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Wednesday, 7 July 1915


Senator GUTHRIE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - There must be a central government.


Senator SENIOR - I quite agree with that. It would be necessary to have a central office, and if the Deputy Commissioners were appointed, and Lad an office in each State, deposits could be lodged with them and forwarded on to the Commissioner. Then we have to consider the question whether a person, applying under a life insurance, has to present the credentials of his birth to the Commissioner in Melbourne, or appeal to the Supreme Court. It seems ridiculous that a . man should be haled before the Supreme Court over a question of age. Matters' of this kind should be settled by Deputy Commissioners, and should not be referred to the Commissioner at all.


Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - We are all agreed on that point.


Senator SENIOR - But the point is, how much power shall be delegated to the Deputy Commissioners? I say that everything that appertains to a district should be dealt with locally, and anything affecting the general administration should be settled by the Commissioner. There* will be general and subsidiary powers. General powers should be held by the Commissioner, and in that way uniformity of action may be secured. In a big Bill like this, affecting as it does insurance offices that are dealing in millions of pounds, it is absolutely necessary that there should be a little decentralization. It was for that reason that I called attention to the clause, and for that reason I would like to hear if the Minister is prepared to accept the suggestion that has been made, and bring down a properly drafted amendment to meet the case.







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