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Tuesday, 21 August 1906

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - We so frequently feel called upon to suggest want of consistency on the part of our fellow senators that it is with considerable pleasure I compliment Senator Best on the remarkable consistency he has displayed this evening in his remarks on the title of the Bill. I need hardly remind the honorable senator that on quite a recent occasion he ventured to defend the title of another Bill on the ground that it was picturesque.

Senator Best - And expressive.

Senator MILLEN - I am quite certain that Senator Best made use of the term " picturesque." Now it seems from his remarks that the same artistic idea is present, and he desires to have a picturesque placard in the forefront of this Bill. I quite agree with the Minister of Defence that the title should be expressive of what the Bill is supposed to contain. But there seems to be a feeling in the Chamber that the present title does not quite meet the case. I recognise the deficiency in the title suggested which does not completely describe the measure. Before I make any suggestion, I desire to point out that if honorable senators read the debate which has taken place, and also the criticisms and articles in the newspapers, they will find the Bill invariably referred to as the " Anti-Trust Bill." If we were to go to a man in the street, and ask him if he knew of the "Australian. Industries Preservation Bill," he would certainly think we were talking about the Tariff or bounties, whereas if we asked him if he knew the " Anti-Trust Bill " he would recognise it at once.

Senator O'Keefe - Does the honorable senator seriously put that forward as a reason for altering the title?

Senator Keating - The same argument might be used for calling the Capital Sites Bill the " Bush Capital Bill."

Senator MILLEN - And it' probably will be used before the debate on that subject is over.

Senator Keating - That is the honorable senator's argument - that the newspapers so refer to the Capital sites.

Senator MILLEN - Only one newspaper.

Senator Keating - I could show the honorable senator more than one newspaper which speaks of the " Bush Capital.".

Senator MILLEN - I am not disputing the fact that some newspapers which support the honorable senator do so speak of the Capital Site; but I have no knowledge of those newspapers, and I do not want it. My suggestion is that if we desire to express readily, not merely to lawyers, but to ordinary citizens, what the Bill deals with, we ought to make the title the " Trusts and Dumping Act 1906." That certainly would convey at once the idea that this was a Bill dealing with trusts, and also with dumping.

Senator Pearce - Why not call it the "Trusts and Dumping Regulation Act"?

Senator Playford - That is rather long, and we had better leave the title as it is.

SenatorMILLEN. - Whatever title is adopted, we ought not, at any rate, to have the present one. I entirely agree with Senator Croft that, whilst the present title may be useful as an electioneering placard, it possesses no other advantage. As one who believes in legislation for the regulation of trusts, I strongly object to a title which might appear to many minds to have a fiscal bearing.

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