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Thursday, 26 November 1914

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - I see the force -of Senator Keating's reasoning. It is clear that if what is provided against in this clause be a fraud, it. is equally a fraud whether carried out in collusion with any person employed about the bankruptcy, or with any person altogether outside the bankruptcy. If the clause is allowed to remain as it stands, a fraud under paragraph b may be condoned if it is in collusion with a person in no way connected with the bankruptcy. I had not noticed that until Senator Keating called attention to it. The Minister must admit that it would be possible, by collusion, to convey certain of the profits derived by the trustee to some individual in no way connected with the bankrupt. Because of the peculiar way in which the clause is drawn, such a thing would not be a wrong unless it were proved that the person acting inĀ« collusion with the trustee was connected in some way with the bankruptcy.

Senator Gardiner - The whole clause deals with persons connected with the bankruptcy.

Senator SENIOR - That is so. But the Minister fails to see that if a fraud were committed by the trustee in collusion with a person unconnected with the bankruptcy, the trustee might set up the defence under this clause that the person with whom he had been in collusion was not " employed about the bankruptcy."

Senator Keating - He might, at the same time, be the greatest friend of the bankrupt.

Senator SENIOR - That is so, and unless it could be proved that he was connected with the bankruptcy in some form under the clause as it stands, apparently no wrong would have been done. That surely is not the purpose or intention of the Bill, though it would be the effect of this clause. If it be desirable to prevent what this clause is aimed at in the case of a person employed about the bankruptcy, it should be equally desirable to prevent it in the case of any other person. If it is illegal for me to dispose of a certain portion of my property to my uncle, it seems to me that it would be equally illegal for me to dispose of it to my aunt

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