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Wednesday, 17 June 1903

Mr DEAKIN - The first time I came into possession of some information regarding this case was during last week, when a petition was' presented by Mr. Goldring. I gathered from this that he complained of the detention of his books and certain goods.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Mr. Goldring has since received a copy of his papers - an incorrect one.

Mr DEAKIN - I know only what is stated in the petition, which contained a request for the appointment of a nominal defendant to represent the Commonwealth. On the same day I signed the necessary minute.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the AttorneyGeneral know that Mr. Goldring has been asking for information since 17th November?

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member must not interrupt the Minister. If he desires to obtain any further information, he must ask questions in the ordinary way.

Mr DEAKIN - Mr. Goldring had not communicated with me before I received his petition. The minute, which I signed on the same day that the petition was received, went before the next Executive Council, held on Monday, last. A defendant has been appointed, and an action by Mr. Goldring is now in progress. I submit to my honorable friend that it would, be most improper to discuss a case which is now sub judice, and in regard to which we have taken all the steps we could to give Mr. Goldring his remedy. I have written to my honorable colleague, " the Minister of Trade and Customs, advising him of the course adopted, but understand that he has not yet dealt with my communication.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But what explanation is offered regarding the delay that has taken place ?

Mr DEAKIN - Mr. Goldringis now suing us on account of the delay, and if we are responsible we shall have to pay.

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But that does not explain the matter.

Mr SPEAKER -Order. The standing orders do not permit of the discussion of matters which form the subject of questions. Questions may be asked and facts may be stated .to make clear the questions, but there must not be anything in the shape of discussion in connexion with them.

At a later stage,

Mr SYDNEY SMITH (MACQUARIE, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I should like to ask the Minister for Trade and Customs whether there is any charge of fraud against Mr. Goldring, and, also, what was the cause of the delay in the return of his books and papers and the delivery of his goods ?

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