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Wednesday, 12 May 1965

Senator CORMACK (Victoria) .- I will not allow myself to be forced at this committee stage into a situation that has been induced by either Senator Wright or Senator Murphy. I take the point in the first place that this is one of the tedious positions in which the Parliament finds itself from time to time, when it is dredging through '.he committee stage of a Bill that relates to clauses of one sort or another. When we get to the committee stage, I think, heat can be engendered even more emphatically than it can be engendered at the second reading stage. There is some heat coming into this committee stage which is not warranted.

Two separate problems are involved. Senator Wright has made a plea, which he is justified in making, to see whether a precedent that goes back over 50 years covers circumstances which existed in 1915 and which can be rewarded in 1965. Senator Murphy has supported him in this. When I rose first at the committee stage I took the point of view that we march on from 1 965. The problem relates to awards and decorations which are pertinent and proper to the armed forces. Bravery and honour must be adorned with recognition, and the fount of all honour in these matters is the Crown. All that I sought to adduce was that in future there will be an acknowledgment that, deriving from the Statute of Westminster in 1927, and moving on from 1965, there is a new channel of communication by which advice is tendered to the Crown. It is not incumbent on the Crown to accept this advice, but at least a channel should be open and there should be an acknowledgment that in the future awards may be made by a process that existed prior to the circumstances that we are discussing at the present moment.

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