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Wednesday, 11 November 1964

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) propose to canvass the provisions of the Bill again. I point out that the amendment put down by Senator Cohen is, apart from its mechanics, identical with an amendment which was moved in another place. The Postmaster-General (Mr. Hulme) would not accept the amendment. On his behalf in this place, I have to inform the Senate that the Government is not prepared to accept the amendment. I think that Senator Hannan was very much to the point when he said that in fact the adoption of the amendment in its present form would add nothing to the Bill. Senator Cohen said: " Of course, we are not going to put an amendment down with particularity." Acts of Parliament do in fact have particularity. That is the very purpose of an act of Parliament. It came as rather a surprise to me to find Senator Cohen moving an amendment to an act of Parliament and saying: " In terms of particularity this does not mean very much, but it is an earnest of an idea." Acts of Parliament may not be amended in that way, as the honorable senator perhaps knows better than most people because of his calling.

For the reasons already indicated the Government is not prepared to accept the amendment. I do not propose to canvass the matter any further even though paragraph (b) of the amendment refers to the Australian content of programmes. Senator Buttfield has foreshadowed an amendment she proposes to move at the Committee stage dealing with the Australian content of programmes. Rather than say what I have to say twice I think it would be appropriate to confine my comments to the occasion when the amendment is dealt with in Committee.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT.- Is the amendment seconded?

Senator McClelland - I second the amendment.

Question put -

That the words proposed to be added (Senator Cohen's amendment) be added.

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