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Friday, 1 May 1942

Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) .- If Senator Gibson confines himself to the present amendment I shall support him, because it is a direction point as to the Minister who shall control broadcasting, as the law stands at present;but if he reverted to his original amendment, he would be doing nothing more than the law now requires. Senator McBride's point is met by the provisions of the Acts Interpretation Act, section 19a of which states -

Where in any Act, whether passed before or after the commencement of this section, it is provided that the Act should be administered by a specified Minister of State of the Commonwealth, or should be administered, controlled or carried into effect by a specified Department of State of the Commonwealth, or where there is no longer a Minister or Department of the designation specified in the Act -

(a)   the reference to that Minister should be read as a reference to any Minister to whom the administration of the Act is allotted by the order of the Governor-General, and should be deemed to include any Minister or member of the Executive Council for the time being acting for and on behalf of the Minister to whom the administration of the Act is so allotted. . . .

It is for the Executive to say who shall administer the broadcasting act, but, as matters stand at present, I hold that that administration should now be with the Postmaster-General, and nobody else, because his department is the suitable authority to control and operate the broadcasting system.

SenatorFRASER (Western Australia - Minister for External Territories) [12.24]. - The amendment by Senator Gibson is intended to clarify the position, and, in my opinion, his original proposal is far preferable to the amendment in the altered form. The committee would be well advised to accept the first amendment.

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