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Wednesday, 1 December 1965

Mr HAWORTH (Isaacs) .- I do not think the Committee takes very much notice of the honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly), who likes to engage in this sort of buffoonery and in making fatuous remarks about what happens in the Liberal Party or other parties. All that we are endeavouring to do is to bring before the Attorney-General points which are of great interest and great moment on the question of the appointment of the Commissioner of Trade Practices and the members of the Trade Practices Tribunal.

I ask the Attorney-General how he can reconcile two things. You will remember, Mr. Temporary Chairman, that he asked that clause 17 be deleted. It stated -

A member shall not engage in paid employment outside the duties of his office.

So, obviously, a person could be engaged in industry or commerce or in a number of other jobs and still be a member of the tribunal on a part time basis. Sub-clause (3.) of clause 25 states -

The Commissioner shall give written notice to the Attorney-General of all direct and indirect pecuniary interests that he has or acquires in any business carried on in Australia, or in any corporation carrying on any such business.

I emphasise that the Commissioner will be permanently engaged in looking after the Register of Trade Agreements, examining agreements and sending them on to the tribunal. Therefore, it will not be so easy for him to be engaged in any other kind of interest. But, obviously, a member of the tribunal will be able to engage in many other interests.

Under the Bill, members of the tribunal are not required to give written notice to the Attorney-General of their other interests, but the Commissioner is required to do so. If it is good for the Commissioner to do so, how much more desirable is it that the members of the tribunal should do so. I believe that the Attorney-General should give the Committee a very full reply to the remarks of the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Killen) because, in my view, this is a matter of very great importance. If this matter is not cleared up, the tribunal could very easily be suspect.

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