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Thursday, 24 September 1936

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES (South Australia) . - I was interested to hear from the Minister that in the past hundreds of regulations have not been in conformity with the law. I suspected that that was so. But I cannot agree with the honorable senator's statement that nobody ever realized that no power existed to make regulations except for the future. It has always been quite clear that that was the law, but slackness crept in and the law was infringed. Despite the decision in the Broadcasting case, I doubt very much whether we should ever have had this bill brought before us, but for the actions of the Regulations and Ordinances Committee. This bill not only validates what has been done in the past, but it also seeks to put the Executive in the position of being able, in the future, to issue retrospective regulations if it thinks fit so to do. By refusing to give that power to the Executive the Senate would not debar the Ministry from effecting by legislation what it wishes to do by regulation.

Senator Brennan - And by this bill the Government is not debarring the Senate from disallowing any regulation.

Senator DUNCAN-HUGHES - This bill gives to the Executive additional regulation-making powers of which I do not approve. If it be necessary to take certain action the Government should do it by legislation and not by regulations made by a department.

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