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Tuesday, 26 July 1921

Senator BOLTON (Victoria) .- The Committee is indebted to its legal members for their speeches on this clause, though they have not done much to help us to protect the public. I shall vote against the amendment. Within the last few days it has come to my knowledge that an article which is sold by the manufacturer for 10s. 6d. is. retailed in the shops at 22s. 6d., an increase of 125 per cent, in price. I said to the manufacturer, "Why do you not sell your goods direct to the retail shops, so that the public may benefit by getting them more cheaply?" His reply was that he dared not do that, because a traveller from a wholesale house,on calling for orders at a shop, would be sure, on seeing his goods there, to ask where the retailer had bought them.. If the retailer said that he had got them straight from the manufacturer, the traveller would inform the wholesale house of the fact. Thereupon the wholesale merchant would tell the manufacturer that be need not send any more of his 'goods to him for sale at 10s. 6d., and wouldalso tellthe . retailer that he need not expect to -be supplied by the wholesaler, if he intended to continue buying direct from, the manufacturer. In this case there is practically a conspiracy against the manufacturer.

Senator Drake-Brockman - And of what use in preventing it is the provision to which I object?

Senator BOLTON - Any provision that would help us to find out the facts-

Senator Drake-Brockman - This provision will not help you to find out anything.

Senator BOLTON - -Personally, I shall welcome any machinery which is calculated to assist us in finding out the facts.

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