 15 of the agreement. I am inclined to agree with the AttorneyGeneral that the words "relating to shipping " mean legislation dealing specifically with shipping subjects. But I agree with the honorable member for Bland that it is just as well that the meaning should be made clear. The case which has occurred to my mind is that of an amendment of the Conciliation and Arbitration Act. Of course, under the clause, it would be legislation enacted subsequent to the date of the agreement. Ti, however, we were to have an Act which did deal with wages on sea-going vessels trading to Australia, I think that some very nice questions of law might arise as to whether it was, or was not, legislation "relating to shipping." I think that whatever is intended ought to be made clear.

Mr Isaacs - Would that be legislation " directly relating to shipping "?

Mr McCAY - I do not know whether it would or would not.

Mr Isaacs - We should get into very great difficulties, anyway.

Mr McCAY - The- House and the contractor should be clear as to what legislation is intended to be meant. I'f it be intended to limit this expression to legislation directly relating to shipping - and I think .it probably does mean that - it is better to make our meaning clear. There should not be any misunderstanding now, so that the contractors could say later on, " We did not take the view which you took," and thus give opportunities for differences of opinion. All I suggest to the Government is that, between the adjournment of the debate and its resumption tomorrow - for I do not suppose that it will be concluded to-night- there will be ample time in which to have this particular point discussed between the Postmaster-General and the representative of the contractors. I suppose I may take it that' the PostmasterGeneral does contemplate taking that course.

Amendment agreed to.

Debate (on motion by Mr. Wilks) adjourned.

House adjourned at 10.43 P-m.

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