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Monday, 24 May 1965

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . - Senator Wright has made a verbal assault on the provision that a person has a prescribed interest in a licence if, in various circumstances, he controls more that 5 per cent, of the interest in the company. The honorable senator questioned the substance of the Government's intentions and in fact, directed his mind virtually to the foundation stone of the legislation. Therefore I cannot argue this matter with him nor would he wish me to do so. It is the Government's view that this percentage is proper as it relates to the third company and it must be considered in that light. It is true that Senator Wright mentioned this but he based his argument as though this matter were in isolation. It is not in isolation. It merely acts as test one. As I said before he could have up to 100 per cent, of the holding in two licences.

The Postmaster-General (Mr. Hulme) does not seek to hide anything in this connection; in fact he refers to it in his second reading speech. But in the light of experience since the 1960 legislation was passed, it has been decided that this procedure is necessary to get results so that no licensee will hold more than two licences. Senator Wright has put a forceful argument but actually he is arguing against the policy decision that is inherent in the Bill.

Senator Wright - The basis of it.

Senator ANDERSON - It is an argument which very properly could have been directed in the second reading stage. I do not object to having it put now but there is nothing 1 can add in the Committee stage in rebuttal of or in response to the honorable senator's argument because this matter is fundamental to the proposal.

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