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Wednesday, 11 July 1906

Mr BROWN (Canobolas) .- As a general rule, I am opposed to legislation in restraint of trade. I do not claim to be a friend of the importer; but I feel that if we restrict trade we lessen our markets, and, to that extent, reduce the value of our production. I admit that there are unfair traders, with whose operations the State must interfere for the protection of the public interest. The difficulty is to do anything without unduly interfering with legitimate trading. I do not see any provision in the Bill which will extend the benefits to be derived from the prohibition of dumping to workmen engaged in the industries which will be protected. In giving protection to any industry, I should like to see the benefit so conferred not limited to those who have invested their capital in it, but extended also to those who are employed by the capitalists.

Mr Isaacs - Paragraph a of sub-clause t, and paragraphs b and c of sub-clause 2 of clause 14, are all directed to the protection of the workmen.

Mr BROWN - They do not go as far as I wish to see the matter carried. I do not regard the amendment as a limitation, although I am not entirely satisfied with the wording of it. But if the principle is acceptable to the Government, as I understand it to be, it is their duty to improve the wording. I desire that the benefits of this legislation shall be extended to the workers, and I shall support the amendment until something better is proposed.

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