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Monday, 18 December 1905

Mr FISHER (Wide Bay) - I wish to know who is to determine whether a work is blasphemous, indecent, seditious, or libellous. This is a very important point. Is the determination to be by the officer administering the measure, or by a competent court? Take the word " libellous." It is very difficult to say what is a libel. A member on this side of the Chamber might regard a certain statement of the Opposition as grossly libellous, while others might treat it quite differently. No one desires that there should be copyright in works of the kind referred to in the clause, but I should like to know how and by whom it is to be determined what works fall under this category.

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