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Thursday, 23 August 1906

Senator TRENWITH (Victoria) . - We have to look at what the clause proposes to do, in order to understand whether contracts made in contravention of it would be affected. The first part of theclause says that the making of a contract with intent to injure an Australian industry is a punishable offence. It must be done in contravention of the Act, and when it is so done, the offender is punishable with a fine of£500.

Senator Croft - Suppose that extensive contracts have been entered into during, the discussion on the Bill?

Senator TRENWITH - The object of the clause is to punish offenders who make contracts in contravention of it. Obviously, a man cannot make a contract in contravention of a clause before it is enacted. The clause goes on to provide that a contract made or entered into in contravention of it shall be null and void. Clearly, it cannot have any reference to a contract now existing, and consequently to a contract which was not made in contravention of it.

Senator Drake - Why not put in the word " hereafter"?

Senator TRENWITH - I have received a string of amendments which have been suggested'. It is proposed, for instance, to put the word "wilful" before the word " intent." Would it not be absurd to make that amendment, because the intent must be wilful? To insert the word "hereafter" in this clause is obviously unnecessary, because the object is to provide a punishment for the offence of making a contract in contravention of it, and then to declare that the contract so made - not any other contract - shallbe null and void. Clearly it must be a contract made after the pro vision had come into force, or it could not be a contract " made or entered into" in contravention of it.

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