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Wednesday, 27 July 1921

Senator DRAKE-BROCKMAN (Western Australia) . - This provision is identical with the section in the Inter-State Commission Act, which gave rise to the action which was decided by the Privy Council, and to which I alluded yesterday. It is just about as ultra vires of our Constitution as that particular sectionwas declared to be by the Privy Council. However, the Committee have determined to insert in the Bill all these unconstitutional provisions, which will only serve to create a lot of work for legal gentlemen. From my personal standpoint that is the only satisfactory feature of the measure. At the same time, I should like the maximum penalty which is set out in this clause to be substantially reduced. At present it is big enough to frighten the small man and small enough to permit the large man to defy an Act of Parliament. A penalty of £100 inflicted upon a small merchant who has not the means to enable him to appeal to the Privy Council would be severe enough, whilst a penalty of £500 would cripple him. I therefore move -

That the word "Five" be left out.

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