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Friday, 23 October 1914

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I move-

That this Bill be now read a second time.

This is another of the measures that it has been my good fortune to bring forward in this Chamber. It also is a non-party measure that might just as well have been introduced by honorable senators opposite, whose treatment of me has been so generous that I sometimes feel the prick "of conscience as to whether, had the positions been reversed, I should have treated them in the same generous manner. The Bill deals with offences against the Commonwealth, and although, except in a few cases, it Creates no new offences, it gives the Commonwealth some controlling power which it now lacks. Although lack of power is at all times undesirable, it is particularly right that in matters of this kind the Commonwealth should be able to protect itself, for instance, against Customs frauds, and frauds in relation to the maternity allowance, and other Commonwealth matters of that kind which now have to be dealt with in the State Courts. There is in the latter portion of the Bill a matter - which makes its passage urgent and important. I refer to the provisions dealing with spies, and the supplying of information to a people with whom we are at war. This part of the Bill furnishes the only claim we have for asking for reasonably urgent treatment in regard to it. The Bill was dealt with in another place, and ran the gauntlet there. I ask honorable senators to treat it as the last Bill was dealt with, so that we may have the third reading on Wednesday next.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir AlbertGould. - Will the Vice-President of the Executive Council consent to an adjournment of the debate)

Senator GARDINER - Yes.

Debate (on motion by Senator Lt.Colonel Sir Albert Gould), adjourned.

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