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Tuesday, 5 July 1949

Mr FALSTEIN (Watson) .- It is a pity that the enslavement of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Menzies) to the use of words has prompted him to propose what is clearly a completely tautological amendment. The right honorable gentleman has said that this legislation may apply to some Englishman, Scotsman or Irishman, or other white person, who is caught up in the categories defined in clause 4. That argument is especially interesting because when clause 4 was before the committee, not one Opposition voice was raised to challenge the categories of persons who were to be included in the provisions of this legislation. That clause was passed by the committee without debate and we proceeded at once to the consideration of clause 5, which was the subject of the first amendment; it was moved by the honorable member for Bourke (Mrs. Blackburn). That fact in itself is significant. It indicates to the committee that the argument upon which the amendment proposed by the Leader of the Opposition is shallow and unconvincing. Indeed, it is so unreal as to give rise to the belief that after all what the Opposition is endeavouring to do is to probe every possible angle in the hope that in some way or another it may discover a weakness in the legislation which, so far, it has not been able to find. In the light of the explanation which attended its submission this amendment is so unnecessary that it could be described as frivolous.

Question put -

That the words proposed to be inserted (Mr.

Menzies's amendment) be so inserted.

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