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Thursday, 30 August 1906

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) . - I trust honorable senators will give this clause a little more attention, and will not assume that because I have submitted an amendment I have done so merely for the purpose of taking up time. I have moved it for the purpose of improving the Bill.

Senator Millen - The honorable senator is ready enough to suspect others.

Senator PEARCE - I think I have good reason.

Senator Millen - Not so much as we have now.

Senator PEARCE - I direct the attention of honorable senators to the way in which the clause is framed -

The Comptroller-General whenever he has received a complaint, in writing, and has reason to believe that any person (hereinafter called the importer) either singly or in combination with any other person within or beyond the Commonwealth is importing into Australia goods (hereinafter called imported goods) with intent to destroy or injure any Australian industry by their sale or disposal within the Commonwealth in unfair competition with any Australian goods, may certify to the Minister accordingly.

The goods are " hereinafter called imported goods," to distinguish them from other goods of the same description, which are not the subject of the ComptrollerGeneral's action. In sub-clause 5, in which I have moved my amendment, the question is whether the' imported goods are being imported with the intent alleged. The term "imported goods" is used there. But when the sub-clause deals with the matter of prohibition, the term " imported goods " is dropped.

Senator Mulcahy - Surely to say " the importation of the imported goods " is tautology.

Senator PEARCE - No; the " imported goods" are the goods which are specified in the Comptroller-General's certificate. Suppose the goods referred to are boots. Suppose that some importer is dumping ladies' boots with intent to destroy an Australian industry, and that a complaint is made to the Comptroller-General. That officer, in his certificate, specifies that the action is taken on the subject of the importation of certain ladies' boots. The Minister may refer the matter to a Justice to determine whether the particular ladies' boots are being imported with the intent alleged, and if so, whether the importation of the said imported boots ought to be prohibited. I will withdraw my present amendment, with the view of moving another one to insert the word " imported " before "goods."

Senator Findley - Does the Bill deal with any but imported goods?

Senator PEARCE - But cannot the honorable senator see that the goods here referred to are not goods generally, but the imported goods within the specific meaning of this clause ? It is a technical phrase applied to goods, not because they are imported, but because they are the subject of the action taken by the ComptrollerGeneral. If the phrase " imported goods " is properly used in one part of the clause it should be used throughout.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Amendment (by Senator Pearce) proposed -

That the word "imported" be inserted before the word " goods," where second occurring in paragraph a of sub-clause 5.

Senator Drake - I desire to ask you, Mr. Chairman, whether it is competent, without a recommittal, for an honorable senator to move to insert the word " imported " before " goods " ? We have had a division, and it was decided that the words which it is now proposed to amend should stand part of the Bill. I submit that we cannot, in this Committee, go back upon what we have done.

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