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Wednesday, 19 May 1915

Dr CARTY SALMON (Grampians) . - I am loath to interpose with an objection, but in my opinion the word " interest " should not be qualified in any way. After listening to the arguments from both sides of the House, I feel convinced that it is possible that thepublic interest - which, of course, is above the private or corporate interest - might render it necessary that a contract in which an enemy subject might hold only a slight interest should be dealt with.

Mr.Joseph Cook.- It is still left to the discretion of the Attorney-General to define the word.

Dr CARTY SALMON - But if you insert the word "material" or "substantial " you at once open the way for endless discussion.

Mr Fisher - That is quite true. The sub-clause should be left as it is.

Dr CARTY SALMON - I am not a lawyer, but a. layman, and I hold the view that our laws should be so clearly expressed that he who runs may read. The less legal verbiage we have about them the better it will be for all concerned. I feel that a mistake will be made if the AttorneyGeneral qualifies this sub-clause in any way. He ought to leave it as wide as possible, so that he may exercise his "discretion, which surely will always be tempered by the knowledge that he will have the public behind him.

Mr Joseph Cook - The public which he has behind him?

Dr CARTY SALMON - In this matter I think the Attorney-General has the whole of the public of Australia behind him. We want to do all we can to secure Australia from a repetition of anything like that which has happened in the past to limit our trade and production. This we can do by taking the opportunity in this Legislature of introducing measures of this character. Therefore, I view with apprehension any attempt to minimize the strength of the weapon which has been forged by others, but which is now ready to our hand.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments (by Mr. Hughes) agreed to-

That the words " in relation " in sub-clause 5, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " such rights and obligations as relate".

That the following words be added to subclause (5) : - " or such as arise out of or in consideration for such delivery or performance."

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 4 (Power to terminate contracts suspended by war).

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