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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- Of course, I do not subscribe to the doctrine of Cabinet infallibility. The argument that the Attorney-General has advanced to the

Committee is strikingly unconvincing. I put this situation to him: He is a party to proceedings before the tribunal. He is a furniture manufacturer. It has been suggested that he is engaged in an examinable practice. It so happens that a member of the tribunal is also a furniture manufacturer or has an interest in a future manufacturing company. The tribunal hands down a determination which is completely unfavourable to him.

I put it to him that no amount of argument in the world would convince him that that tribunal had acted in accordance with the principles of natural justice. I put it to him that no amount of argument in the world would convince him that that individual, who was a furniture manufacturer or had an interest in a furniture manufacturing business and was sitting on the tribunal, had not acted in a way which was influenced by bias or by abnormal interests. I put it to the Minister that it is completely unreasonable to imagine that he could be so convinced.

I suggest that it is unreal to liken presidential members of the tribunal to judges in this matter. All judges would be heartily conscious of any suspicion that they might have a pecuniary interest in any matter with which they were dealing. Here we are not dealing with a judicial tribunal. We are dealing with a tribunal which, frankly, I find impossible to describe accurately. We are dealing with an administrative tribunal, largely; but it also has some quasi-judicial functions and, to use a new word that has crept into the lexicon, is sub-legislative. I will have something to say about that word before this debate is over. This is an administrative, quasijudicial, sub-legislative body. It is not a judicial body, pure and simple. I put it to the Attorney-General that on no ground whatsoever can the stand of the Government or the Cabinet be defended. I press this amendment. I hope that even at this stage I will find someone who, with me, will be prepared to call for a division, because I certainly want one.

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