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Thursday, 20 November 1941

Mr HARRISON (Wentworth) . - The Opposition will agree to the validation of these duties, because it realizes that the Government is not in a position at the present time to stage a full-dress debate on. the various items. In fact, the former Government had decided to bring forward, for a full debate, all of the tariff schedules that had been introduced during its tenure of office. Whilst we shall agree to the validation of these schedules, we do not wish the Government to make a practice of bringing down validation bills from time to time without giving to the House an opportunity to discuss the various duties affected by them, as was done over a long period during the regime of the Scullin Government, when the present Deputy Prime Minister (Mr. Fordo) was Minister for Trade and Customs. The principle of validation is wrong because it permits duties to be imposed prior to the discussion by Parliament of the items affected. The undue application of this procedure might affect industry disastrously. This was recognizedby the Lyons Government when it first proposed the adoption of the validation method, for it accepted an amendment amoved by the late honorable member for Swan (Mr. Gregory) to limit validation to a period of six months. Whilst the Opposition is not opposing this bill, and will not oppose the other validation bills which, we understand, are to be submitted to us presently, we trust that the Government will afford the House an early opportunity to discuss the various tariff schedules which have been tabled.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted.

Bill- by leave - read a third time.

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