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Wednesday, 2 March 1932


Mr SCULLIN (Yarra) .- The honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley) is, I think, under some misapprehension as to what the Government's proposal really means. The withdrawal of clause -1 will enable the Government to bring down a separate bill embodying the provisions of that clause. When that is introduced, it will be dealt with in the ordinary way. Honorable members may either support it or oppose it as a separate proposition. It is really a separate matter altogether. It is separate in principle, and its object is distinct. If it has merits they can be discussed later. It is proposed that the legislation dealing with the liability for debts shall be permanent. It is entirely distinct from the action which should be taken by the Commonwealth against a defaulting State. The suggestion of the right honorable member for Cowper (Dr. Earle Page) that the bill be divided into two parts was a good one. Clause 4 should not be brought into the dispute which will take place in regard to the enforcement provisions of the bill. The second part of the bill is punitive in its nature, and is aimed against a defaulting State. Clause 4 has nothing whatever to do with defaulting States and the recovery of money. It alters the relationship between the Commonwealth and the bondholders of a State, the intention being to give the bondholders a greater sense of security. For my part I intend to support the deletion of the clause 4, and shall reserve until later my remarks regarding its merits.

Motion agreed to.

Clause postponed.

Clauses 2 and 3 postponed.

Clause 4 negatived.

Progress reported.







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