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Wednesday, 7 July 1915

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I can quite understand that Senator Guthrie should desire to take every precaution against an amalgamation or a transfer of a company's business without ample notice being given to the shareholders, but I would remind him of the fact that hundreds of companies carrying on 'business are required to givenotice under the provisions of the law under which they are operating, and in no case that I am aware of is it necessary to do more than is provided by the clause with the amendment as proposed. An enormous volume of business is transacted every day by this simple method, and I cannot see any necessity to place even a small additional impost upon a company by requiring the registration of notices.

Senator NEWLANDS (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - It will increase the cost three times.

Senator MILLEN - Yes. Let me also remind Senator Guthrie that he is connected with a wide-spread organization. Probably he frequently sends out notices affecting that organization, and I venture to say that he sends those notices by ordinary post.

Senator Guthrie - Yes; and we have continual complaints that they do not reach their destination.-

Senator MILLEN - I know that Senator Guthrie is connected with a body of men who have always claimed the privilege of making complaints, and I enter-' tain sincere admiration for him because he has managed to control an element of that kind for so long and so successfully. I ask honorable senators not to place any additional impost upon the transactions of companies by requiring notices to be forwarded by registered post.

Senator Maughan - Do you not realize that Senator Guthrie has some concern for the postal revenue?

Senator MILLEN - That may be so, but I do not think that any one desires to replenish a depleted postal revenue at the expense of a business which we all seek to enCourage. The amendment which he has indicated will largely affect life insurance businesses, and as this class of business is falling into, the hands of mutual life insurance societies, any additional impost will press, not upon the proprietary companies, but upon thousands of comparatively small people who are insured in these mutual life societies.

I hope the amendment moved by Senator

Keating will be adopted. Amendment agreed to. Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) [5.42].- I move-

That after the word "post" the words "by registered letter " be inserted.

It is absolutely necessary, in my opinion, that there should be some safeguard to policy-holders or shareholders with regard to these notices. We are all aware of complaints that letters sent out from various companies to shareholders have never been received ; but if we provide that such notices must be sent by registered letter, this trouble will be obviated in the future.

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