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Wednesday, 11 November 1914

Senator GARDINER (New South Wales) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - It is not a question of my giving way in the matter; it is entirely a question for the Committee to deal with. Personally, I have heard vo strong reasons yet for altering the Bill in this regard. There are many other splendid things that we might do to protect the honest public; but I do not think the reasons advanced for this change are sufficient. No principle is involved, and it is merely a matter of opinion as to what are the best privileges to give; but we are engaged in passing a consolidating Bill for the benefit of the whole community, and, necessarily, it will not contain all the provisions of the whole six State measures. I will not say that the point raised is a matter of indifference to me, but I do not feel very keenly on it. Still, the reasons that have been advanced make me a little stronger in resisting the change. I can see the danger of agencies, which may become a source of annoyance and trouble, being established for inspecting accounts on payment of a small fee. I am not disposed to make it any easier for agents of that class to get information, because it is a matter largely between the debtor and the creditors, and the creditors can give authority to their agents to inspect now. There is nothing to prevent them doing it, and, so far as I can see, that is all they want.

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