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Tuesday, 3 July 1906


Mr FULLER (Illawarra) .- When speaking 011 the motion for the second reading, I referred to the coal vends which have been mentioned so often this afternoon, and to another commercial arrangement which, it seems to me, would come within the definition of a commercial trust. Some years ago - it may still be in existence - a Board, representing the dairying industry of New South Wales, of whom the honorable member for Cowper was once a member, used to meet from time to time to regulate the price of dairy produce. Before the Board was created, prices in the industry were very low, but the operations of the Board enabled producers to obtain a fair return for their enterprise without requiring the public to pay unreasonably for the produce which they consumed. But it appears to me that the Board I speak of would come within the definition of a "commercial trust."


Mr Isaacs - Even if it did, what harm would be done?


Mr FULLER - If it did, it would be liable to be proceeded against at the instance of the Attorney-General, under clause 10, or of any busy-body who imagined that he might be injured, under clause 11.


Mr Isaacs - Only if it did something wrong. A trust, in that respect, will be in a position not differing from that of an individual.


Mr FULLER - The Minister of Trade and Customs has indicated his intention to amend clause 11 so that proceedings shall not be taken under it except at the instance of a responsible person, and suggested the Attorney -General.


Mr Isaacs - The Minister indicated that he intends that practically neither civil nor criminal proceedings shall fake place without the consent of the AttorneyGeneral.


Mr FULLER - On what grounds would the Attorney-General interfere? Would he act merely on the statement of some informant, or would he constitute himself a Court, and make full inquiries before initiating proceedings?


Mr Isaacs - It is an every-day occurrence for an Attorney-General to be asked to lend his name to the initiation of proceedings. There are many Acts under which his consent to proceed is required.


Mr FULLER - I am aware that that is so. My object in rising is to call attention to the position of certain combinations in regard to this Bill.







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