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Wednesday, 25 August 1937

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) . -I acknowledge the consideration shown by the Government in not rushing this measure through at the end of last session as it might have done. I appreciate the courtesy shown to the Senate, and Iam pleased now to have an opportunity to express my views concerning this bill. I should prefer a. little more time for its consideration, but I do not think that any very useful purpose would be served by delaying its passage on that account, because it is not necessary to discuss minutely all the provisions. Listening to the speech of the Minister (Senator Brennan), one would not, I think, realize that the bill contains simply one test issue. In its present form, apart from one section and one portion of another section, it has been approved by the Senate. Honorable gentlemen will, no doubt, recall what has happened in connexion with this measure. When it was discussed last year in committee in this chamber, I succeeded in having inserted an amendment relating to the certifying of regulations and ordinances by an authorized legal officer. That amendment was struck out in the House of Representatives, and the bill, as amended was returned to the Senate, which insisted on its own amendment. Accordingly, the bill was sent back to the House of Representatives and there was laid aside. The action of the Government seemed to me to be inconsistent, and I said so at the time. I failed, to see why a clause which, relatively was innocuous, should be regarded as so important as to justify the dropping of the bill. I realized, of course, that there was behind this action of the Government a wider issue which it is my intention to put before the Senate as clearly as possible this afternoon.It relates to the trial of strength which, we are all aware, has been continuing for a long time between a. majority of members of the Senate and the Executive power.

Senator Grant - The Government is trying to do everything by regulation.

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