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Thursday, 2 September 1920

Mr McWILLIAMS (Franklin) . - I do not like the proposed new clause, because it seeks to place in the hands of a Judge a power which should rest with the Parliament. However, I take the opportunity to ask the Government if it does not think the time has arrived when the War Precautions Act should cease, and when we should get back to orderly methods of government. While the war was on, honorable members did not question that the powers contained under the Act and its regulations were necessary. But. simply because peace has not been declared with Turkey, or with some other of the belligerents- which factor does not really affect the life of the country at all - it is absolutely wrong for the Government to persist in prolonging the life of the Act. The House should deliberately determine at an early opportunity that the whole of the War Precautions Act should be swept away. I cannot support the amendment; but I should like the Government to consider whether the time has not arrived for Australia to return to the pure constitutional government which we were elected to carry out.

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