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Wednesday, 4 July 1906
Page: 1032


Mr GLYNN (Angas) .- This clause aims at making a foreign corporation criminally responsible for a certain act. Now I would point out that a foreign corporation has no individuality in Australia.


Mr Isaacs - It can have.


Mr GLYNN - I doubt it. A corporation has no existence outside the territory in which it is created, except by courtesy. Unless we pass a law giving a status to a corporation it has no status within our borders. It may be represented by art attorney, but I cannot see how it can be indicted here.


Mr Isaacs - Cannot we wind up a foreign corporation so far as its property here is concerned?


Mr GLYNN - A foreign corporation is always represented by an agent or attorney. In this connexion I would refer the Attorney-General to an article in the last number of the Law Quarterly Review, in which it is pointed out that the assumption that corporations are entities in a foreign place is a mistaken one.


Mr Isaacs - I thought that the wellknown case of theCarron Iron Works decided that.


Mr GLYNN - I am dealing generally with the fact that a corporation is a special creation of the law of a particular place outside of which it has no existence.


Mr Groom - Does the honorable and learned member say that it cannotbe sued outside of that place?


Mr GLYNN - That point has not arisen. It may, under State laws, be sued through an agent or attorney, and, as a rule, corporations in Australia are represented by an attorney. But we are now dealing, not so much with the civil status of corporations, as with their criminal liability, and if it be true that a corporation in a foreign country has not1 a full-fledged status, except under the law of that country, I do not see how we can make it criminally liable under our Commonwealth Acts. S u rel v the AttorneyGeneral does not say that he is dealing with the status of foreign corporations under this Bill?

Mr.- Isaacs.- The Constitution does not refer to the " status " of foreign corporations, but to foreign corporations.


Mr GLYNN - But this is not a Bill dealing with the status of foreign corporations within our territory. The same observations would apply to clause 9. The scheme of that provision is to enable us to get at the agent of a foreign body.


Mr Isaacs - Amongst other persons.


Mr GLYNN - The idea underlying clause 9 is that we cannot very well get at a foreign corporation, and consequently we endeavour to get at its agent.


Mr Isaacs - We can get at a foreign corporation if it has sufficient property here to pay any fine imposed.


Mr GLYNN - But we cannot indict a foreign corporation. I desire to know whom the Attorney-General would select as the defendant in an information against a foreign corporation? This matter is verv fully elaborated in the article to which I have referred, which certainly does show with some amount of plausibility, that we cannot very well deal with a foreign corporation unless we pass a special Statute conferring upon it the status that it possesses in the country of its origin.







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