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Wednesday, 4 July 1906


Mr KELLY (Wentworth) .- Legal gentlemen have, by interjection during the last quarter of an hour, stated that there are pitfalls in this clause - that rich people who can brief the legal fraternity will be enabled to drive a coach and four through the Bill. That is an opinion which I commend to the attention of honorable members in the corner.


Mr Carpenter - That is said about every Act of Parliament.


Mr Watkins - And is mostly true.


Mr KELLY - I am afraid it is very true in regard to this Bill.


Mr Tudor - If the honorable member thought so, he would allow the Bill to go through.


Mr KELLY - The honorable member is saying something which he knows to be incorrect. I did my best this afternoon to allow no pitfalls in the measure, so far as I could prevent them. Here, however, is a pitfall which the honorable member for Yarra is prepared to allow to remain; the honorable member is prepared to allow the powers of wealth to be used to evade the penalties which these clauses impose. I have risen to ask the Attorney-General whether he can throw any light on the opinion expressed by the legal gentlemen to whom I have referred ?


Mr Isaacs - I do not know of anY pitfalls.


Mr KELLY - For instance, is the AttorneyGeneral convinced that in States where the companies laws are not similar to those in "Victoria, the Commonwealth can sue a corporation in its corporate capacity ?


Mr Isaacs - I think so; I see no difficulty.


Mr KELLY - The Attorney-General will see that a foreign corporation has no corporate being in Australia, an agent here not having any status until he is ' given status by Act of Parliament. Here we have a proposal to deal with these corporations or agents without giving the agents any status ; and there is a pitfall that will suggest itself to any honorable member. This clause is, I think, intended to prevent any organized attempt on the part of wealthy foreign trusts to strangle a growing Australian industry.


Mr Carpenter - Has the honorable member read clause 9 ?


Mr KELLY - I have read all the clauses.


Mr Carpenter - Does clause 9 not meet the objection the honorable member is raising ?


Mr KELLY - I do not think it does.


Mr Carpenter - The Attorney-General thinks it does.


Mr KELLY - The Attorney-General has never said that clause 9 meets the objection.







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