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Wednesday, 13 May 1942

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) . - I should prefer, if possible, a regulation of this kind to be discussed without reference to the bad blunder made by the Minister for Labour and National Service (Mr. Ward), but the two aspects have become inextricably mixed. On the one side, there is the question whether the regulation is bad, and on the other side there is the question whether there is a bad Minister administering it. One would not think that the Minister would be capable of what is termed in the racing world "ringing in". Supporters of the regulations have camouflaged an employees' representative so as to make that person appear as an employers' representative, and they assert, " This is a genuine horse that has been entered for this race". Any one that Ls guilty of " ringing-in " on the race-course is disqualified for life. In this matter the two aspects should have been taken separately, and, if possible, the Minister responsible for an atrocity such as these regulations should be impeached. I do not see how any reasonablyminded man can say that the regulations constitute a fair administrative act by the Minister, and that they should be condoned by his party and the people of Australia. I am inclined to think that the people do not condone them.

I have not heard one word from the Government explaining why, with a court in existence, the regulations are necessary. Is there any necessity for this new tribunal in war time, for that is the only ground on which action under war-time legislation can be justified 1 No one on the Government side of the chamber has demonstrated any war-time necessity. Any regulation under the National Security Act should deal with a war issue; otherwise, the matter should be dealt with in the ordinary course of legislation.

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