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Wednesday, 23 October 1912

Senator CHATAWAY (Queensland) . - I do not think the Vice-President of the Executive Council has quite seized the point raised by Senator Keating. This clause provides that a copy of every book published in the Commonwealth shall be supplied to the Librarian of Parliament. We are not to suppose that there is only one important library in Australia. The marginal note to the clause refers us to the English Act, 1 and 11 George 5, c. 46, s. 15. That section, which is incorporated in the schedule to the Bill, requires that the publisher of every book published in the United Kingdom shall deliver a copy of it to the Trustees of the British Museum; he shall also deliver, if a written demand is made within twelve months, copies to the Bodleian Library, Oxford ; the University Library, Cambridge ; the Library of the Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh ; the Library of Trinity College, Dublin ; and the National Library of Wales.

Senator McGregor - Perhaps we are not so hard up as they are.

Senator CHATAWAY - If my honorable friend owned the Bodleian Library he would be a multi-millionaire. I suppose the Minister of Defence, who is laughing, is frightened that some of his patent regulations with regard to cadets may come into the possession of some libraries. He does not want that, I am sure. We are told that an amendment is to be moved to provide that a copy of a book published in a State shall be supplied to the Public Library of that State. How the State Governments will enforce the law I do not know.

Senator McGregor - We will help them.

Senator CHATAWAY - The Minister appears to be taking us into his confidence fully, but he tells us nothing. He informs us that we are adopting the Imperial law, but he has made no provision for it to be applied in the same way as the Imperial law is applied in England. We have many public libraries in Australia. There are also important university libraries. Why should we not compel publishers to send copies of books to them?

Senator McGregor - We would rather give them money to buy the books".

Senator CHATAWAY - If the honorable senator likes to play the part of the giddy ox he can. Apparently his narrow, puny soul does not enable him to realize that by-and-by we shall have very important libraries in Australia, in addition to our Commonwealth Library. Why should not ^copies of books be sent to these institutions ?

Senator McGregor - Not by the poor Starving author.

Senator CHATAWAY - Senator deLargie made an interjection to the effect that much of the matter sent to the Parliamentary Library is rubbish. That is absolutely true. We have sometimes to destroy hundred- weights, if not tons, of rubbish. If a man issues an advertisement in the form of a pamphlet or leaflet - it may be an advertisement for corsets issued by one of Senator Findley's friends - a copy has to be sent to this Library. We do not bind such things. After a certain length of time the Chairman of the Library Committee, having inspected the pamphlets and leaflets, authorizes the Librarian to destroy such as it is not desired to keep. But the main point is that we have a right to insist that we shall receive a copy of every pamphlet or book published. Under this clause, while we profess to be copying the Imperial Act, we are not doing what the Imperial Act provides. These great Libraries in Great Britain pay enormous prices for manuscripts and documents, and have been built up as the result of the labour of years. The least we can do in Australia is to follow the example that has been pursued in the Old Country, and recognise that such important public institutions should receive copies of books published within the Commonwealth.

Clause agreed to.

Amendment- (by Senator McGregor) agreed to -

That the following new clause be inserted : - " 40A. Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to affect the existing provisions of any Act of the Parliament of a State which require or relate to the delivery to any specified Public or other Library of the State of copies of books published in the State."

Clause 41 agreed to.

Schedule agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Motion (by Senator McGregor) proposed -

That the Bill be reported with amendments.

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