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Wednesday, 4 July 1906
Page: 1003

Mr ROBINSON (Wannon) .- This amendment raises a pretty important question, namely, the effect of the Bill upon certain retailers. Frequently such people enter into an agreement to deal only with a particular firm. That is to say, they obtain the exclusive agency for certain lines of goods, and agree in return to deal only with the makers of those goods. To do so is to enter into a contract " in restraint of trade," undoubtedly.

Mr Isaacs - But not " to the detriment of the public."

Mr ROBINSON - Take the case of brewers and tied-houses. I know that the brewing trade can gallop through this particular mischief without any trouble; but there are manufacturers who make certain* goods, and who may go to a shopkeeper in? town and say : " If you will stock only our goods, and no one else's, you shall have theexclusive agency." It seems to me that possibly the proposed amendment might affect arrangements of that kind.

Mr Isaacs - They would all be governed by the intent - " intent to restrain* to' the detriment of the public."

Mr ROBINSON - Of course, a jury_ would decide whether a particular trade agreement was " to the detriment of thepublic."

Mr Isaacs - If it is unlawful to have acombination to do a thing, it must be equally unlawful to have a combination torefrain from doing it. If it is good in the one case it must be good in the other.

Mr ROBINSON - If we come to the conclusion that the words " to the detriment of the public " are the safeguard - and I am inclined to think that they afford the most logical safeguard1 - I agree that the words proposed to be omitted must goout.

Mr Isaacs - This is the old British safeguard.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendment (by Mr. Isaacs) proposed -

That the words " in restraint of," line 7, be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof thewords " with intent to restrain."

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