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Thursday, 2 December 1965

Mr JESS (La Trobe) .- I feel most humble appearing in such distinguished company as has entered this debate. There is only one question that I should like to ask. The amendment moved by the honorable member for Mackellar reads -

No member of the Tribunal shall sit on any matter in which he has a direct or indirect pecuniary interest . . .

The points which have been made so far may be quite powerful, but does this pro posal go far enough? Or is it an amendment which simply blocks up a few holes and leaves others wide open? Let us take by way of example a well known emporium in the city from which I come. It may have associations with other emporiums throughout Australia. It may be concerned with something into which the Tribunal is inquiring. A member selected for the Tribunal could be from another emporium that was not included in the association of emporiums to which I have referred. He would not have a pecuniary interest in the sense of holding shares in the association about which the Tribunal is inquiring but he would be associated with a competing organisation. He might adopt the attitude that although he was a competitor he did not have to reveal that fact because, strictly speaking, he had no pecuniary interest in the emporium concerned with the inquiry. He could therefore sit throughout the hearing. I should like the Minister's comments on whether such a case would be covered by the amendment under consideration.

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