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Wednesday, 18 November 1959


Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) (12:58 PM) . - May I just make a short explanation, Mr. Chairman? The honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. Ward), both to-night and last night, read a quotation from my secondreading speech, which he could not possibly misunderstand. May I read the relevant passage at page 1 1 of the circulated printed copy of my speech? It is as follows: -

I have examined the way in which the Western Australian and the New Zealand legislation attempts to deal with such situations. The method in Western Australia is to make the commission' of adultery, and certain criminal conduct towardsthe respondent, an absolute bar to relief. In those instances no discretion is left to the court. It must refuse the decree. Over and above this, there is a general unregulated discretion in thecourt, in any case, to refuse a decree. A similar general discretion is also given by the New Zealand act.

No sufficient judicial development of this, matter has taken place to enable one to say with any satisfactory degree of precision what is the limit of the discretion which these statutes give to the court.

Then follows the passage quoted by the honorable member -

But neither measure seems to me altogether satisfactory.

The honorable member for East Sydney read that sentence last night and again to-night as if the word " neither " referred to the Western Australian provision and to this paragraph. Any one who can read the Queen's English knows that that is not right.







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