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Thursday, 17 September 1936

Senator ARKINS - That is so. The Leader of the Senate also reminded us that not infrequently tlie intention of the legislature was defeated on appeal to the courts, by a merely technical objection to the phraseology employed. All honorable senators will, I think, agree that it is undesirable for this to happen, and also that the revenue should not be penalized to the amount of thousands of pounds by such, a decision. It has been well said that the law is made by lawyers for lawyers, and that out of law much litigation arises.

Senator McLeay - Can the honorable senator explain the effect of clause 12?

Senator ARKINS - No, and I agree with much of what Senator DuncanHughes said this afternoon, but I fear the effect of his proposed amendment. In the main, I am in agreement with the objection voiced by some honorable senators to the tendency of governments, not only in Australia, but also in other countries, to legislate by regulation, and I admit that if this power is not controlled in some way the Executive eventually will dominate the Parliament. I believe, however, that the complexities of modern civilization call for the exercise of a certain amount of authority by the Executive to implement the intention of the legislature.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - Senator McLeay has reminded us this afternoon that 10,000 regulations have been promulgated under existing acts. Does the honorable senator approve of such wide powers being given to the Executive?

Senator ARKINS - I am surprised to know that there are 10,000 regulations under existing laws. I appreciate the strength of Senator Duncan-Hughes' argument, and I approve of his ultimate objective, but I cannot follow him all the way. I doubt that we should achieve anything of real advantage to the Commonwealth by hampering or destroying the power of the Executive to implement certain legislation by regulation.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - I am prepared to leave the power where it is to-day. This bill contemplates an extension of that authority.

Senator ARKINS - I do not agree with the honorable gentleman. However, this is a matter which we can discuss when the bill is in committee. I rose to say that I do not endorse the construction that has been placed by some honorable senators on the remarks of the Leader of the Senate in respect of certain regulations and their effect upon individuals in the community. I also disapprove of the intention of the legislature being defeated on appeal to legal tribunals merely on some technical objection to the wording of the law. I consider also that the revenue should be safeguarded against claims for heavy damages on such grounds.

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