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Thursday, 25 February 1971

Senator MURPHY - How then does a document come to our notice when it is contained in rules or by-laws made pursuant to a statute which gives the Council power to make its own rules on the subject? Surely Senator Byrne would agree that that was not intended by Parliament.

The intention was that the substantive provisions should be scrutinised by the Senate. I think we would meet the requirements of the Act and the needs of the University, and we would enhance its independence, if we proceeded in the way in which I have suggested. I ask that the Committee take my comments into consideration.

My proposal was not to refer particular regulations to the Regulations and Ordi-nances Committee. My proposal was that, if honourable senators thought fit, my amendment could be referred to that Committee for its consideration. There are some serious problems here as to how the delegated legislation has been working. I do not think it has been working properly. I do not think the independence of the University is secured properly when each statute has to be approved by the Government. No matter what is said. I do not think that is the proper legal provision. J do not think that the University should be driven into the position of making substantive law in this circuitous fashion - bv by-laws or rules which are not tabled in the Parliament - when there are no standards or rules laid down. I think that is an objectionable feature of the Act. Nobody knows where he is The applicant for admission is completely and utterly at the discretion of certain persons. I remember that the Government adopted a similar attitude in relation to scholarships. It said that scholarships should be entirely at the discretion of the Minister. I do not see why, as it appears, admissions should be at the discretion of certain persons. I think that those seeking to enter the University should be entitled to know what the rules are and to see whether they conformed to those rules. If they did, they would not need to depend on what apparently is the complete discretion of the persons referred to in this legislation.

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