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Thursday, 23 August 1906

Senator PULSFORD (New South Wales) . - I am confirmed in my impression of the desirableness of this amendment by noting the exact' terms used by Senator Trenwith in his secondreading speech. He said, after making it clear that he himself was satisfied with the clause -

Speaking for myself, I have no doubt at all on the subject. It is perfectly clear to me that under no circumstances can this Bil] affect agreements entered into before it is passed1, lt is quite impossible that such agreements could have been made in contravention of a section of an Act which had no existence. Still I think the Minister of Defence would be wise if, by some statement or other, he were to make that per- . ffectly clear to the public mind, so that those who are now nervous on the matter shall be reassured.

Senator Playford - The Attorney-General stated that in another place.

Senator TRENWITH - I think that the Min.ister of Defence should state it also in the Senate, and in terms as definite as they can possibly be made. It cannot be made too clear. Many persons are nervous and anxious on the subject, and it is as well that their minds should be relieved.

After arguing further on the clause, he finished up with this remark: -

I am not now endeavouring so much to reply to objections raised in the Senate, as to remove anxiety which I know to exist in the minds of individuals outside with reference to the possible operation of this measure.

With those words before us, from, perhaps, the warmest supporter of the Bill in the Senate, how can we hesitate to urge the Government to adopt this very simple amendment ?

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