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Thursday, 8 December 1960

Mr WHITLAM (Werriwa) .- The Opposition opposes this clause, which makes the remuneration of the High Court justices retrospective to 1st October last. This is an unusual feature in Commonwealth legislation. No reason has been given for itsbeing inserted in this particular bill. The bill was introduced at 2.30 yesterday morning. It was introduced without any announcement in this Parliament, and no reference has been made to any announcement concerning the legislation outside the Parliament. There is no reason for making this legislation retrospective. Legislation as to salaries has been made retrospective in the past only after it has been recommended as a result of an inquiry that salaries at a higher rate shall be payable from a certain date, or after a governmental announcement, usually in the Budget, that certain changes would be made from a given date. The Opposition would not oppose this clause if this bill were to come into operation in the normal way - that is, from the date on which it receives the Royal assent. There is no reason for making this measure retrospective, and the Opposition accordingly opposes this clause.

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