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Wednesday, 4 July 1906
Page: 1039

Mr JOHNSON (Lang) .- I wish to protest against a portion of this clause, on the grounds upon which I objected to portion of clause 4. The arguments which I adduced against the latter part of clause 4 hold good as applied to this clause, the only difference between the two provisions being that, whereas clause 4 dealt with persons and combinations within the Commonwealth, this clause deals with foreign corporations. I am in perfect accord with the first portion of clause 5, which aims at preventing foreign corporations from doing anything in restraint of trade or commerce in the Commonwealth to the detriment of the public, but I do not approve of the proposals to interfere with the importation of goods from foreign countries. The effect of the clause as it stands will be to give an absolute monopoly to local producers by shutting out all competition, and to enable them to artificially increase prices, and thus decrease the purchasing power of the people. All through this Bill, the general public receive the least consideration. The fullest regard, however, is paid to the interests of the producers andparticularly to those manufacturers who carry on operations in Victoria. I have no hesitation in saying that we are legislating, by means of measures of this objectionable character, against the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth. I know that it is of no use to move an amendment, because it would meet with the same fate that befel my previous amendment. I shall, therefore, reluctantly content myself by entering the strongest possible protest against legisla tion of this drastic and tyrannically unfair character

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