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Tuesday, 6 April 1965

Senator PALTRIDGE (Western Australia) (Minister for Defence) . - I wish to make one more comment to clarify the position further. As I understand Senator Wright, he is suggesting that the Constitution falls within the phrase " a law of the Commonwealth " as used in the Bill. I am advised that, particularly in the context of this Bill, that phrase cannot properly be construed to include the Constitution of the

Commonwealth. However, I would like to point out to honorable senators that even if Senator Wright's proposition were accepted, there could be no question of the Bill overriding the Constitution. Indeed, specific provision is made in section j 5a of the Acts Interpretation Act under which any act purporting to exceed legislative power must be read down so as to be within power.

Bill agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

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