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Wednesday, 11 November 1914

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - I move-

That the following proviso be added to subclause 1 : - " Provided, however, that this section shall not apply to the supply by any member of the committee of any goods necessary to carry on the estate of the bankrupt at the rates or prices then current or ruling for such goods."

The object of my amendment is to enable a member of the committee, who may be a creditor, in certain cases, to supply the goods which may be necessary to carry on the estate of a bankrupt at the rates or prices then current, without making any application to the Court. We all know that very frequently the affairs of a bankrupt are carried on just as if there had been no bankruptcy. They are carried on by the trustee under a committee of inspection, or by whoever represents the creditors. In order that a bankrupt's business may be carried on, it may be necessary to obtain from his merchant the goods which he has been accustomed to sell to the public. One of his creditors may be a merchant who has been in the habit of supplying him with a large variety of goods. If the creditors choose to appoint that merchant to the committee of inspection, it may be necessary for him to continue to supply such goods. My amendment aims at obviating the necessity of applying to the Court in cases where goods are being supplied at the current or market prices. An application to the Court might involve delay, and, in the interim, the committee of inspection might be unable to obtain from a third person the necessary goods to carry on the business. If a few days, or a week, were absorbed in making an application to the Court, and the bankrupt's business was not able to supply its regular customers, it is quite conceivable that its trade might be transferred elsewhere. My amendment is designed to provide for the ordinary carrying on of the bankrupt's affairs. I hope that the VicePresident of the Executive Council will consider it upon its merits, and in a favorable light.

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