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Friday, 10 November 1905


The CHAIRMAN - Does the honorable senator wish to withdraw his amendment?


Senator Millen - Not yet.


The CHAIRMAN - If it is not withdrawn, it must be put in the form in which it was moved.-


Senator PULSFORD - I withdraw the latter part of it, and move simply that the word " Commerce " be left out.

Amendment amended accordingly.


Senator PULSFORD - Section 51 of the Constitution empowers this Parliament to legislate in respect of thirty-nine distinct subjects, and the term "commerce" might just as appropriately be applied to a Bill dealing with any one of twenty of those subjects as to this Bill. For instance, the expression "trade and commerce" is an all-embracing one, and a Bill dealing with taxation might be called a Commerce Bill, because there is the taxation of commerce. There are bounties in connexion with commerce, and therefore a Bill relating to bounties) might be called a Commerce Bill. Money has a good deal to do with commerce, and therefore a Bill relating to the borrowing of money might be called a Commerce Bill. The postal and telegrahpic services have a good deal to do with commerce, and therefore a Bill dealingwith those services might be called a Commerce Bill. Surely lighthouses and lightships have to do with commerce, and a. Bill dealing with those subjects might be termed a Commerce Bill. Quarantine has to do with shipping and commerce, and therefore a Quarantine Bill might be called a Commerce Bill. A Bill relating to fisheries in Australian waters might be called a Commerce Bill. Statistics have to do with commerce, and why should not a Statistics. Bill be called a Commerce Bill? In the same way, the term might be applied to a Bill relating to currency or coinage, or legal tender or banking. There could be at least twenty Bills to which with equal justice, the term "commerce" could be applied. To adopt the illustration I used before, we are giving to the fly on the wheel the name of the wheel itself. That is altogether ridiculous. Let the Bill bear a title - Merchandise Mark's Bill - which will clearly and accurately describe its subject-matter.







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