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Thursday, 24 September 1936

Senator MILLEN (Tasmania) . - I listened carefully to the speech of the Assistant Minister (Senator Brennan), whohas endeavoured to persuade us that there is no necessity for the amendment because it merely proposes to enact what is, in practice, done under the existing law. If this is a correct interpretation of his remarks, I cannot understand his opposition to the amendment, which is the corollary of paragraph b of proposed new section 46 which the Minister road. The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) appears to think that it was almost an iniquity for Senator Duncan-Hughes to mention that certain facts which he had placed before the Senate were confirmed by the SolicitorGeneral. I feel sure that the honorable gentleman would experience some difficulty in obtaining the backing of a leading public servant for some of the statements which he makes in this ch amber.

Senator Collings - I have not tried.

Senator MILLEN - The work which Senator Duncan-Hughes has done as chairman of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee should have the cordial approval of all honorable senators. We all know that in relation to this bill he has given us the benefit of his research on this committee. It is of no use for the Assistant Minister or any one else to say that the Solicitor-General did not know what he was saying in the communication which was referred to by Senator Duncan-Hughes. If that had come from a junior officer I might have deemed him guilty of an indiscretion, but it came from a senior officer with a high legal training - a man who knows what he is doing.

Senator Brennan.- What is the honorable senator's authority for saying that the Solicitor-General appears in this matter? No name was disclosed in the letter read by Senator Duncan-Hughes.

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