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Tuesday, 29 October 1974
Page: 2019

Senator MCAULIFFE (QUEENSLAND) - Does the AttorneyGeneral appreciate that governments can gain considerable control over multi-national corporations simply by legislating on the duties and responsibilities of company directors? Does he envisage future legislation which would define the duties and responsibilities of directors and thus give more Australian influence on the behaviour of multi-national corporations?

Senator MURPHY -In reply to the first part of the question, yes, I am aware of it. As to the second part of the question regarding whether such legislation is envisaged, I have no doubt that such legislation will emerge all over the world. Experts in the field of multi-national corporations are coming around to the viewpoint that it is possible, desirable and indeed necessary that governments have more say in the operations of the multi-nationals and that the only effective way for this to be done is by dealing with the duties of directors. Indeed it has been suggested that the only effective way is to provide that governments have directors on the boards of those multi-national corporations. I think that certainly legislation around the world -and no doubt in Australia also- will move in that direction.

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