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Thursday, 26 March 1942


Senator McLEAY (South Australia) (Leader of the Opposition) . - by leave - In view of the statement made by the Leader of the Senate (Senator Collings) on the 6th March last in connexion with the powers of the Senate to disallow regulations, I propose to read a few observations made by the Minister, and recorded in Hansard at page 235. He said -

It is not necessary to table a regulation at all. Honorable senators can move for its disallowance without the regulation being tabled. This is due to a High Court judgment, which is as follows: -

Held,by Rich, Starke and Dixon JJ. ( Gavan DuffyC.J. and Evatt J. dissenting ) , that it was not a condition essential to the validity or operation of a resolution of disallowance that the regulations should firstbe laid before the House and notice of such resolution given.

I pass that information on to honorable senators opposite. Honorable senators can move for the disallowance of a regulation so long as they do so within fourteen days of the assembling of Parliament.

I bring this matter forward in order to place on record that in my opinion both of the decisions given by the Leader of the Senate (Senator Collings) are wrong. Inowproposetoquotetherelevantsections of the Acts Interpretation Act.


Senator Collings - Does the honorable senator think that the regulations must be laid on the table?


Senator McLEAY - I shall quote the relevant sections of the act in order that in future it may not truthfully be said that I, as Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, approved the decisions given by the Leader of the Senate. I have no desire to embarrass the honorable gentleman, but I wish my attitude to be clear should the matter arise in the future. The Acts Interpretation Act was amended in . 1937 after the High Court had given a decision. Section 48 (1) (c) of that act reads -

Where an act confers power to make regulations then unless the contrary intention appears,all regulations made accordingly.

(c)   shall be laid before each House of the Parliament within fifteen sitting days of that House after the making of the regulations.

Sub-sections 3 and 4 of section 48 read as follows : - (3)If any regulations are not laid before each House of the Parliament in accordance with the provisions of sub-section (1) of this section, they shall be void and of no effect.

(4)   If either House of the Parliament passes a resolution (of which notice has been given at any time within fifteen sitting days after any regulations have been laid before that House) disallowing any of those regulations, the regulation so disallowed shall thereupon cease to have effect.

It willbe seen that the Leader of the Senate mentioned " within fourteen days of the assembling of Parliament" whereas the legislation provides " within fifteen sitting days after any regulations have been laid before that House ". I hope that in future there will be no misunderstanding as to my attitude in this matter.







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