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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr CONROY (Werriwa) - I think that the clause should be struck out. The Registrar is really being placed in the position of a public censor. We know that when Herbert Spencer published the chapter ira his work The Study of Sociology, relating to educational bias, he aroused the resentment of the clergy, because they regarded his writing as highly blasphemous. In the same way, many of the English clergy held that Darwin's Origin of Species was blasphemous. If we had a Registrar imbued with the same HighChurch notions as these clergymen, he would probably refuse to register either of - the works mentioned.

Mr Crouch - The Courts would have the final decision. " Blasphemy " is very clearly defined in the case of Bradlaugh and Besant.

Mr CONROY - The Minister has stated that a similar clause w'as brought forward in the British Parliament. But I would point out that it was only brought forward1 in the House of Lords. Personally; I should like to see the clause eliminated.

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