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Wednesday, 22 August 1906


Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) . - I think that Senator Stewart is unduly worrying himself, because the two clauses are aimed at the same thing, and that is the repression of monopolies. In clause 4 we are exercising the trade and commerce power, and the Government have naturally adhered to its wording. But, in order to cope effectively with monopolies, it is necessary to take power to deal with a company which appoints an agent within a State. Clause 5 is designed to meet a case of that kind, and it is based' upon paragraph xx. of section 51 of the Constitution. Under clause 4 it would be possible to get at a foreign monopoly even if established in only one State, because it would be engaged iri trade with other countries. Surely an agent who obtained his goods from other countries would come under its purview. Will Senator Symon deny that the Melbourne agent for the MasseyHarris Company is an agent within the meaning of clause 4?


Senator Sir Josiah Symon - It all depends. Supposing that he buys the goods, that is not what is meant by " trade and commerce with foreign countries and among the States."


Senator PEARCE - If the man buys the goods on his own account, he is a principal. But if he brings them as representing the maker he is an agent. In any case, he is engaged in commerce with other countries, and therefore comes within the scope of clause 4. Take the case of the sugar trust, which is located in Queensland, and has no works in any other State. That is a trading corporation, formed within the limits Pf the Commonwealth, and therefore is covered by clause 5. That is, I think, the case which Senator Stewart had in his. mind!. If we were to alter clause 4 as he desires, it would be made practically a repetition of clause 5. In the two clauses as they stand, we are getting al] the power which he desires to obtain, and in a constitutional manner.







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