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Wednesday, 23 October 1912

Senator MCGREGOR (South AustraliaVicePresident of the Executive Council) - - I am informed that if the alterations already indicated have been made, these references will be quite correct.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 24 -

The Registrar of Copyrights shall have such powers and functions as are conferred upon him by this Act and the regulations.

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [8.56].- On turning to clause 41, I find that -

The Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters which by this Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for giving effect to this Act or for the conduct of any business relating to the copyright office.

We are getting into a very careless system with regard to regulations. Very frequently regulations are laid before Parliament which really go far beyond the purposes of the Act under which they are made. I recognise that very often regulations are necessary for dealing with matters of detail, but I hope that the Minister will recognise that regulations should not be permitted - although they would be ultra vires if tested - to contain any matter which does not come fairly within the provisions of the Act. We are adopting, subject to certain modifications, the Copyright Act of Great Britain in its entirety, but no provision is made in that Act to enable regulations to be made concerning various matters. We, however, find it necessary to take power to deal with matters of detail by regulation. It is possible that not only the present Government, but preceding Governments, have been guilty of attempting to do much by means of regulations which ought to be done by Act of Parliament. This is really a matter which ought to be considered seriously.

Senator de Largie - Do you contend that the British Act does not provide for the making of regulations?

Senator ALBERT GOULD (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD.- The British Act which is scheduled to this Bill contains no such provision. If it did, I would ask the Minister how far the regulations made under that Act would be binding upon us. Although the regulations made under an Act are laid before both Houses of Parliament, and it is open to any member of Parliament to object to a regulation, we nevertheless sometimes get saddled with provisions which really are not strictly in accord with the law under which they are made, but are acted upon until a decision of the Court is obtained. I hope that the Government will really take my remarks to heart, and see, not only in this case, but in every other case, that no attempt is made by regulations to introduce principles which differ from or override any of the principles which Parliament has enacted.

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