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Tuesday, 20 October 1903

Mr. DEAKIN(Ballarat- Minister for

External Affairs). - I move -

That the Bill be now read a second time.

With one or two slight alterations which were necessary to make it apply to our circumstances, this Bill is a copy of the English Act which was passed in 1893, and which has proved very useful. Perhaps the most important provision is that enabling the numerous sets of rules and regulations made under Acts of Parliament to be published and bound in a volume so that they can be conveniently handled and readily used. We have already passed nineteen Acts of Parliament under which rules or regulations may be made, and eleven sets have already been made. These are now only to be found by searching through the Commonwealth Government Gazette. This Bill would enable us to take these rules from the Gazette and publish them in handy volumes for the use of those interested. In addition to that, there is a provision which has been found very useful in England, to the effect that before rules are made they shall remain open for forty days in order to enable public bodies and others interested to suggest amendments by way of additions or omissions. Consequently, when Acts are passed as in the case of the Customs Tariff Act, particularly affecting the mercantile and manufacturing communities, any proposed rules and regulations must be subjected to public criticism before they are brought into operation. There is provision that in cases of emergency rules may be brought into immediate operation, but in the ordinary course the forty days' notice will be given in the manner prescribed. These are the two purposes of this small measure, which is a very simple one, and which it is scarcely necessary to say bears no party complexion.

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