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Thursday, 23 August 1906

Senator DOBSON (Tasmania) .- The Committee has a right to expect that the legal colleague of the Minister in charge of the Bill will give us an opinion on this matter. It appears to me that the clause is absolutely unconstitutional, and I quite agree with Senator Drake that we have no right to pass it on the understanding that if it is ultra vires, the High Court can put us right. We do not desire legislation of thekind. We do not wish to give the High Court an excuse to interfere, or the citizens an excuse for saying we have taken away their States rights. Both Senators Baker and Symon pointed out that this clause must result in a position absolutely ridiculous.

Senator Playford - We have had all this before.

Senator DOBSON - I have not heard Senator Keating's view of the matter ; and I should like to. learn whether that honorable senator can justify the clause as it stands? If Senator Keating will say that this clause is constitutional, I shall sit down.

Senator Keating - Will the honorable senator accept my assurance?

Senator DOBSON - I should like to hear the honorable senator's opinion.

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