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Thursday, 3 July 1941

Senator AYLETT (Tasmania) .- I shall support the motion because it gives practical effect to a proposal that f. have so often advanced in this chamber. Time and again I have complained that many members of all parties in both Houses of the Parliament are given little or no opportunity to assist the Government. When a dispute arises in an industry which affects every section of the community Ministers have not sufficient time to attend to all the details that must be given consideration. In these circumstances it would he far better if the matter were referred to a committee composed of members of both Houses for inquiry and report. When the people complain that an industry, whether primary or secondary, is not functioning in the best interests of the the country, a committee should be appointed to investigate the allegation. It would be far better for a committee of members of Parliament to inquire into it than to have the investigation conducted by some official who obtained his appointment merely because he wore the old school tie. I am rather surprised at the attitude taken by Senator James McLachlan in regard to the appointment of joint committees. I speak for all honorablesenators on this side of the chamber when I say that, as members of these committees, we will do our job to the best of our ability, and that we shall base our decisions on the evidence we have heard, regardless of whether they are popular or unpopular, or whether they favour or oppose Government policy. I assure the honorable senator that we shall not be tempted into a spirit of acquiescence by what he has referred to as the. " lolly box ". I am sorry that the honorable senator is so deluded in his advanced years as to suggest that any member of this chamber would do otherwise.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 6.5 to10.30 p.m.

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