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Friday, 18 May 1928

Mr RODGERS (WANNON, VICTORIA) .- The amendments made by the Senate, throwing as they do on the Government the responsibility for the cancellation of a licence, which may deprive a man of his means of livelihood, and preventing bodies not responsible to this Parliament from doing so, will improve the bill. When some of us were criticizing its provisions previously there seemed to be a certain amount of restiveness on the part of the Government. I regret that I was not here on that occasion, because I object most strongly to a man being compelled to take out a licence before he can conduct his business. Before federation the States had the right by the imposition of Customs duties to place restrictions, to the extent of the duties imposed, on men who did interstate business, but this bill introduces a new phase of the Constitution by making it an offence for a mau to conduct interstate trade without a licence. It is the gravest instance we have had in the history of the Commonwealth of interference with interstate trade, though certainly the Senate's amendments will modify that interference to the extent that the responsibility for preventing a man from doing business from one side of Australia to another is thrown on the Commonwealth Government.

Motion agreed to.

Resolution reported; report adopted.

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