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Wednesday, 25 March 1942


Mr ANTHONY (Richmond) .- A study of these regulations quickly reveals that they are drafted in the widest possible language. This, of course, must give rise to some uneasiness. The powers, as the Prime Minister has stated, could bc abused by a Minister, or a person delegated by him to use them, if there was any desire to indulge in such abuse. But the emergency in which we find ourselves is such, in my opinion, that we have to weigh whatever chances there may be of any abuse of the powers against the greater dangers that may befall the people if the Government has not the requisite power to do rapidly whatever may need to be done in an emergency. Although some honorable members on this side of the chamber may have desired to move for the disallowance of these regulations, they are ready to accept the assurance of the Prime Minister that there will be a discreet use of the power, that its application will be confined to specific matters, that any oral instructions given under the regulations will be confirmed in writing, and that the administration of the regulations will be confined to the Prime Minister's Department and the Department of Defence Co-ordination. For these reasons I feel it incumbent upon me to support the Government. "We are facing a grave crisis and I say to the Prime Minister that we want strength and decisive action on the part of the Government. Personally, I am more afraid that there will be nervousness on the part of the responsible Minister in the application of these regulations, than that there will be any undue use of them. I sincerely hope that the Government will use these regulations wisely. The Prime Minister has said that they are almost totalitarian in character. What is wrong with the totalitarian method of waging war? It has been- most effective to date. If we are to wage this war with the whole of our resources, we shall have to do some of those things which the totalitarian powers have demonstrated count in the winning of battles and wars. We must organize our total resources with all the means at our command.

These regulations give to the Government authority to do everything that it feels called upon to do in the defence of this country. The only weak point in them is the possibility of their abuse. I accept the assurance of the Prime Minister that he wall safeguard that point. I am confident that if there were any abuse, Parliament would see that it was rectified. We have to take chances. We are taking very grave chances to-day. At the very least, we must trust the Government to do the right thing by this country and its people.







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