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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr CONROY (Werriwa) - I think that sub-clause 3 is highly objectionable, because the Bill contains no definition of the words " a series of lectures."

Mr Groom - Surely the meaning of the provision is perfectly clear.

Mr CONROY - Does the sub-clause relate to a series of lectures in respect of one subject?

Mr Johnson - The clause saysthat the series of lectures must relateto the same subject."

Mr Fisher - Each lecture would require to be notified.

Mr Groom - Unless there were three Lectures upon the same subject.

Mr CONROY - My point is that the notice required to prohibit a report of a lecture is not sufficient. I say that there ought to be some clear notification..

Mr Groom - So there is.

Mr Watkins - The representatives of the newspapers must be present, in order to obtain a report.

Mr CONROY - Under this sub-clause, if a lecturer, prior to delivering his lecture, notified the newspapers that it was not to be printed, that notice must be regarded as sufficient. Are lecturers like the late Rev. Charles Clarke to be entitled to copyright of their lectures, even if those lectures have been "cribbed " from a number of authors and strung together?

Mr Watkins - If a lecturer charges a fee for admission . to his lectures, they ought to become public property.

Mr CONROY - The subject is not free from difficulty,, but I maintain that we ought not to grant these extraordinary rights. When we are invited to confer upon certain individuals rights extending over such a long period as forty-two years, surely it is not too much to ask that the public interests should be safeguarded.

Mr Watkins - Does the honorable and learned member, think that the clause is needed? Does not every lecturer desire his lectures to be reported in the newspapers ?

Mr Groom - If he does so, this provi- sion will not' trammel him in any way.

Mr CONROY - Under the plea of granting rights to certain individuals, we are infringing the rights of others. This clause would permit a person to take advantage of some right of which nobody had ever heard to prevent another person from delivering a particular lecture. Does it not frequently happen that a dozen honorable members hit upon the same idea?

Mr Fisher - A thousand scientists today are thinking exactly the same thing.

Mr CONROY - The fact that one man has lectured upon a certain subject ought not to prevent another individual from lecturing upon the same subject. However, it is clear! v impossible for me to persuade the Committee to take the same view of the matter as I do. I have entered my protest against the clause, and when cases of hardship arise under it, I hope that hon orable members will recollect that they gave me no assistance whatever in endeavouring to prevent injustice being inflicted upon those who will come after us.

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