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Thursday, 2 June 1960

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Leader of the Opposition) . - The committee has been asked to consider this amendment, which seems a reasonable one; but without any consideration for the convenience of honorable members, the bill has just been rushed in. We have had about half an hour of adjournment to spend on it and members of this chamber are expected merely to rubber-stamp what has been done in another place. That is unfair to members of the Parliament, and I think it is a reflection on the Government. It is a botched and bungled bill anyhow, and for us to be asked to put it through at this particular time is completely unfair and improper.

Mr Daly - Why not adjourn it until to-morrow?

Mr CALWELL - I would not mind adjourning it until next week. No proper consideration can be given to any of these amendments by this chamber. Honorable members only got the debates from the Senate at 11 a.m. to learn the arguments advanced in that chamber and the criticisms made by senators who are backbenchers. I have no desire to bring honorable members back unnecessarily, but I think the Government has treated the Parliament with complete disdain and discourtesy. This amendment seeks to strike out proposed new section 25a, but we are now told no such section was proposed in the bill, and that it was a draftsman's error. I do not like this custom of blaming the draftsman for the Government's mistakes any more than I like blaming the typist for the secretary's mistakes. But that is what has happened in this case, and I suppose we had better get the position righted as quickly as we can.

Senate's amendment agreed to.

Clause 30 -

Division 3 of Part IV. of the Principal Act is repealed and the following Division inserted in its stead: - " Division 3. - Limitation of Ownership or Control of Commercial Television Stations.

Proposed section 91 - "91. - (1.) In this Division, 'licence' means a licence for a commercial television station. " (2.) In this Division, ' control ' includes control as a result of, or by means of, trusts, agreements, arrangements, understandings and practices, whether or not having legal or equitable force and whether or not based on legal or equitable rights. "(3.) The express references in this Division to companies shall not be taken to indicate that references to persons do not include references to companies.

Senate's amendment No. 2 -

At the end of proposed section 91 add the following sub-section: - " ' (4.) For the purposes of this Division, a licence granted by way of renewal of a licence shall be deemed to be a continuation of the firstmentioned licence.".

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