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Tuesday, 28 November 1905

Mr LONSDALE (New England) - The last statement of the Attorney-General appears to me to contradict his assertion to the effect that the Registrar should not come to the Attorney-General for advice. He says that the Attorney-General is always available to advise the Minister - or, in other words, that the Registrar may go to the Minister, and that the Minister may then seek the advice of the Attorney-General.

Mr Isaacs - Certainly not.

Mr LONSDALE - In view of the fact that the whole of the Trade Marks Departments of the States will have tobe taken over and new legislation applied to the existing conditions, a number of difficult legal questions are bound to crop up, and it is desirable that the advice of the AttorneyGeneral should he available in connexion with the administration of the Act. According to the Attorney-General, instead of coming directly to him, the Registrar will have to seek a roundabout way of obtaining his advice.

Mr Isaacs - No. There are many cases which the Minister would attendto without any reference to the Attorney-General.

Mr LONSDALE - It appears to me that some form of appeal should be provided in this Bill.

Mr Isaacs - In that case we should have to send the parties to Court in every case, and that would be a very expensive proceeding.

Mr LONSDALE - I do not think so. In my opinion the proper person to administer this Act is the Attorney-General. Under all the circumstances, however, it would probably be better to omit the whole clause, and to allow Ministers to decide the matter amongst themselves.

Mr. ROBINSON(Wannon). - Further debate upon this question could be avoided if the Attorney-General would agree to adopt the form of wording which is employed in section 9 of the Patents Act, which reads -

The Minister for the time being administering the Department of Patents shall be charged with the administration of this Act.

If similar language were employed in this Bill it would be within the power of the Government of the day - without any special Act of Parliament - to so rearrange business that the Attorney-General should administer this Act.

Mr. Isaacs.There was no objection to that form of wording when the Patents Act was passed, but since then it has been determined to place the administration of that measure under the Minister of Trade and Customs. He will be charged with the administration of this Bill, as a natural consequence.

Mr ROBINSON - That is no answer to my suggestion. It is quite possible that some other Minister may come into office who may think it desirable to follow the ordinary State practice under which the Attorney-General would administer the Trade Marks Act.

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