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Wednesday, 27 November 1935

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [3.53]. - Even if an amendment such as that suggested by Senator Leckie were inserted it could only be in the form of a direction, and I suggest that there is already in the bill provision that meets his objections. Paragraph g of sub-clause 2 provides for the appointment of-

Four members to represent publicly-owned abattoirs and freezing works which deal with meat for export from Australia.

That surely is a direction to a State government and also to the Federal Government that the persons to be appointed under sub-clause 10 as it will be amended shall, in fact, be such persons.

Senator Abbott - Sub-clause 3 strengthens the Minister's argument.

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE - That is so. Sub-clause 3 provides that members of the board shall be appointed by the Governor-General "in accordance with the provisions of this section ". I cannot conceive any form of amendment which would give a more definite direction concerning appointments to the board under sub-clause 10. We should also bear in mind that we cannot strip a State government of its prerogative. All that we can do in our legislation is to give a direction concerning the kind of men who, in our opinion, should be appointed. If a State government made an appointment not in conformity with the act, it would be flouting the law. I feel sure that if Senator Leckie studies more closely the provisions to which I have directed his attention he will find that what he is contending for is already in the bill.

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