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Wednesday, 24 July 1946

Mr HUTCHINSON (Deakin) (12:30 PM) . - The honorable member for Calare (Mr. Breen) has given specious reasons in support of the rejection of the amendment. The Minister (Mr. Scully) has stated that he agreed that the organizations should be consulted and be allowed to select the chairman of the State Advisory Committees. In other words, he gave me to understand that he endorsed the aim of the honorable member for New England (Mr. Abbott) in connexion with the procedure for the election of those committees. If that be so, why not have the matter stated in the bill? I can see no reason why a procedure deemed to be correct should not be stated in black and white in the bill.

Mr Scully - The honorable member for New England trusts me, and accepts my assurance.

Mr HUTCHINSON - The matter is not one of trusting an individual, who is here to-day and passes on to-morrow. The law is what is printed in an act of Parliament, not the idea of any Minister. A Minister may say, " I accept your submission, and will do what you suggest", but that does not appear in black and white in an act and consequently does not become the law of the country. Under the clause as drafted, any Minister of the Crown could appoint any person he chose to an advisory committee. The matter could affect any government, because the law is involved. Consequently, there is the possibility of corruption, and that is something against which every precaution should be taken in an act of Parliament. Therefore, the Minister would be acting fairly by himself, and giving a correct interpretation of the law, if he were to accept the amendment.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 10 to 13 agreed to.

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