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Wednesday, 27 May 1942

Senator McLEAY (South Australia) (Leader of the Opposition) . - I have examined the Navigation Act 1912- 1935 and it appears that this bill is to amend Part IX. of that act, which deals with courts of marine inquiry. The Minister in charge of the bill (Senator Eraser) stated in his secondreading speech that most of the proposed amendments were of a machinery character, but I draw his attention to clause 9, which has far-reaching effects. This is a new provision which gives to the Minister power to override decisions of courts of marine inquiry. I should like to know why reference to this fact was not made in the second-reading speech of the Minister. 'Can the Minister say whether a similar provision appears in the principal act? I intend to oppose that clause. Reference was made in the Minister's second-reading speech to clause 4, which states that it might be unnecessary for certain decisions to be referred to a second court. Reading that statement in conjunction with section 372 of the principal act, I am unable to reconcile it, and I invite the Minister to enlighten honorable senators regarding it in committee.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clauses 1 to 3 agreed to.

Clause 4 (Powers of court).

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