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Wednesday, 4 July 1906


Mr HUTCHISON (Hindmarsh) . - I am sorry that the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne has left thechamber, as I wished to put a case to him ; but perhaps, in his absence, the AttorneyGeneral will supply the answer. . At the present time boots are being manufactured with paper as a substitute for leather, andno doubt the manufacturers contend that they have no intention of injuring the public. The fact is that the use of the boots endangers the lives . of the users. In wet weather they act as a sponge, and the result in hundreds, if not in thousands, of cases has been that the wearer has contracted pneumonia, which often has caused death. Under this Bill would the manufacturer of such boots be indictable as an offender with the intent of injuring the public?


Mr Isaacs - No. That would come under the Commerce Act if it were InterState trade.


Mr HUTCHISON - It would not come under the Commerce Act, because that Act cannot deal with goods manufactured in a State.


Mr Isaacs - If boots of that kind were sold between the States, the manufacturers could be brought within the operation of the Commerce Act.


Mr HUTCHISON - The Government refused to accept an amendment of mine which would have dealt with goods when passing from State to State, and consequently goods which are manufactured and consumed in a State cannot be dealt with under the Commerce Act. The honorable and learned member for Parkes has interjected that in the case I put to the AttorneyGeneral the intent would be obvious. I am glad to have that assurance, because if such an employer could be brought within the scope of this Bill it would do something, although I still maintain that it would be almost impossible to prove intent. Really, the more I have looked into this Bill since I spoke at the secondreading stage, the more convinced have I become that it contains a great deal of sham legislation. The intent of the Government may be good, but we have to look at the effect of this legislation, and that, to my mind, will be very far from what it ought to be. I am still of opinion that we ought not to insert the words " with intent."







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