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Wednesday, 22 August 1906

Senator O'KEEFE (Tasmania) . - I could understand Senator Symon wishing to have the words " or is " omitted if he adhered to his original intention of seeking to omit the words " or continues to be a member." His main desire in seeking to have the words " or is " omitted is to prevent an innocent person from being brought before a Court, and having his business disarranged. Surely he must re cognise that under every Act of Parliament innocent men may be prosecuted.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - My objection is that, in this case, a man may be proceeded against who has entered into a so-called improper arrangement whilst still innocent of any intent to do wrong.

Senator O'KEEFE - I cannot see what difference it can make to the' man's intention if we omit only the words "or is." If to-day a man is a member of an injurious combination, immediately the Bill is brought into force he will know that he is a member of an unlawful combination.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - But the moment the Act came into force he would be liable to a penalty.

Senator O'KEEFE - Only if he continued in the unlawful combine.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - If the clause said "is and continues to be," it would be different; but it says " is or continues to be."

Senator O'KEEFE - To my mind the one is exactly the same as the other.

Senator Sir Josiah Symon - If my honorable friend reads "or" as "and" his argument is perfectly sound.

Senator O'KEEFE - The man would , simply have to retire from the combination, or run the chance of being prosecuted, and if prosecuted he would have to prove his innocence. I cannot see. how the amendment could give greater security to an innocent trader. As Senator Keating, who is a lawyer, desires the words to remain, I will support the clause as it stands.

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