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Thursday, 30 August 1906


Senator MULCAHY (Tasmania) . - I favour the determination of the question of whether goods are being imported with intent to destroy or injure any Australian industry by a judicial authority, rather than by a political one. I would point out that the penalty provided for such an offence is the forfeiture of the goods so imported. That forfeiture may be absolute, or it may be modified in some way. But the provision in this connexion is an extremely vague one. The next clause provides that, from the date of the Gazette notice until the publication of the determination of the Justice, the goods which form the subject of the judicial investigation shall not be imported unless the importer gives to the Minister a bond for such an amount - not exceeding the true value of the goods for Customs purposes - as the Minister considers just and reasonable, by way of precaution in the circumstances, and conditioned to be void should the Justice determine the question in favour of the importer. That means that the importer could obtain possession of the goods by finding a bond for their full value. In other words, he might continue to destroy an Australian industry, and the utmost penalty which could be inflicted upon him would be the forfeiture of an amount which was equal to the value of the goods. In the meantime the goods themselves might have passed into consumption. What I wish to ascertain is the "conditions or restrictions or limitations " which the Justice of the High Court may impose.


Senator Drake - We can only guess at the meaning of those words.







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