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Friday, 13 July 1906

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume) (Minister for Trade and Customs) . - If the honorable and learned member for Wannon will look at the early part of the clause he will see that under it any- outside person lodging a complaint is bound to put his complaint in writing. An amendment has been inserted to that effect. The proposal to publish in theCommonwealth Gazette any memorandum or statement which may be made by an officer of the Department to the Comptroller-General would, to a very large extent, paralyze action on the part of the Comptroller-General.

Mr Robinson - We do not want that.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - The clause will work in this fashion : Let us suppose that an outside person were aggrieved. He would make his complaint in writing. When it came before the Comptroller-General, probably that officer would refer it to the Collector of Customs in the particular State affected. It is not proper that communications which pass between the Comptroller and his officers should be published in the

Gazette.But when the ComptrollerGeneral makes a statement it must be made public. To a large extent he must rely upon the information that he has obtained from his officers. We must allow the Department some latitude in acquiring the necessary information upon which the Comptroller-General is to act.

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