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Thursday, 2 December 1965

Mr KILLEN (Moreton) .- If I were a member of the Labour Party I would not put forward this amendment, because in my submission the provisions of clause 37 dealing with monopolisation are infinitely more stringent in their potential effect than are the amendments proposed by the Opposition. Let me illustrate what I mean. The Opposition proposes that monopolisation should be made a criminal offence. It proposes in the case of a corporation that it should be fined. But the Opposition has nothing to offer by way of restraining a person from continuing the offence other than by fining him. Under clause 52 (2.) the Tribunal has power to make such orders in respect of an offence under clause 37 as it considers appropriate. The words of the clause are - the Tribunal may make such orders as it thinks proper ...

As I construe the clause, it means that the Tribunal may issue a restraining order where there is persistent price cutting. The actual enforcement of the order is carried out by the court. The Opposition's amendment seeks to have monopolisation in terms of persistent price cutting with the object of substantially damaging a business deemed a criminal offence and to fine the offenders. I submit that to a large, wealthy corporation a fine of 10,000 dollars would be peanuts but a restraining order under clause 52 (2.) would completely prohibit the company from doing anything and that order, in my view, would not be subject to any review by a court. The Opposition either fails to understand the powers resident in clause 37 and clause 52, or it misconceives them.

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