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Friday, 13 July 1906


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - There is a very serious provision in this clause. Immediately it is considered by the Comptroller-General that there is unfair competition, for instance, the good's are to be held up.


Mr Isaacs - Not by the ComptrollerGeneral, but by the Minister.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Comptroller-General takes the initiative, and then if the Minister acts upon his report the goods are to be held up.


Mr Isaacs - Has the honorable member seen the amendments which are proposed " in this clause ?


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I see that it is proposed that the importer shall give the Minister a bond with such sureties as the Minister approves.


Mr Isaacs - And later on it may be voided if the Justice determines the question in favour of the importer.


Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That is better than the original clause, and I shall not, therefore, press my objection.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) agreed to -

That the words " except upon such security and subject to such conditions as the Minister approves" be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words : - " unless the importer -

(a)   gives to the Minister a bond with such sureties as the Minister approves, for such amount (not exceeding the true value of the goods for Customs purposes) as the Minister considers just and reasonable by way of precaution in the circumstances, and conditioned to be void if the Justice determines the question in favour of the importer ; or

(b)   gives such other security and complies with such other conditions as the Minister approves."

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 17 -

1.   The Board shall expeditiously and carefully investigate and report upon the matter, and for the purpose of the investigation shall have power to inquire as to any goods, things, and matters whatsoever which they consider pertinent, necessary, or material.

2.   For the purpose of the investigation the Board shall be deemed to be and to have all the powers of a Commission within the meaning of the Royal Commissions Act 1902, and the provisions of that Act shallapply to the investigation.

3.   The investigation shall extend to ascertain whether the competition is or probably wilt be unfair, and if unfair then in what respects, and the Board shall report to the Minister accordingly.

4.   In the event of a difference of opinion among the members of the Board as to any matter arising in the course of the investigation or report, the opinion of the majority shall be the opinion of the Board, but the dissenting member of the Board may separately state his opinion.

Clause consequentially amended.

Amendment (by Sir William Lyne) proposed - " That sub-clauses 2, 3, and 4 be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following new sub-clauses : -

2.   For the purpose of the proceeding the Justice shall sit in open Court, and shall have alt the powers of a Justice in the exercise of the ordinary jurisdiction of the High Court, including the power, if he thinks fit, to state a case for the opinion of the Full Court upon any question of law arising in the proceeding.

3.   The certificate of the Comptroller-General shall beprima facie . evidence of facts by this Act if required to be specified thereby.

4.   In addition to the Comptroller-General and the importer the Justice may, if he thinks fit, allow any personinterested in importing imported goods to be represented at the investigation.

5.   The Justice shall be guided by good conscience and the substantial merits of the case, without regard to legal forms or technicalities, or whether the evidence before him is in accordance with the law of evidence or not."







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