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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2892

Senator James McClelland (NEW SOUTH WALES) -Very briefly, as the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs to which this matter was referred for examination in some detail, I would like to associate myself with the remarks of Senator Durack. In my view the passage of this Bill by the Senate is as good an example of the workings of parliamentary democracy as I have witnessed in the time that I have been here. I want especially to compliment the senators on the opposite side of the chamber for their contribution to the deliberations of the Committee. I can honestly say that at no time when we were considering this Bill did we consider ourselves to be members of opposing parties in the Senate. The Bill was examined on its merits. We had an eye always, I feel, not to what advantage might accrue to either of our parties but only to what would be for the benefit of the community.

I can honestly say that it has been my greatest experience in the working of this Parliament. I compliment and thank not only those senators on the other side of the chamber but also the senators on my own side of the chamber- Senators Everett and Button- for their work on this Committee. I think that most credit for this Bill must go to the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) for his doggedness and his persistence in bringing this Bill forward, for his willingness to accept amendments and suggestions for change, and for his flexibility and his general sincerity in attempting to get a better Family Law Bill before this Parliament. I think it is a compliment to the Senate, to the members ofthe Committee and, above all, to the Attorney-General.

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