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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- I do not wish to comment on the proposed amendment, but I seek a re-assurance from the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick). I have some concern about the effective working of marriage guidance councils where you have what I may describe as a lot of well-meaning busybodies who have the idea that they would like to be marriage guidance counsellors. They have no qualifications for this work, and not necessarily any worldly experience. They are just well-meaning persons.

Now I want to ask the Attorney-General: Is he completely satisfied that adequate protection will be given within these provisions? My argument moves from an assumption, and it may demonstrate to the honorable gentleman what I have in mind. Let us assume that the bill goes through and that a collection of people come together and form themselves into a marriage guidance council, that they comply with all the provisions of this measure, and that it is then brought to the Attorney-General's notice that the members of this body command no qualifications whatsoever. Is the honorable gentleman at liberty, at that point of time, to say, " Firstly, you do not fulfil the requirements of a marriage guidance council and you will not be entitled to any government support; and secondly, I, as Attorney-General, am at liberty, or the Government or the Parliament is at liberty, to direct public attention to the sort of work you are doing and to the possible danger "? I have put my proposition in the form of a question. I hope, Mr. Chairman, that the Attorney-General will understand the concern that I have on this point.

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