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Thursday, 18 July 1946

Mr BREEN (Calare) '.- If debates on measures brought before this chamber are reduced, to a farce because of pre-commitments, responsibility for that rests not on the Labour party, which has always advocated additional powers for the National Parliament, but upon its political 'opponents, who have invariably opposed the granting of them. While the state of affairs continues under which the Commonwealth Parliament has not complete domain, and arrangements and agreements have to be made with the States in order to make Commonwealth legislation effective, it is ridiculous for people to criticize the action of the Minister in making such arrangements or agreements with the States before bringing the appropriate measures before the Parliament. If such legislation were placed upon the statute-book without the prior consent of the States, it would become null and void. All that is contemplated in the measure now before us has already been tried out during the war period. That was the great testing time for much of the legislation we are enacting now for peace-time. Some of the legislation must necessarily impinge on the province of the States and but for their co-operation would be unworkable. The Minister . accordingly must ' take into consideration all the factors that may make this scheme' workable, and he would be foolish if he did not take advantage of the lessons learned during the war while the National Security Regulations were in. operation. After all, this bill merely proposes to carry into an era of peace a scheme that has proved workable during the war and will possibly prove 80 per cent, workable under peace-time1 -conditions. If this Parliament had' complete authority to legislate without taking into' consideration the wishes of the States we' would bo in a vastly different position. However.' it is a matter of give and take. If, because of 'our unwillingness to agree to the wishes 'of the .'States, two of the most important wheat-growing States withdrew from the -scheme, the whole plan would become unworkable.

Amendment negatived;

Amendment (by Mr. Archie Cameron) negatived -

That, in sub-clause (2.), paragraph (6) the word " one ", second occurring, be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the word "two".

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