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Thursday, 3 March 1932

Question - That the clause be agreed to - put. The committee divided. (Chairman - Mr. Bell.)

DIVISION:AYES 49 (44 majority) NOES 5 PAIRS 0

Majority . . . . 44




Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 (Assumption of liability by Commonwealth to bondholders).

Mr. BEASLEY(West Sydney [4.40] . - Sub-clause 4 of this clause reads as follows : -

The Commonwealth shall be entitled to recover from a State, by suit in the High Court, any moneys (due andpayable and unpaid by the State by virtue of the Financial Agreements or this act) for which the Commonwealth has become liable by virtue of the Financial Agreements or this act, or which the Commonwealth has paid in pursuance of those agreements or this act.

If these provisions are agreed to, the troubles foretold by the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Holloway) will certainly occur. The honorable members who belong to the party which 1 have the honour to lead, regard this clause as obnoxious to the principles of democracy, and the rights of the States, both financially and otherwise. It is provided in the next clause that regulations may be made " not inconsistent " with the provisions of this measure. 1 realize that the power to make regulations rests with the Executive Council, and, without being disrespectful in any way to those whose duty it is to give legal advice to the Government, I know very well that an Executive Council exercises this power very often to give effect to the aspirations of the political party to which the majority of its members belong. The last Government exercised the power to make regulations to give effect to certain desires which it had. I approved of those desires, and supported its action in framing the regulations which I have in mind. I therefore feel justified in saying that there is every reason to believe that this Government will cause regulations to be framed to suit the interests of the people which it represents. I shall, therefore, vote against the clause

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