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Tuesday, 17 November 1959

Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) .- The original copy of the amendments was dated 7th October. I have another copy here dated 11th October. I presume these copies are different, because one mentions 58 amendments and the other mentions 56. The note on the amendments circulated by the honorable gentleman reads, in regard to the present amendment -

This amendment is proposed because of doubt whether the legislative programme will permit the bill to pass both houses before the end of the year.

Mr Mackinnon - That is out of date.

Sir WILFRID KENT HUGHES - It is not out of date. It is very relevant to the fact that originally it was suggested that there was no violent hurry to get the bill through in view of all the other legislation that had to be passed in the short time before the end of the year. Apparently that position has changed. That only confirms and underlines my earlier suggestion that we would have dealt with the bill in a far better fashion if we had not tried to force it through before the end of the session. We were given to understand originally that in the opinion of the Attorney-General it was not necessary to force the bill through. I direct attention to that, because I have been criticized for having said that it was not necessary to force the bill through and for having directed attention to the fact that there was a " leak " to the newspapers on 14th November to the effect, that if the bill did not go through before the end of the session it would not be seen again. So apparently the new decision was made by Cabinet, because here we have the AttorneyGeneral stating in his notes on the amendments that the reason for this amendment is that it was doubtful whether the bill would go through before the end of the year.

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