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Wednesday, 6 May 1942

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) .- This seems to me to be the worst clause in the bill. It provides for the appointment of a joint parliamentary committee for the dual purpose of interfering with the operations of both the commission and the Minister in the administration of the act.

Senator Fraser - It could make recommendations only.

Senator LECKIE - Yes; but every fi et of the commission could be the subject >f a recommendation by the proposed interference committee. It seems to me that the Joint Committee on Broadcasting was so pleased with its voluminous report that it thought that a similar committee should continue to operate.

Senator Fraser - But it did a good job.

Senator LECKIE - Admittedly ; but it seems undesirable, after the whole system has been investigated, to appoint another committee that would probably interfere continuously with the administration of the act. The proposed committee will be merely a nuisance committee. Should an important problem arise in the future, Parliament can appoint another joint committee to inquire into it. I am opposed to this clause and the following clause; and as it appears that honorable senators generally accept them, I take this opportunity to enter my protest. I do not think that the proposed committee will work well. It will certainly work to the detriment of the commission, and, very often, against the wishes of the Minister. I repeat that its only value will be a nuisance value.

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