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Wednesday, 4 July 1906
Page: 1033

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The more I look at this clause the more difficult it seems to me to do anything of an effective character. The utmost that could be done would be to haul before the Court the agent or representative of one of these foreign trusts. After an industry had been dislocated, workers thrown out of employment, wage rates lowered, and internal trade destroyed, all that could be done would .be, not to get at the trust, but to fine the agent in the sum of £500. The trust would pay the fine, . and go on smilingly.

Mr Isaacs - Not if there was an injunction against them.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable and learned member propose to take out an injunction against them?

Mr Isaacs - Yes. First of all, there is clause 10, and then there is an amendment in clause n which we have circulated, and which will allow instead of imprisonment for the first offence an injunction to Le granted straight away upon conviction.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - That, of course, will meet the case to some extent. But it seems to me that unless the AttorneyGeneral does contemplate asking for these injunctions, and stopping the depredations of which he complains, the penalties will be a mere flea bite.

Mr Isaacs - Certainly, if that were the only thing which could be done.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - How the honorable and learned gentleman proposes to get hold of the right man so as to make him toe the mark I am quite unable to understand.

Mr Isaacs - The culprit would be the man who was doing the thing. In Victoria there is no difficulty, because ever\ foreign corporation must register.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - All they would have to do would be to go outside Victoria where that was not required.

Mr Isaacs - No.

Mr Glynn - The local Statutes do not help this particular measure.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not think so. At any rate, it is so purely a matter of law, that I, as a layman, hesitate to express an opinion.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Why does the honorable member want to fill up all the pitfalls?

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I venture to say that this will be a very good thing for the lawyers.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - If the honorable member is against the Bill, the more pitfalls he has the better.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I am not against the Bill, but against some of its provisions. Really, what makes one tilt against the Bill so much is the skilful way in which it has been charged with the dominant fiscalism of the day. Ostensibly, a Bill to stamp out trusts, it is really a Bill for the protection of Australian industries in a more effective way than a straight-out Tariff reform would' do.

Mr Isaacs - The honorable member means by that that protection is the only way in which to advance the interests of the country?

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I do not quite understand the interjection. I am simply speaking of the difficulty of dealing with, the Bill in a sensible straightforward manner, owing to the way in which anti-trustism and anti-fiscalism are mixed up together. However, if the Attorney-General is satisfied that he could get hold of the real culprit and effectually stop the trouble, I shall have to be content with that assurance.

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