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Friday, 23 October 1914

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (Vice-President of lite Executive Council) .- I am sorry, but I cannot agree with honorable senators who seem to desire that an officer of more importance and of higher position than is necessary should be appointed to do certain work. The Bill was drafted by the law officers of the Crown, but yesterday, when we were considering the framing of regulations, these honorable senators insisted that the work should be done by the Justices of the High Court. The arguments now being put forward are almost identical with those that we heard yesterday. It is intended to make use of the permanent officers of the Court to a greater extent than they have hitherto been made use of.

Senator Senior - Is not the Registrar a permanent officer?

Senator GARDINER - Yes, and his duties will be properly defined. The Receiving Officer will act under him, and, where necessary, a file of records will be kept and will be in the possession of the Department.

Senator Senior - The clause does not say that documents will be preserved.

Senator GARDINER - I recognise the difficulty of getting away from a beaten track, and the desire, particularly in New South Wales, to preserve to the Registrar the extraordinary powers that he exercises there. I hope, however, that honorable senators will allow the clause to remain as it stands.

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