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Thursday, 12 October 1911

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - This measure is as full of trouble as a porcupine is full of quills and bristles. The Minister has taken very kindly a suggestion about " valuable consideration." But I would point out to him that that term does not always mean money, or the equivalent of money.

Senator Rae - It may mean a kiss.

Senator ST LEDGER - The honorable senator is not far off the mark. In law, marriage, for instance, is a valuable consideration, and so, too, is the relation between parents and children. I do not know if the Minister quite appreciates the effect of the phrase " valuable consideration." The average layman may think that it means money only, but it does not. I feel sure that if the Committee were composed of the best lawyers in the Commonwealth not one of them could say right off whether the Bill could be made retrospective. The use of the term "valuable consideration " will not get over the difficulty. Proposed new clause 7 deals with the sale of medals, but one can make a disposition by will a valuable consideration where not a penny is concerned. If the clause is passed in its present form we may have a war on this matter between the Commonwealth and the States, and possibly the United Kingdom. I do not think that any deliberative assembly has ever before been treated to such a hotch-potch as this measure is.

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