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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr THEODORE (Dalley) (Treasurer) . - It is impossible for me to pretend to answer the legal point that has been raised by the honorable member, but I wish to assure the committee that it was very carefully considered by the National Debt Commission.

Mr Coleman - And by the Chief Justice himself.

Mr THEODORE - The Chief Justice, as a member of the commission, was particularly concerned to see that the commission was clothed with sufficient statutory authority to enable £2,000,000 to be allocated from the sinking fund to be administered for the relief of cases of hardship by enabling the sufferers to get. the full face value of their bonds.

Mr Crouch - Has the Chief Justiceaccepted this clause?

Mr THEODORE - No; but the Chief Justice was particularly concerned about the point which I have mentioned, and the National Debt Commission carried a resolution authorizing the use of £2,000,000 for this express purpose. As Treasurer, I discussed this matter with the National Debt Commission, which realized that the position would be met by inserting an amendment in the bill giving the commission the necessary authority. This amendment was drafted by the Solicitor-General, who is also a member of the commission. It was carefully considered by him, and discussed fully with his law officers. He has assured me that it does everything that is necessary. I must be satisfied with that advice.

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