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Thursday, 2 December 1965

Mr GILES (Angas) .- Initially, I find myself a little in sympathy with the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam). This clause deals with agreements between competitors containing certain restrictions. The Deputy Leader of the Opposition dealt with limitations of rights to membership of associations. This is a problem that has exercised my mind for some time. I am certain that there is some logical explanation to cover the point made by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. For instance, a type of practice about which I am concerned has to do with new Australians manufacturing furniture in this country. On approaching retailers of high order in this country with a view to selling their wares, these manufacturers have found that unless they are members of a particular furniture builders association they cannot market their product. This is wrong. It is a bad thing and it is my belief that this Bill aims to overcome just this type of problem. Examples of this kind are legion. The overcoming of this problem is paramount in my mind when I give my support to the Bill as a whole.

The second example of a practice about which I am concerned has to do with the manufacture of binder twine and its supply to retailers in major selling centres. This is a matter that vitally affects primary producers. Many honorable members will be aware that when certain retailers seek supplies of binder twine or similar material they come up against a trade ring that refuses them supply. Here restrictions are placed by these trade associations on the normal retailers of supplies necessary for primary producers. This practice leads inevitably to an increased import bill.

In the two cases I have cited retailers, after their normal supplies have been restricted, have applied for permission to import similar materials and have succeeded in obtaining supplies of those materials. This strikes me as being very wrong in many ways. For example, the size of the market available to Australian manufacturers is obviously limited, so that economy of scale cannot apply and the price per article must increase.

I trust that these are two examples of the kinds of cases the Deputy Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Whitlam) was referring to a little while ago. I imagine that because this Bill is the kind of bill it is, and because the philosophy behind it obviously aims to prevent this malpractice, there is quite a simple and easy answer, but I ask the Attorney-General (Mr. Snedden) to let me know the answer because offhand I cannot see it at this stage.

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