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Tuesday, 14 November 1905

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON (South Australia) - I do not know what course Senator Macfarlane will take in regard to the suggestion made by Senator O'Keefe, but I suggest that it would be better if the word " perishable " were inserted before the word " goods."

Senator O'Keefe - That would simplify the clause.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - I take the broad view that Senator Macfarlane's amendment is a desirable- one to apply to any goods, though I am impressed with what Senator O'Keefe has said as to the inconvenience and, perhaps, loss which may arise in the case of perishable goods. It is admitted by the Minister that no officer will subject goods to an inspection unless for good reason ; and I cannot conceive it possible to predicate of an officer, however zealous he might be, that he would interfere with goods for export unless he had some fair suspicion of fraud. If that be the position, why not act on the suggestion of Senator O'Keefe? The amendment, as amended, would merely operate on the official conscience, so to speak, and be a warning, or intimation, to every inspector that he must not officially or wantonly interfere with goods for export. When packages are opened for inspection, it is a frequent result that their contents are extracted, and the refastening is not always as carefully done as it might be. Another suggestion I make is that this clause should also extend, in the words of clause 15, to "articles used for food or drink by man." For instance, there is nothing more liable to rapid injury than wine. If casks of wine are ready for export, and samples are drawn off by the spigot-hole, the result, in a hot sun, is ullage, and, in a short time, the whole of1 the wine is spoiled.

Senator O'Keefe - Would wine not, in these circumstances, come under the heading of perishable goods?

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - I am afraid not. I think Senator Macfarlane's amendment would be a great improvement,, and, to some extent, a safeguard against undue interference. . c

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