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Tuesday, 9 April 1946

Mr SPEAKER - Order ! The honorable member must not refer to anything that happened in committee.

Mr McEWEN - Nevertheless, I pay that tribute to the Attorney-General.

Either the amendments were not necessary, in which event they are purposeless; or, if necessary, they are quite inadequate. A very grave step is 'being taken in the submission of a proposal to amend the Constitution along lines which are unsound -and are recognized in the moment of their being passed in the Par- liament as being certain of being challenged.

Sir EARLEPAGE (Cowper) {2.81 :i ..iti. J . - 1 desire to make my position quite clear. I am prepared to assist the passage of this measure through the Parliament to-night, because I believe at the people should be privileged to either accept or reject i,t. But I cannot permit that to be done without expressing deep dismay at the fact that this proposal, which should be placed beyond any element of doubt, has not been considered at very much greater length, in order to ensure the inclusion in it of a proper definition of "primary products". It is obvious that the Attorney-General is quite dissatisfied with the position in which he finds himself. In such circumstances, with what confidence can we urge those people who, for the last 25 years, have been attempting to secure an alteration of the Constitution which would enable them to handle their marketing problems without the restraint imposed by section 92 of the Constitution to accept what we cannot regard as a proposal that will make adequate provision for them in the future?

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