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Wednesday, 27 November 1935

Senator LECKIE (Victoria) .- I fail to see any justification for the amendment moved by the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) and I shall vote against it. I was particularly gratified to hear Senator DuncanHughes explain the general effect of the words " without just cause ". But I ask the Minister to explain in detail the significance of those words. For example, will a statement made under the seal of the confessional be deemed to be just cause for refusing to answer a question? Or would a person be entitled to say, "I shall not answer this question, because it might incriminate me " ?

Senator Brennan - Yos.

Senator LECKIE - If the Minister would indicate what would, be a " just cause" he might remove the doubts in the minds of the Opposition. There is room for some definition. A magistrate in Western Australia might interpret the words differently from a magistrate in Queensland, and in turn both might disagree with the interpretation of a magistrate in the Federal Capital Territory. The Minister presupposes that just causes will exist for persons refusing to answer questions. Will the Assistant Minister explain the meaning of the words " just cause " ?

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