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Tuesday, 14 November 1905

Senator DOBSON (Tasmania) - In, my remarks on the second reading, I pointed out the danger which I thought might arise from the fact that this measure' and States legislation may overlap. If ever there was a matter which ought to be left to the States it is that with which we are now dealing. I quite agree with Senator Mulcahy that it is hopelessly impossible to prescribe, and fraught with the greatest danger, to attempt to prescribe the marks which are to be placed on goods from all parts of the world.

Senator Playford - And yet the honorable senator said that the States ought to be left to do so !

Senator DOBSON - The States ought to deal with the goods when, they arrive. If it be thought that goods of a deleterious character are coming here, and may be sold in a fraudulent way, let the States deal with the matter, either as internal trade or as Inter-State trade. But for us to dictate to England, America, Germany, or Japan, what marks shall be employed on their goods is impossible, to a great extent, or if not impossible, is impracticable, and will lose us some of our trade. If the exporters of the world find that our regulations are of an inconvenient character, they will give up the Australian trade unless it be of a very lucrative character, and will endeavour to find new markets.

Senator Mulcahy - The honorable senator need not trouble about the exporters from abroad; they will look after themselves.

Senator DOBSON - Whilst some traders may pu[ up with it, there are others who will say that they will see the Commonwealth further first. We all desire to prevent fraudulent trade as regards imports, but that should be done by States legislation. It has been pointed out that paper is imported under the name of leather, but when it gets here we have done with it. We may insist that it shall be imported as paper.

Senator Playford - I expect that is one of the things which we will make importers mark.

Senator DOBSON - They may mark it as a preparation of paper for the manufacture of boots, but the Minister wall not be able to follow it into every little shop in, the Commonwealth, and it will there be called "leather." The same difficulty will arise in connexion with the importation of medicines. They can be imported in casks, and not in bottles ; and after the casks have been imported under a proper trade description, the bottles may be distributed under false trade descriptions, and under this Bill the Minister will be unable to prevent that. If the clause is forced through to-night, it will only lead to the matter being discussed in full later on on a motion for the recommittal of the Bill.

Senator Playford - Honorable senators opposite will not be able to get the Bill recommitted ; that will be their trouble.

Senator Sir JOSIAHSYMON (South Australia). - When the honorable senator talks of the trouble of getting the Bill recommitted, he must remember that this is one of the vital parts of the Bill.

Senator Playford - How many vital parts are there in this Bill? I was told that the first clause was vital.

Senator Sir JOSIAH SYMON - And so it is, and the honorable senator accepted an amendment of it. He even agreed with honorable senators on this side that it would he desirable to leave out the word " Commerce," only his instructions would not permit him to accept such an amendment. If the honorable senator takes up the attitude that it is no use for us to talk about these clauses, that they should merely be put and the Committee should divide, I give him fair warning that this is not the last he will hear of them.

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