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Wednesday, 12 October 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I should be prepared to accept the amendment if the honorable senator would consent to leave it optional with the Minister to refuse an extension in the circumstancesstated?

Senator Givens - That would be a senseless thing to do, because the Minister may refuse the extension in any case as the clause stands. I wish to provide that it shall not be competent for the Minister to refuse an extension in certain circumstances.

Senator PEARCE - I see that the honorable senator is right in his contention. I do not feel that I can oppose the amendment, but I fear that it may work some hardship occasionally.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - It may.

Senator Givens - It may work some hardship to some people in Sydney.

Senator PEARCE - The amendment was submitted only last night, and I think we cannot be very dogmatic about it.

Senator Givens - The ship-owner will be at liberty to take his vessel elsewhere if he does so within the currency of his certificate.

Senator PEARCE - I should like more time to consider the effect of the amendment. I propose to accept it temporarily, but I wish the honorable senator clearly to understand that if, upon reconsideration, we find that the proviso would work any considerable hardship, I shall move for the recommittal of the clause, with the object of striking it out. I think that some amendment is necessary to provide who shall be the judge as to when proper facilities are afforded.

Senator Givens - The Minister would be the judge, and in such a matter, would take the advice of his responsible officers.

Senator PEARCE - I have not had time to go into the matter thoroughly, but, as I have said, I accept the amendment temporarily, and, if upon reconsideration, it is found that it would involve any considerable hardship, the clause will be recommitted.

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