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Tuesday, 14 November 1905

Senator HENDERSON (Western Australia) - It appears to me that there is more in the amendment than Senator Guthrie seems to see. In my opinion, the amend- ment means the life or death of the whole Bill.

Senator Lt Col Gould - Nonsense !

Senator HENDERSON - It certainly places the inspecting officer in a most serious position.

Senator Gray - So he ought to be.

Senator HENDERSON - Of course, according to the honorable senator's way of thinking.

Senator Gray - I am thinking of the general welfare.

Senator HENDERSON - The officer may be put in a position which will absolutely deter him from interfering in any way with cargo ; and I am afraid that that is the intention of the amendment, which practically calls upon the officer to say to an exporter, " I am satisfied that you are not honest, and I shall exercise the power of inspection given to me under the Act." That is the position in which the amendment would place the officer, and we must recognise that it would be a most invidious position.

Senator Pulsford - The picking and choosing is already provided for.

SenatorHENDERSON.- The officer under the Bill as it stands has full liberty to act in the spirit of the amendment, but if the amendment is agreed to it willhang as a threat over his head. He will be placed in such a position that he will have to tell the exporter that his goods are not fit for export.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - He need not tell him anything.

Senator Best - Actions speak louder than words.

Senator HENDERSON - That is so, and the amendment would compel the officer to choose between man and man, and between goods and goods; to regard one man as a fraudulent exporter, and another as an honest exporter. He will be compelled to make distinctions, and, as no officer should be placed in any such position, I trust the amendment will be defeated.

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