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Thursday, 26 August 1920

Mr RYAN (West Sydney) .- I think that the words proposed to be omitted should stand in order to make the motion read as ridiculous as is the action of those responsible for it. I should like to see the House make some record of its disapproval of the continued existance of the War Precautions Act and the regulations thereunder. More particularly am I concerned with the expenditure of money under statutory rule No. 119 of 1920. 'That rule amends the War Precautions Shipping Regulations of 1918, and was laid on the table on the 5th August, 1920. It provides for authorizing the defraying of losses in connexion with the requisitioning of ships from the Consolidated RevenueFund, and it repeals the previous War Precautions Shipping Regulations which specifically prohibited expenditure by the Government out of Consolidated Revenue of money in connexion with losses that might be incurred through the requisitioning of ships on the coast. I should like to know upon what grounds the Government repealed the previous regulation and made the statutory rule which I am now discussing. I desire also an expression of opinion from the House as to whether money should be expended in this way.

It appears to me that the Government are charging to the Consolidated Revenue under the authority of this regulation, which no doubt was required by the Auditor-General, losses which should be properly borne by the shipping companies.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - I rise to order. I submit that the only question the honorable member may debate at this stage is whether the words proposed to be deleted should be deleted. That amendment is specific enough, and until it is disposed of the honorable member may not discuss any other matter.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon J M Chanter - The point of order taken by the Treasurer is that the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Ryan) is not in order in discussing general grievances upon the amendment to the amendment, namely, the omission of the words, "Mr. Speaker do now leave the chair under standing order 241." The honorable member for West Sydney will not be in order in continuing his remarks. The Chair has been very lenient in allowing a somewhat general debate upon the amendment moved by the honorable member for Hume (Mr. Parker Moloney) and the subsequent amendment moved by the honorable member for Dampier (Mr. Gregory), but the general debate under standing order 241 is now over. The words which have been inserted alter the meaning of the motion, and the only question before the House now is whether I do now leave the chair.

Mr Ryan - What is the question upon which the Treasurer has moved his amendment ?

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