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Thursday, 12 July 1906

The TEMPORARY CHAIRMAN (Mr Batchelor (BOOTHBY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - The honorable member must not make a remark of that kind. I ask him to withdraw it.

Mr LONSDALE - I withdraw it; but I can think it all the same. How can we say that a man intends to do a thing which may bring about a certain effect? If we say that he intends to bring about a certain effect, that is all right. But how can we say that the intent is really there, simply because the action may bring about a certain effect? The thing is simply ridiculous. I anticipate that what will be done is to get a new kind of X-ray, so that we may be able to see what a man's intent is. If they had only made the invention before bringing in the Bill, it might have been useful. I am against every, clause in the) Bill, especially this one which the honorable member for North Sydney seeks to omit. In every class of machinery continuous improvements are being made. Manufacturers in the older countries, with their larger production and population, are able to adopt every improvement at once. But. with our smaller production and population, it does not pay our manufacturers to adopt improvements as they come out. Ofttimes we find our manufacturers employing obsolete machinery, and simply because it would not pay them to change their machinery as often as improvements are made, the great body of the public, the millions, have to suffer for the sake of a few. Legislation is, or ought to be, intended to benefit the larger number. Certainly the greater number should be considered in framing legislation of this kind. At the end of the clause I should like to put in a proviso that the Act shall not be put in force in favour of any industries where an examination of the accounts shows that they are making a fair profit. 1 think that the Minister should not object to that. If the Justice is to be directed as to- intention, and as to what is unfair trade, he should also be directed to investigate the accounts of those who ask for the intervention of the Minister, with a view to ascertaining whether, although seeking to prevent competition, they are not really making large profits, as those in whose interests the Bill has been introduced are doing to-day.

Mr Isaacs - The Justice will have full power.

Mr LONSDALE - I wish to make that clear.

Mr Isaacs - lt is clear.

Mr LONSDALE - It seems to me that it is not clear, and I wish it to be made clear to everybody. We are frequently told that the provisions of the measure are clear, but the public find, when any question arises, that lawyers are always ready to give opposite opinions, and what appears to be the obvious interpretation of an enactment often lands them in trouble.

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