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Thursday, 10 March 1977

Mr HOWARD (BENNELONG, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Business and Consumer Affairs) -The question does call for an expression of legal opinion. I will endeavour, in consultation with the Attorney-General to clarify the present situation and advise the honourable gentleman. I will not attempt to speculate on the present situation. The honourable gentleman raises the question of the introduction of a national companies Bill. I inform him that on Friday I will be meeting in Canberra all State Ministers responsible for corporate affairs and it is my hope that at this meeting I will have a definitive indication from all States regarding the proposals which were announced by the Government last year for a co-operative scheme of uniform administration in this area. I am hopeful that all the States will agree to the essential principles that were outlined in that statement which involve the establishment of an effective national corporations and securities commission and a machinery for greater uniformity. The Government has chosen a legislative route which was less confrontationist than the route chosen by the previous Government and I am hopeful of winning the approval of all the States to those proposals.

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