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Tuesday, 21 August 1906

Senator BEST (Victoria) .- I think that the Committee will be very wise in adhering to the definition. The more it is studied the more carefully one can see that it has been drawn. It is clearly founded on cases. It seeks to deal with three separate conditions of development in connexion with trusts. First, it deals with the agreement of various firms or persons or corporations. That was the first form that the trust assumed. That was held by the Court to be fundamentally wrong and in restraint of trade.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - What was ? Senator BEST. - An agreement on the part of firms and corporations for the purpose of controlling, trade. The next step was for the members of the trust to transfer their various stocks to trustees who executed a declaration of trust. Hence it is that the words " the creation of a trust as understood in equity," are used. That is the widest possible term that could be used. The Court also struck at that form - of declaration of trust. Then came the third development. That was the creation of a corporation for the purpose of holding stocks, and thereby controlling the trade; and in the Northern Securities case - the great Merger case - if was held that that also was totally illegal. That was the biggest blow that had been struck at the trusts up to that time. This definition is drawn to meet those three separate conditions of affairs. The, widest possible words are necessary in order to cover the whole ambit of the cases which have been decided. The words are expressive.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - Does the honorable senator think that the words ' corporate or unincorporate " are necessary ?

Senator BEST - They certainly extend the meaning ; but what I am urging is that the definition most comprehensively deals with each separate development - first .the agreement, secondly the declaration of trust, and thirdly the holding corporations. In regard to each of these several stages cases have been decided. Whilst technically one or two words might be held, to be surplusage, it is desirable that we should use words that make the meaning clear and distinct, and which would cover every case that might arise.

Amendment negatived.

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