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Friday, 23 October 1914

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - It is the universal rule of Governments to stick by a Bill. They will have the whole Bill and nothing else. I am aware of that tendency, and allow for it. The Minister, by the arguments that he has advanced, confesses that he is tight in the mud. He is under a difficulty from which he does not know how to escape. Therefore, he can only say that there is a tendency on this side to try to defeat the spirit of the Bill. My contention is that the Registrar is the proper individual to hold and to file certain documents. Instead of these documents being given into the hands of the Registrar, where they would be secure, it is proposed that they shall be given into the hands of a receiver, a person having charge of goods; it is proposed that the documents relating to a bankruptcy shall be given into the charge of a subordinate instead of into the charge of a permanent officer. The Minister says that a temporary officer is to be made a permanent one, and, because he will be permanent, he must take charge of records. That means that files relating to bankruptcies will be kept in various offices, and scattered throughout the Commonwealth. If they were in the charge of superior officers such as Registrars, they would be kept together, and could be found when required. The Minister proposes to get over the difficulty by making an inferior officer a permanent appointment. I wonder that the Minister does not see that what is proposed would improve the Bill.

Senator Barker - Does the honorable senator say that these documents will not be taken care of?

Senator SENIOR - There is no provision for it.

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