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Wednesday, 4 July 1906


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I do not know how intent would be proved in this respect.


Mr Isaacs - This amendment is all in favour of the defendant.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It may be in favour of the defendant, but,, at the same time, the clause may operate against the defendant in respect of the facility with which he may be indicted.


Mr Isaacs - We do not want to make the mere fact that an Act is " to the detriment of the public " criminal ; but if it is to the " detriment of the public " with intent, that has to be proved. There are to be two things - that the act complained of is "to the detriment of the public," and that it is done " with intent.''


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Unless you canassail a man's motive-


Mr Isaacs - Not motive, but intent.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It comes to the same thing. If there ls intent, there must be motive behind it. Unless you can assail a man's intent, the most destructive monopoly may sail along. But what about the act which is the result of that motive?


Mr Isaacs - To take the act itself, without the intent, would make the measure much more severe.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The act itself may be of a destructive character, but the intent may be perfectly innocent.


Mr Robinson - Intent is proved from the act


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - A man may be acting to the detriment of the public and doing it unintentionally.


Mr Robinson - But the act shows the intent and the motive will be inferred from the act.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Suppose a destructive monopoly is indicted, and' that it is indicted because it is destructive; and suppose that the defendant says, " I did not do it; I was not aware that this kind of thing was going on."


Mr Robinson - He would not be guilty.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But. the thing itself continues.


Mr Robinson - No, because after that the man would know that the act was guilty, and therefore he would be doing it with knowledge.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - He may step out, and some one else may continue to do the act complained of- The essence of the clause seems to be the man and his intention, and not the act itself.


Mr Robinson - In every criminal case you have to prove intent ; and quite rightly.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is this a criminal matter?


Mr Robinson - It is under this Bill.


Mr Isaacs - In America, the Sherman Act makes the thing complained of criminal without intent, but I insert the word " intent," which is wholly in favour of the defendant.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Sherman Act does not seem to be having much effect in America. The trusts are sailing ahead there, with all their sails set, in spite of Sherman Acts, Wilson Acts, and all the rest of them.


Mr Isaacs - It may be the same here, but we hope not.


Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - At any rate, if we are to deal with this matter, if destructive monopolies exist, had we not better be sure we are not going through an ordinary barren farce in regard to them. A man may simply say, " I did not know it was loaded ; I did not know I was doing wrong at all ; I did not know that what is complained of was a destructive monopoly ; I thought I was doing a perfectly harmless simple thing." The thing itself would continue, because it was done unintentionally. I understand that in America it is quite a common thing to keep changing the personnel of the trusts so far as their government is concerned. For instance, the other day I saw that some offenders were sent to gaol and others were fined huge amounts, but the trusts still sail on. Fines are simply a flea-bite to them. The evil itself does not appear to be impeded in the slightest degree. I take it that what the Ministry want to do here is to control the thing in itself; and I do not know that the intentions of the individuals will have very much effect in that respect, judging from experience.







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