Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Thursday, 29 April 1965

The CHAIRMAN -(Senator DrakeBrockman).- Order! I ask the Minister to direct his remarks to the Chair.

Senator HENTY - Yes, Mr. Chairman. I ask whether honorable senators on this side of the House who are members of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee have ever been dictated to as to how they should vote. Have they ever been told what they should do by people on our side of Parliament? The answer is: " No ". I ask Senator Wood, who is Chairman of the Committee, whether he has ever been directed by the Government parties as to how he should vote on a regulation. I would like to hear him say so if he has. He has a free choice. He knows that he has a free choice and he has exercised it over and over again. He does not go into our party room and come out and say: " I am sorry, but the party has told me how I am to vote."

Senator Willesee - Neither does anybody else.

Senator HENTY - Yes. They do.

Senator Willesee - You are a liar.

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I ask the honorable member to withdraw that remark.

Senator Willesee - Yes. I withdraw it, certainly.

Senator HENTY - I should think that the honorable senator would. He gets a little heated at times. The amendment is of vital significance. Under its terms classes of lenders are approved by regulations. But a lender may wish to know within a fortnight whether he has been granted approval and because of the regulatory process, if lenders are to be approved by regulations, this would not be possible. It is not good enough that regulations can be disallowed in this House on a party vote.

Senator Cavanagh - What is wrong with it?

Senator HENTY - Senator Cavanagh asks what is wrong with it. The Regulations and Ordinances Committee was set up as a bi-partisan committee. If some members of the Committee are directed how to vote by caucus, it destroys the value of the Committee. It is time that something was done about it in this House, because we have seen it happen over and over again.

Sitting suspended from 12.45 to 2.15 p.m.

Senator HENTY - Mr. Chairman, before lunch I was advised by honorable senators on both sides of the chamber to have another look at the proposition I had advanced that, if a class of lender was approved under a regulation that was subsequently disallowed, then a loan made by a lender in that class would not be valid. I have taken advantage of the opportunity to look at the matter and I find that there is still some uncertainty about it but that there is a leaning towards the view that approval for a loan given by the Corporation would still be valid and may still continue to operate after the regulation had been disallowed. I thought I should make that further advice available to honorable senators. The advice I was given earlier was given somewhat off the cuff by the Secretary of the Department.

Senator Willesee - We did try to advise the Minister.

Senator HENTY - Yes. I said that honorable senators on both sides of the chamber had advised me to have another look at the matter. The draftsman says that, if there is a preponderance of view, it would be on the side of the Corporation's approval being valid.

There is another aspect of the matter that I should like honorable senators to consider. One of the duties of a lender is to service a loan for the period of that- loan. The period may be 20 years. The lender might wish to foreclose on the loan. If so, he has a duty to go to the Minister and to discuss the matter with him. But it would be very difficult for that lender to service the loan adequately if, after approval of the loan had been given by the Corporation, the regulation covering the class to which he belonged was disallowed. I advance that point of view for the consideration of honorable senators and leave the matter to them to decide.

Suggest corrections