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Tuesday, 14 May 1957

Sir WILFRED KENT HUGHES (Chisholm) . - Clause 24 seeks to insert in the principal act a new section to follow section 52 which relates to persons who may be required to answer questions. The clause reads -

After section fifty-two of the Principal Act the following section is inserted: - " 52a. - (1.) The Secretary may, by notice in writing served on a person whose liability to render service has been deferred under section thirty-one of this Act, require the person, by writing under his hand, to notify the Registrar specified in the notice of the occurrence of an event specified in the notice, being an event which relates to the liability of the person to render service under this Act, and that person shall, within fourteen days after the occurrence of the event specified in the notice, notify the Registrar accordingly."

When there was something approaching universal service under the act, I suppose there may have been some justification for this provision although I do not know why it was necessary to force persons who were registered under the act to give information about other persons who apparently had not registered. I believe that this provision could have been met much better through the local police or somebody of that sort.

Under this measure, however, provision is made for deferred service. In the terms of the amendment, persons will be required to register for service, but they will have no other liability. Their service will be deferred. Nevertheless, as a result of registering, they will continue to have this liability to give evidence when required against other persons who apparently have not registered. In those circumstances, this clause becomes indefensible, and I ask the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Harold Holt) to examine it again from that point of view.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 25 and 26 agreed to.

Clause 27 (Postage of forms, &c).

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