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Friday, 13 August 1920

Mr MAXWELL (Fawkner) . - There is a distinct reason why the same penalty should not be inflicted for failure to disclose information, or refusal to obey a summons, as is fixed for disclosing evidence already given. The man who, after hearing evidence in secret, discloses it, does that which cannot be recalled. The consequences of his action cannot be overtaken. His is a very serious offence, which may have very serious consequences to the parties concerned. On the other hand, a man who is summoned to appear before the Court and does not attend can. be punished and still summoned and compelled to give evidence, or the man who refuses to answer questions can be punished and still be obliged to answer questions.

Amendment amended to read as follows, and agreed to -

That at the end of paragraph (B) the following words be inserted " and have power to inquire into all matters relevant to the dispute (and the decision of the Tribunal on the question of relevancy shall be final), from the point of production to the final disposal of the commodity. Provided that no evidence relating to any trade secret, or to the profits, or financial position of any witness or party shall be disclosed except to the Tribunal, or published without the consent of the person entitled to the trade secret or non-disclosure. Penalty: £500, or three months' imprisonment. All such evidence shall, if the witness or party so requests, be taken in private.

Amendment (byMr. Hughes) agreed to -

That in the proviso the words " a plaint is pending in the Court and " be left out, and the words " in the Court " inserted after " commenced."

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 16 (Powers of Special Tribunal) .

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