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Thursday, 17 September 1936

Senator ABBOTT (New South Wales) . - Although I propose to reserve most of what I have to say on this measure until the committee stage is reached, I feel that some comment should be made upon the views expressed by some honorable senators concerning the functions of Parliament, the courts and the members of the legal fraternity. Some have spoken with a misconception of the system under which we live and by which we are governed. Parliament passes acts in which certain principles are laid down, including the giving of authority to the Executive to promulgate regulations. The only authority which Parliament gives to the Executive in matters of this kind is to frame regulations consistent with the act under which they are framed. The statement that by the construction placed on the words of . the statute" attempts are made to ignore the intentions of Parliament. I should not be surprised if, in the case which the Leader of the Senate mentioned, the regulation was ultra vires the statute under which it. purported to be framed. There is too much loose talk about courts and lawyers. It is ridiculous to suggest that they set themselves out deliberately to defeat the intentions of Parliament. To make such a suggestion is simply to juggle with words. It is the duty of those who frame regulations to see that they are not inconsistent with the act. Regulations are disallowed only when they fail to give effect to the law. When Senator Duncan-Hughes was speaking, I understood the Assistant Minister to interject that the honorable senator wished to override the Statute of Limitations.

Senator BRENNAN - I merely asked if the .Statute of Limitations would apply.

Senator ABBOTT - Provision is made to protect those who, .for various reasons, are prevented from coming under that act. I do not think that there is any likelihood of hardship being inflicted upon any one. The rights of the individual are protected in many ways, particularly those who are overseas, or are, foi- other reasons, prevented from asserting their rights.

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