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Thursday, 7 November 1935

Senator BRENNAN (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - I am sorry that at first glance I did not realize that the first amendment moved by Senator Allan MacDonald differed in principle from this amendment. I agree with Senator Leckie that the proposal now before the Committee will take away from the court the option of imposing a pecuniary penalty on the offender. This being so, we should not depart from the principle contained in the hill that the court be given a discretion in fixing the penalty. The proposed amendment of sub-section (1) was intended to cover the case of a corporation which could not be imprisoned, and the only penalty which could be imposed on an individual was imprisonment for life. In this case, the prescription of a pecuniary penalty for a corporation only would rob an individual accused of the benefit of the court's discretion to sentence him to imprisonment or impose upon him a fine. In those circumstances, I suggest that the honorable senator should withdraw his amendment.

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