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Wednesday, 25 March 1942

Senator SAMPSON (Tasmania) . - I have no desire to prolong this debate and I should not have taken part in it had it not been for a telegram which I received to-night. I consider that these regulations are necessary. It was evident when the war started that eventually it would be necessary to introduce some control of this kind. It seems, however - I have had the opinion of a lawyer on this matter - that leases are not contracts for the purpose of these regulations. In my view leases are, in effect, contracts because they are entered into by two or more parties, and they impose conditions which must be adhered to by all signatories. I should like to obtain some information from the Government in regard to this matter.

Senator Collings - These regulations cover leases.

Senator SAMPSON - I am glad to hear that. However, if the Leader of the Senate (Senator Collings) will be kind enough to listen to a document which I shall quote, he will understand why I am taking part in this debate. It is a telegram from a club of which I am u member and which, of course, has a licence to sell liquor. It reads -

Have wired Dedman Minister War Organization as follows quote National Security Contracts Adjustment Regulations stop Judge Richardson in case of Boston shoes and Gai,din County Court Melbourne this morning ruled that these regulations do not apply to lenses in so far ns covenants in leases were not contracts or agreements and refused relief stop Refer your statement Melbourne Herald 83rd March that regulations covered rent stop Urgent amendment imperative end quote Club has pending application for relief from leases of Doncaster course including rent and very onerous covenants for maintenance of course and club house stop Effect of judges decision in case quoted above is that clubs leases are not covered by regulations also hotel leases not covered stop. This quite contrary to above statement of Minister stop Please urge immediate amendment regulations to include leases.

Like many other organizations and, of course, private individuals, clubs have found themselves in financial difficulties owing to the necessity of members having to conserve petrol. Their attendances have fallen off considerably with a resultant drop in revenue. They have entered into leases which are still in force, and in some cases, the position is desperate. That is why I raise the question of whether or not leases are included in the scope of these regulations. I cannot see any reason why a lease should not be regarded as a contract. I repeat that regulations of this kind are absolutely necessary in time of war, and I should not like to see them disallowed, but like .Senator Spicer, I wish to indicate directions in which they could be amended. That is the only reason why I am participating in this discussion.

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