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Tuesday, 30 July 1946

Mr DEDMAN (Corio) (Minister for Post-war Reconstruction and Minister in charge of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) . - by leave - In order to facilitate the progress of the debate, I inform the House of an amendment which the Government proposes to move at the appropriate time. Part IV. which deals with the control of coal mines, was included at a late stage in the preparation of the bill in order to meet representations from New South Wales to the effect that some specific provisions along the lines of Part IV. of the Coal Production (War-time) Act were necessary. . Subsequent examination has revealed serious constitutional difficulties in the part as it stands, and has made it clear that the necessary action can be taken under the more general provisions of Part III. of the bill. Discussions with New South Wales on this matter were in progress when the bill was introduced into the Parliament and were only concluded yesterday, but it was thought desirable not to delay the consideration of the measure. It has now been agreed that Part IV. is unnecessary and, in view of the constitutional issues raised by it, that it should be deleted. Honorable members will, I am sure, realize that the preparation of a major piece of legislation jointly by two governments is a task not without difficulty.

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