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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Senator McLEAY (South AustraliaLeader of the Opposition) . - I am not catisfied with the explanation given by the Minister for External Territories (Senator Fraser). _The statement that this provision was approved by the previous Government is incorrect. Certain document? may have been prepared by departmental officers some time ago. The Minister has not given us the date on which they were prepared. He has not convinced me, or any other honorable senator, of the necessity for this clause. Does he admit that this is a new clause? Does he admit that it gives to the Minister power to override the decision of a court of marine inquiry? I move -

That proposed new section 375a be left out.

Senator FRASER(Western Australia - Minister for External Territories) [11.91 - I am not prepared to accept the amendment. This clause does not give the Minister power to override the decision of the court suspending, or cancelling, a local certificate. After an investigation has been made by the competent authority, and a recommendation made to the Minister as to whether a certificate should be restored, or the penalty reduced, the court would ultimately be the authority to give effect to such recom.mendations The Miniver should be guided by V's officer-. Should they recommend that a certificate be restored, or that the penalty be reduced, the Go vernment should have the power to give effect to such recommendations.

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