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Friday, 11 November 1921

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - Under the proposed new subclause the Board is given the power which under sub-clause 1 is left to a Royal Commission. The Bill should at least do some justice to the intelligence of our draftsmanship.

Senator Russell - A Royal Commission has not the power to dismiss. Very extensive powers are necessary in some of these cases. I have known a Royal Commission to sit for twenty days taking evidence as to nationality.

Senator LYNCH - Under the proposed new sub-clause the Board will not report to the Governor-General until it has made an inquiry, and in sub-clause 1 the inquiry is placed in the hands of a Royal Commission.

Senator Russell - A Royal Commission may do more. In some of those cases the inquiries might be followed by criminal prosecutions.

Senator LYNCH - The Minister proposes in sub-clause 1a to give to the Board the power which in sub-clause 1 is given to a Royal Commission, and I want to know why the Board should not have the power to deal with all these cases. I have directed attention to what appears to me to be the folly of appointing probably an expensive Royal Commission to do work which the Minister now admits the Board is competent to do.

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