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Thursday, 3 March 1932

Mr LYONS (Wilmot) (Prime Minister and Treasurer) . - I wish it to be clearly understood that the Government does not desire to use anything in this clause to supplement the powers that are included in the measure that will presently be under discussion again. I, therefore, move -

That all the words after the word " documents ", paragraph a., to the end of the paragraph, be omitted.

The powers then conveyed by the paragraph will be sufficient to invest officers of the Commonwealth with authority to obtain returns and the production of documents.

Mr Ward - What documents?

Mr LYONS - The registers associated with certain of our loans are in the hands of the State authorities. If the Commonwealth Government meets the liability of the State by paying its obligation, it should have the right to ascertain precise particulars of the amount involved.

Mr Scullin - The whole of the action will be taken through the High Court.

Mr LYONS - Exactly, and it must be consistent with the act. It would be extraordinary if honorable members sought to deny to the Commonwealth Government the right to recover an amount that it had paid on behalf of a State. My amendment should meet the. contention of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Scullin) that the powers at present contained in paragraph a are vague and too wide.

Amendment agreed to.

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