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Friday, 11 March 1932

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . - This amendment, like that relating to the proclamation, gives to the Government discretionary power. I again assert that whatever amounts are to be obtained should be declared and sanctioned by Parliament.

Mr BRUCE (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - This provision is in no way similar to that relating to the proclamation.

Mr BEASLEY - The Assistant Treasurer (Mr. Bruce) has at his disposal a staff of draftsmen to prepare amendments and supply to him full information as to their effect. When that information is not given to the committee, we are justified in believing that the Government is trying to force the amendments through without letting honorable members know their meaning and effect. I want the fullest record of such explanations, so that later, when the validity of this legislation is tested, we shall be able to expose to the world the worth of the opinion of that great constitutional lawyer who is assisting the Government. If the Assistant Minister is just throwing to us half -explanations, he cannot blame us if we draw our own conclusions as to his motives. The amendment seems to be in keeping with the general purpose of the bill to make easier the onslaught on the revenues of a State, so that if the Commonwealth is challenged on one point it can retreat to another. I shall vote against the amendment.

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