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Thursday, 29 July 1920

Mr JOWETT (Grampians) .- I take this opportunity to make an explanation which I was unable owing to unfortunate circumstances to make last night.

Mr Ryan - Why were you unable to make it last night?

Mr JOWETT - A combination of circumstances prevented me, although 1 have to thank my honorable friend for making every effort possible to allow -me to be heard.

Mr Ryan - When I succeeded, you voted to "gag"" yourself.

Mr JOWETT - Did I? When I endeavoured last night to have inserted in clause 4 a provision that the Institute should consist, not only of a Director, but also of six local councils representative of each State, I was interrupted, although most courteously, by the honorable member for Kooyong (Sir Robert Best), who said that such a proposal was utterly impracticable, because it would conflict with the other provision in the clause that the Institute should be a "body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and capable of suing and being sued." Later on, when the Leader of the Opposition interjected that it was only fair to. say that provision for advisory councils had been included in previous Bills, the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr.' Greene) replied - ".Yes, but the previous Bills did not propose to make the State advisory councils part of the Institute." The Minister added that in that respect my proposal was entirely novel. I do not think the honorable member for Kooyong when he made his interjection was fully informed regarding what he was taking about, and I am satisfied that when the Minister made his interjection he did not know what was in the previous Bills brought in by this Government. Will the Minister affirm that the measure previously introduced by the Government did not propose to make the State Advisory Councils part of the Institute?

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - Part of the body corporate ?

Mr JOWETT - No. The Minister's statement was: " Part of the Institute." I have a distinct recollection of his interjection.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - I had a look at my proofs this morning. I said we did not propose to make the Advisory Councils part of the body corporate.

Mr JOWETT - For the information of the House, I repeat that, according to my proofs and my recollection of the interjection, the Minister said he did not propose to make the State Advisory Councils part of the Institute. Does the Minister now wish to correct his statement ? If so, I shall let the matter drop.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - Certainly not.

Mr JOWETT - It is only right, when I am charged with seeking to introduce a provision which is declared to be impracticable, that honorable members should know what were the provisions of theprevious Bill brought down by his Government. Clause 4 of that Government measure stated -

There shall be a Commonwealth Institute of Science and Industry which shall consist of three Directors, and in each State an Advisory Council of Science and Industry, which shall be a body corporate, with perpetual succession and seal, and capable of suing and of being sued.

That was practically my proposal. I have no desire to pursue the subject further.

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