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Thursday, 17 September 1936

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . - On this measure, which is' one of particular interest to members of the legal profession, Senator Duncan-Hughes has delivered a thoughtful speech, but I am afraid: that he regarded it too much from the legal aspect. Like many others, I am of the opinion that there are too many regulations in operation; but we cannot lose sight of the fact that no sooner is an act placed on the statute-book than certain astute gentlemen with a legal training try to find loopholes in it. Senator Duncan-Hughes has argued that it is better to amend our lawsto meet such cases as have been mentioned than to rectify matters by the making of regulations. I ask the honorable senator, as a practical man of the land, what.he would do if one of the wires in a fence erected, by him to protect his stock were broken. Would he pull down the remaining structure and erect an entirely new fence, or would he replace the broken wire?I suggest that regulations are in. the nature of a fence erected' to. protect the rights of the people, and that there are times when it is better to make a new regulation than to amend the statute. Every regulation has to lie on the table of the Senate for a certain number of days, and, therefore, any member of the Parliament who believes that it will adversely affect the interests of any section of the community has the opportunity to take remedial action.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - There are som any "regulations that it is well nigh impossible to read them all within fifteen sitting days of their tabling.

Senator Grant -- Some regulations have not been laid -on the table within fifteen sitting days from the time of their promulgation.

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - In that event, they have not the force of law.

Senator Abbott - That is not so.

Senator JAMESMcLACHLAN.Unless a regulation has been laid on the table within the prescribed period, it has not the . force of law.

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) -Hughes. - What would happen . if the Executive acted in terms of such a regulation?

Senator JAMES McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - In my opinion, nothing could possibly validate its action in such circumstances. Regulations are necessary, and if I can do anything to make the position more secure than it now is,, I am ready to do so. The removal of the power to make regulations, thereby making it necessary to pass fresh legislation to meet every emergency, would cause endless confusion.

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