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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 939

Senator GEORGES (Queensland) -I would like to add support to what Senator Hall has said and to appeal to the Attorney-General (Senator Murphy) not to weaken this clause in any way. It is a current practice for powerful retailers to impose upon the manufacturer not only for discounts, but also for extra services. One large retailer will impose upon the manufacturer not only to reduce price for quantity but also to lay down the condition that the goods shall be delivered to individual stores. Later on, if the retailer is not satisfied with that, he will impose a condition also that they will be delivered in a specific way, packaged in a certain size. He imposes his muscle, as has already been described so well by Senator Hall, upon the manufacturer, but the disadvantage is to the smaller retailer because the manufacturer then has to make up the leeway by charging more to the smaller retailer.

The smaller retailer is being forced to the wall. He is being forced gradually to dispose of staff and to endeavour to carry on his enterprise on his own. He then finds himself in the position that he has to extend the number of hours of participation in his business and gradually accept an economic slavery which is imposed upon him by this unfair practice on the part of retailers. Many manufacturers have been foolish enough to allow themselves to be entrapped by the large retailer. In some cases they have not been wise enough to diversify their markets. Some of them have been foolish enough to fall for the trap of a specific retailer saying: 'I will take the whole of your goods. I will even lend you the money to update your machinery.' The retailer traps him into a debt as well. This clause is to protect the distribution of goods through the smaller outlets. It will be to the disadvantage of the great retailers and to the advantage of the smaller retailers. I would have thought that everyone here would support the clause as it stands. I appeal to the Attorney-General not to give in on this.

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