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Tuesday, 26 June 1906


Mr SKENE (Grampians) . - Whatever may be the ultimate fate of the Bill - and so far as I can see no sufficient cause has been shown for its introduction - its consideration has given rise to one of the most interesting and instructive debates that we have had in this Chamber. The honorable members for North Sydney and Mernda have contributed speeches of great educational value; speeches which, coming as they did from men of their com- mercial experience, must be as highly regarded as would be addresses upon a constitutional question by the AttorneyGeneral, the honorable and' learned members for Angas and Northern Melbourne, or other leading lawyers. Those honorable gentlemen ha.ve intimate knowledge of the business transactions which the Bill is intended to regulate, but, apparently, they are unable to find a sufficient justification for its introduction. Australia, with a population of 4,000,000, is a small community in comparison with the United States of America, with a population of 84,000,000, and it seems strange that we should so soon in our history require a measure of this kind. The probity of the business men of the British race has always been claimed to be greater than that of any other business men in the world. The reputation of the business men of the United' States of America is not so good. But it seems to me that, by introducing a Bill of this kind, the Government are, to some extent, countenancing the party which has been said to decry the country we live in. How will people abroad view the matter? Will it not appear to them that we have to depend upon drastic measures of the kind which have been adopted only in such countries as the United States, where great evils are known to exist ?







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