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Thursday, 24 September 1936

Senator ARKINS (New South Wales) . - I am in complete disagreement with the views expressed by Senators Duncan-Hughes and Millen. I think it would be unwise to allow the momentary mood of either chamber to determine at any time the fate of regulations made by ih« Executive, and considered by the; Government to be essential to administration. Senator Millen referred to the difficulty of securing -agreement between both Houses; but I consider that such agreement is essential. I hold certain political opinions, but I have to recognize the will of the people as expressed at a general election, and I, and those who think as I do, should not have the power, through a majority in one branch of the legislature, to set at nought the policy of n Government approved by the electors.

Senator Millen - Then the honorable senator should have gone out of business- long ago.

Senator ARKINS - The Senate has always been regarded as a chamber of review, and should not be converted into a chamber of destruction. If a regulation has been legally made and promulgated it should not be subject to the whims of a majority in one chamber.

Senator Duncan-Hughes - Parliament would not override the law, but the regulations.

Senator ARKINS - -The mere fact that a regulation may be overridden because of the political complexion of one House might lead to abrogation of the law entirely. The essence of the law might be expressed in the regulation, which would therefore be essential to the operation of the law.

Senator ALLAN MACDONALD (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - We do not operate under regulations to that extent.

Senator ARKINS - It is proposed shortly to hold a referendum to clear up a difficulty which has arisen in connexion with the marketing laws, which are largely operated by regulation. I agree with the views of the Minister in charge of the bill. I do not think it desirable that one chamber should have continuous power to destroy the law merely by the disallowance of regulations.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator is fencing with words.

Senator ARKINS - Nevertheless, a regulation is, in essence, legislation, because it gives effect to legislation. The power of regulation-making must not be subjected to the whims of political parties for the moment in power. When a regulation is made affecting a section of the community, the reaction of that section immediately influences the Parliament. If the regulation is inequitable, it can speedily be rectified by the Executive, with or without pressure from the legislature.

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