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Thursday, 5 December 1935

Senator FOLL (QUEENSLAND) - by leave - I desire to make a personal explanation with regard to the report published in last night's issue of the Sydney Sun concerning an action at law in which W. R. C. Bagnall sued E. S. Moulton for breach of contract. I should not have referred to this matter in the Senate, were it not for the fact that, in the course of his summing up, the Chief Justice made some very scathing comments, and mentioned that Mr. Bagnall had allotted to me 750 promotor's shares as a result of my having introduced him to Mr. Moulton. I am making this explanation only because a House of Representatives select committee is referred to in correspondence between Mr. Bagnall and the National

Tobacco Corporation Ltd. Briefly, the facts of my association with the National Tobacco Corporation are these: -

Nearly six years ago Mr. Bagnall, ex- M.L.A., whom I have known for many years, called on me at Parliament Blouse and asked if I could assist him in the formation of a company in Australia for the growing of tobacco. I told him I could not do so; but, having been discussing the matter with Mr. Moulton a few days previously, and having been shown some light leaf grown in Australia, I gave Mr. Bagnall a brief letter of introduction to Mr. Moulton. Shortly after this incident I went to England for a trip, and whilst on the boat received a telegram from Mr. Moulton telling me that a company had been formed for growing and manufacturing tobacco in Australia, and inviting me to join the board. I accepted the invitation, and heard little or nothing more of the project until I returned eight months later. By that time Mr. Bagnall had severed his connexion with the company. I was advised that Mr. Bagnall had allotted to me 750 of his promoter's shares, which qualified me for a directorship. I knew nothing of his intention at the time. I received his invitation. I did not even know that a company would be formed. On my return to Australia I attended one meeting of the board, resigned my position as director, and, later, returned all the shares to Mr. Bagnall. I heard nothing more of this company until I read the article in the Sun this morning. At no time did Mr. Bagnall, when talking to me, ever refer to the select committee, or to Mr. Tully, who was a member of it. In fact, I saw Mr. Bagnall only on the one occasion for a few minutes. The select committee was composed entirely of members of the House of Representatives. I was not a member of it, nor was I associated with it in any way. Ihope that this statemen t will receive the same publicity as was given to the report of the court proceedings yesterday.

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