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Tuesday, 7 December 1965

The CHAIRMAN - Order! I suggest the honorable member come back to the clause under discussion.

Mr WENTWORTH - All I am saying is that perhaps we should ask the AttorneyGeneral for a reason for not accepting the very reasonable amendment that has been moved. If he cannot give us that reason he should accept the amendment. This is not an amendment which will allow a guilty person to escape. This amendment will not weaken the legislation in any way. The contention of the honorable member for Grayndler that this amendment will weaken the Bill is exactly opposite to the truth. By refusing to include the words that have been suggested there will be a flood of agreements registered which it was never contemplated the Bill would cover at all - agreements which are quite outside the kind which the legislation reprehends. The resulting Hood of agreements will allow guilty agreements to be concealed and passed over. We do not want this position to occur. That is not what the legislation contemplates. Members of the Opposition have tried to conceal that good purpose of the legislation. On the other hand, Government supporters are trying to improve the Bill so that its good purposes can be more effectively carried out.

I repeat that people in any doubt will register their agreements. A person may not know whether an agreement is registrable or not. If there is no gateway for good faith, he will register it. There must be some gateway for good faith. The people about whom I am talking are the little people, because it is in relation to the agreements entered into by little people that the line of demarcation is most shadowy and nebulous. Do not let this become an act to tyrannise hundreds of thousands of small people. This Bill has a good purpose. Do not let that purpose be immured and buried under a flood of needless trouble, which apparently is what the Opposition wants.

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