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Tuesday, 28 August 1906

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) __ The Government intend to accept this amendment in regard to rebates. I do not wish to discuss the question at any length, because it has already been fully debated. I have always considered rebates unfair under almost every circumstance that can be imagined. A rebate is given for the purpose of gaining a benefit somewhere; it is never given without the expectation of obtaining an advantage over a trade rival, or for some similar reason. In the oil trade the rebate is given for the purpose of securing the trade of certain people, who are not allowed to deal with any but the trust. It is a vicious principle, which is only acted upon in order, as I say, te reap some advantage or another over fellow traders. In Adelaide, a short time ago, a coupon company started operations, and supplied the coupons to grocers, who agreed to give them to their customers in proportion to the goods purchased. These coupons were subsequently exchanged for certain articles or presents.

Senator Millen - This clause will not touch that system.

Senator PLAYFORD - I do not say it will. I am now discussing the question of rebates, and these coupons are rebates. They represent a vicious system, becausethe traders who do not take the coupons* are placed at a disadvantage.

Senator Millen - In view of the decision which has just been given to limit us to the discussion of the question before the Committee, I ask whether the Minister of. Defence is in order? This amendment relates to rebates granted to persons who deal exclusively with those who grant the rebates. Under the coupon system the coupons are not given to persons who deal exclusively with the givers of the coupons - they are a species of small cash discount, and there is no undertaking on the part of the recipient; that they will deal only with the persons from! whom they receive them. I submit that the clause in no sense covers that class of transaction.

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