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Friday, 3 December 1965

Mr SNEDDEN (Bruce) (AttorneyGeneral) . - I have been asked for an explanation and I shall do my best to provide it. This matter was given the utmost scrutiny and attention by my colleagues in their consideration of it in Cabinet. They came to the conclusion that a quantitative statement should be made in the legislation. The alternative to that, as the honorable member will readily agree, is to leave it to the tribunal to decide whether there is a dominant position, and this was not desired. It was desired to say what sort of figure should be selected. We had before us the example of the British Monopolies Commission, which accepted a figure of one-third, and by looking at the reports of the Commission it became clear that that figure was about right. What the honorable member for Isaacs (Mr. Haworth) said was correct. One cannot say that one-third will be the right figure for Australia.

Mr Haworth - But one-third of the United Kingdom's population is vastly different from one-third of the population, of Australia.

Mr SNEDDEN - It is a different volume, but not a different percentage.

Mr Haworth - No, but it has a very different effect.

Mr SNEDDEN - Yes. The Government gave a great deal of consideration to this. We felt that if we came down to 20 per cent, it would be manifestly too low and that if we went up to 50 per cent, that would be manifestly too high, so one-third was the figure which the Government decided, in the exercise of its corporate judgment, was correct.

Amendment negatived.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 38.

In determining whether an agreement is an examinable agreement, regard shall not be had - (h)

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