The Scientology Act of 1968, which contains the ban, was pushed through Parliament by the Liberal-Country Party Government despite strong opposition.
The Minister for Health, Mr Davies, told the Assembly yesterday that the main reason the Government was acting to repeal the legislation was because it had been shown to be unenforceable.
He had discussed scientology with the Chief of the C.I.B., Superintendent A.J. Parker.
Later, Superintendent Parker had recommended to the Commissioner of Police, Mr Wedd, that the Act should be repealed but that a section controlling the use of E-meters should be retained in other legislation.
Mr Davies said that he had spoken to the Commissioner of Public Health, Dr W.S. Davidson, about the possibility of having E-meters controlled under the Public Health Act.
However, he had been told that there would be no point in doing this.
He believed that the correct decision had been made by the Government to at least put W.A. in the same enlightened field as other countries.
"I think we must have an enlightened approach on it," he said.
"I am not arguing the merits of scientology but the Act as it stands at the present time is not enforceable."
The Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Mr O'Neil, interjected to ask Mr Davies if scientologists would re-introduce their "objectionable practices" if the Act was repealed.
Mr Davies said he had been told that "these objectionable practices" were not a part of their operations at the moment.
"They stand condemned if they re-introduce them," he said. "I don't think we can possibly bind them to the future."
Mr Davies said that if people believed that scientology should be banned then motivaction, which had been raised in the Assembly, should also be banned.
"My inquiries reveal this to be much more reprehensible than scientology ever was," he said.
He believed the adherents of any faith which broke the law would have civil or criminal proceedings invoked against them.
Mr Davies said that he had advised the Cabinet in June last year that he was investigating all aspects of scientology.
In February this year, the Director of Mental Health, Dr A.E. Ellis, had recommended in a report that the ban on scientology should be retained.
The debate on the Scientology Act Repeal Bill was adjourned till tomorrow.
2. Australian Politics: the main parties are the Australian Labor Party (analogous to British Labour) and the Liberal Party (analogous to British Conservative / US Republicans; and don't ask me why they're tagged 'liberal'). The Liberals are in a coalition with the National Party, which at this time was known as the Country Party. Think 'Redneck Party' and you're on the right track.
The Liberals brought in the Scientology Act, Labor repealed it.
3. Yes, 'scientology' is spelt lower-case throughout this report.
4. 'not enforceable': that is to say, the Church of the New Faith kept right on operating; and a police raid was thrown out of court. Just saying 'you're banned!' didn't ban them.
5. 'objectionable practices': those condemned in the Anderson Report.
6. What the heck is 'motivaction'? I woulda chased this one up myself had I the time at the time ...
7. Note that even these fine red-necked gentlemen, no friends of Scientology, were prepared to state in Parliament that the Church of the New Faith was not acting too objectionably.
Thus: restrict them legislatively, and they might behave enough to put up with.