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Thursday, 1 August 1912

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - I would be the last man to do anything calculated to lessen Ministerial control. At the same time, we know that many of the questions which appertain to quarantine are of a scientific and technical nature. If we are going to have at the head of that Department a highly qualified man such as we undoubtedly have at the present time, the Minister ought to get from him all the guidance that he can. We know that Dr. Norris has recently been round the world, and that he ought to be au fait with all matters relating to his Department. Indeed, we know that he is practically the framer of the measure which is now under consideration. I am anxious to learn the reason why the Minister seeks to alter this clause. Dr. Norris is well fitted to tender advice as to where quarantine stations should be located. Indeed, the Minister could have no better officer. I do not say that the Minister in charge of the Bill has not good and sufficient reasons for the amendment that he has submitted ; but he has not taken the Committee into his confidence upon this matter. We ought to be told why the head of the Department should be ignored when an important matter such as the establishment of temporary quarantine stations is in question.

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