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Wednesday, 31 July 1946

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Leader of the Opposition.) . -At present, the Parliamentary Papers Act. of 1908-1935. accords privilege to documents which are ordered to be printed by the House. This bill proposes to extend the privilege to documents which are published under the authority of a committee of the House. The vital provision is that -

It shall be lawful for a committee to authorize the publication of any document laid before it or of any evidence given before it.

Where that is done, the same privilege will attach to that document and to the persons who publish it as already attaches to regular parliamentary papers ordered to be printed by the House. I cansee no objection to this bill. In my opinion, it is a very proper extension of the privilege, because a great deal of work is necessarily done by committees, and it would be a. misfortune if there should be some lack of privilege attaching to documents which are published by their authority. Therefore, the Opposition supports the bill.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time, and reported from committee without amendment or debate; report adopted.

Bill - by leave - read a third time.

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