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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Sir FREDERICK STEWART (Parramatta) . - The contentions of the honorable member for Bourke (Mr. Blackburn) regarding the danger of placing unrestricted arbitrary powers in the hands of the Minister are, to some degree, justified; but if Parliament refuses to vest those powers in him, control of broadcasting could not be adequately exercised. A case occurred recently that points to the necessity for the Minister to possess this power, quite apart from the power which is vested in him under clause 110 to control broadcasting in an emergency. Certain radio stations were owned and controlled by an organization that was held to be subversive, and the government of the day was obliged to terminate their operations. The Government must possess this power, and for that reason I cannot accept the view of the honorable member for Bourke. I shall support the clause in its present form.

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