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Tuesday, 6 April 1965

Senator WRIGHT (Tasmania) .- The statement by the Minister for Defence (Senator Paltridge) may be clear to his satisfaction, and if the term " a law of the Commonwealth " as used in the Bill does not include the Constitution I am quite content to leave it, having alerted those responsible for its validity to the question that I posed. Having given full force and virtue to the Minister's statement that the Bill does not purport to continue the President in office I simply want to express my amazement that the Parliamentary Draftsman has used language to the effect that it is for the purposes of a law of the Commonwealth. How simple it would be to couch this purpose of the statute in language which would say that if the President ceases to hold his office of President or ceases to hold his seat, he shall nevertheless continue to be capable of discharging all the functions and authorities conferred upon him by any law of the Commonwealth from the time of his cessation of office until the appointment of his successor. That would have been much simpler than providing that the President shall be continued in office for the purpose of a law of the Commonwealth.

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