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Thursday, 12 July 1906

Mr LONSDALE (New England) . - This clause is a definition of unfair trading.

Mr Isaacs - Of unfair competition.

Mr LONSDALE - There is no mention of intent ; if there had been, there might have been some ground for the AttorneyGeneral's contention. In my opinion, this is distinctly a definition of unfair competition ; and if a man sells his goods at less than the cost price, he is to be held as unfairly competing. We all know that merchants and others often sell their goods out of season at any price; and the effect of this clause would be to compel them to keep their stocks. The honorable member for Werriwa last night gave us examples of legislation of this kind about the time, I suppose, of Adam - in the centuries when the world was deemed to be uncivilized.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It was civilized enough !

Mr LONSDALE - Compared with the legislation of the day, I think the legislation of "times gone by was, indeed, civilized. The legislation of the 14th cen- tury was to prevent manufacturers and others imposing on the public, whereas, silly Bills of this kind would not allow people to get goods at a fair price, or at the price at which the manufacturer is prepared to sell. In Australia we have the Customs duties, and there is also the cost of transport; and this kind of legislation is utterly absurd. Although a compact has been made that this (Bill shall be passed through the Committee stage during this week, I nevertheless think it is an outrage to allow the measure to slip through. I hope the Minister of Trade and Customs will pay a little respect to what is right and proper, and omit this clause.

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