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Friday, 23 October 1914

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) .- The Vice-President of the Executive Council has objected to the amendment because, in his opinion, it is the beginning of a series of amendments of which I have given notice, in which it is proposed to substitute " Registrar " for the words " Official Receiver." I wish to say at once that it has no relation whatever to those amendments. When we reach them I should be prepared to take the division on the first as the test of the whole. This amendment, however, does not affect the question of the powers or responsibilities of either the Official Receiver or the Registrar. It is only a question of filing and keeping a record. I do not wish the division on this amendment to be regarded as a test in respect of the others to which I have referred. It does not propose to give the Registrar any power which he does not at present exercise, nor does it take any away from the Official Receiver. The question at issue is simply one as to the keeping of an enduring record. It may be that the Government, as the Minister says, intend to do this or that; but the Bill does not express that intention, and I hold that it should not rest with the Government of the day. It should be our pur- pose to express in the Bill itself the intention of the Parliament irrespective of any change of Government that may take place. I ask that this amendment be treated as being entirely apart from the series of amendments to which the Vice-President of the Executive Council has referred. Let us dismiss from our minds altogether the question of individuals, and consider whether the Commonwealth should or should not have a permanent record of every bankruptcy in a fixed definite spot irrespective of the death of the Registrar, change of position, or anything of the kind.

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