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Thursday, 7 November 1935

Senator BRENNAN (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - So long as I believe that the honorable senator is seeking information, I shall continue to give that information, irrespective of the number of times I may have to rise in order to do so. This .provision is a denial of the honorable senator's proposition that the bill has been introduced to make the Crimes Act more drastic. The provision before us is designed to make that act less drastic. Originally, the legislation provided that all articles which have been condemned as forfeited shall be dealt with as directed by the Attorney-General, and pending his direction, may be detained in such custody as the courtdirects. The proposal in this bill is that any direction of the Attorney-General may be given subject to such terms and conditions, if any, as he thinks fit. The Attorney-General might say: "You are in arrears with your payments; but as you have shown that you have been, the victim of circumstances, I shall return the wireless set to you if you undertake to pay the arrears within a certain time." Far from being more punitive than the existing legislation, the new provision is really ameliorative in that it gives the Attorney-'General discretionary power in cases of hardship.

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