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Wednesday, 18 November 1959

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) . - I move -

In sub-clause (2.), paragraph (b), omit " a substantial ", insert " the major ".

I should like to explain the reason for this amendment. If honorable members will look ahead to clause 11, they will see that it provides that an annual financial statement of the receipts and expenditure of the organization, in which receipts and expenditure in respect of its marriage guidance activities are shown separately from other receipts and expenditure, will be required by the Attorney-General. If honorable members will look further forward to clause 13 they will see that provision is made to treat a branch or section of an organization as itself the organization for the purpose of approval.

My purpose in these clauses was to prevent organizations, which had only a small and insignificant amount of marriage guidance work, requiring me to look at their accounts and oversee too large an area of activity. Having provided by clause 13 that any organization which has a multifarious line of activities shall segregate one of them and say, in effect, " This is our marriage guidance section ", I shall then be able to approve that particular section.

Under clause 11 I shall then receive only the accounts of that section.

As a simple illustration, let me take the Salvation Army, and let me suppose that the Salvation Army has a marriage guidance organization, as I have no doubt it will have. I would not want to approve the whole Salvation Army as an organization and ask it to send me annually a statement of all of its receipts and expenditure. Having regard to clause 13, I want to say, " You may call your marriage guidance section the Salvation Army Marriage Guidance Section if you wish, and I will approve it. I do not want to know anything about your other activities. I will give a subsidy to that particular section and then you will need to bring me only the accounts of that section."

When I looked at the word " substantial " in clause 10(2.) I thought that the word " major " would be more appropriate, because then these organizations could submit for approval the section, the major part of whose activities was devoted to marriage guidance. It need not be the whole part. There has been some misunderstanding about this change of word. Somebody has thought that this was a way by which I was trying to evade the moral obligation that I had created in my second-reading speech. That is not so at all. This was done simply for ease of administration by my department, and ease of administration by the marriage guidance bodies themselves. There will be church organizations which will have some kind of welfare bureau carrying out a number of activities. My desire is that these organizations should simply segregate marriage guidance into a section of which marriage guidance will form the major activity - not all the activity but the major activity. I will approve that section and require accounts and information about only that section. I will not try to pry into the other activities of that church organization.

Dr Evatt - Which may have no relationship to marriage guidance.

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK - That is right.

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