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Friday, 10 November 1905

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) - I suggest that it is advisable to strike out the word " suggestion " in the first paragraph of the definition of "trade description," because of its dangerous vagueness. The words preceding it are " description, statement, indication." Those words are sufficient to make clear what a "trade description" is. The word "suggestion," however, seems to offer the possibility of complications arising, if a magistrate were called upon to give a judicial decision on that point. All that can possibly be covered by it is set out in the previous words, and " suggestion " is so exceedingly vague that it ought not to be retained. I therefore move -

That the word "suggestion," line 6, be left out.

Amendment negatived.

Senator MILLEN(New South Wales). - I move -

That paragraph c be left out.

When I drew attention to these words yesterday, the Minister told me that they were practically the same as appeared in the English Act. When I subsequently quoted the English Act, it was made clear that its words are those which appear in paragraph d, which has relation to the mode of manufacture. The two things are totally different. The paragraph which is taken from the English Act deals with the operations themselves; the other deals with the persons who perform the various operations. It appears to me to be obvious that the only purpose for which paragraph c can be required is to place it in the power of the Government to demand something equivalent to the union label. I do not know whether that is intended.

Senator Playford - : No; it relates only to the manufacturer or producer.

Senator MILLEN - But what about the man who selects, packs, or' prepares the goods for market? While those processes may be minor operations, still they may form a part of the preparation ; and to ask that all the people who in any way prepare or pack shall be mentioned seems to me to be going beyond what is necessary.

Senator Playford - It was thought to be necessary by the Customs officers, who know something about the matter-

Senator MILLEN - We know that Customs officers have suggested many things which it has been the duty of Parliament to dissent from. The Minister's only answer appears to be that he does not see any value in the provision himself.

Senator Playford - I think it is more important than the provision as to the mode of manufacture which is in the English' Act.

Senator MILLEN - Any quantity of goods are imported which bear a brand, but not a manufacturer's name. A well-known brand of iron, "White Cross," does not bear a manufacturer's name, but it bears a brand. The Minister might give us some more substantial reason than the statement that the Customs officers say that this is a necessary provision. If it is intended that the Minister shall have power to insist on particulars which are in no way concerned with the manufacture of the goods, that ought to be set out in definite terms. Unless further reasons are given, I shall have to divide the Committee.

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