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Tuesday, 28 August 1906

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania.) . - Without going back to the argument as to what "commercial trust" relates to, or how far it stands isolated in paragraph a, we are agreed that in its treatment the case of a commercial trust is separated from that of an individual. For many weary months I have been engaged on. a Royal Commission, and I desire to state one of the conclusions I have arrived at with regard to the state of Australian industries, and that is that many industries would to-day be in a much more flourishing position, and that other industries might have been created, if there had been an opportunity to get larger capital. I am perfectly satisfied that industries have stopped because thev have been started with insufficient capital. However else we may differentiate a corporation, such as a commercial .trust, from an individual, I think it will be agreed that one of the frequent differentiations is that a body of individuals, if formed into a trust or corporation, can command a larger amount of capital under one control than can a single individual. I think it would be a great advantage if capital were to be focussed, or, I might say, if a larger amount of capital- could be got together for more than one industry in the Commonwealth. If we put upon a commercial trust a stigma or hardship ; if it is treated differently from an individual - and, of course, I assume that it is an honest and fair trust - we shall do harm to Australian industry. I believe that the retention of paragraph a will to a certain extent do harm to Australian industry.

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