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Friday, 13 July 1906

The CHAIRMAN - That would be tedious repetition, the honorable member having already read the words.

Mr CONROY - I have not quoted the words in connexion with this clause.

The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member read the words a few moments ago.

Mr CONROY - No; what I propose to read now is another section of the English Act. which is directly consequential on the addition to the amendment suggested bv me. It is not my fault if the logical conclusions of such legislation as that now before 11S is not palatable to members of the Ministry. We should prevent a manufacturer from saying " I have sold all my goods." and so escaping the operation of the verv clause which we have inserted in the

Bill. The words, the insertion of which I intend to move, will be somewhat as follows : -

Any forestaller which is an open oppressor of poor people and an enemy of the whole* Commonwealth, which for greediness of his private gain buyeth in advance such things intending to sell them more dear, shall be liable to a,, penalty of ^.500.

Mr Webster - Why not say " imprisonment for life " ?

Mr CONROY - The honorable member, with his views on coercion, might be ready to support such a proposal, but I will be more moderate and fix only a monetary penalty- to be paid by the manufacturer. As the money will remain in the country, the fine will not injure him, from his point of view.

The CHAIRMAN - I must remind the honorable member that he moved a similar amendment last night, and that it was negatived. He cannot re-open that question.

Mr CONROY - Then a loophole will be left for the escape of offenders. For the reasons which I have given I have no hesitation in supporting the amendment of the honorable member for Perth. It commends itself to me as much more logical than any of the clauses already in the Bill. If it were proposed apart from a measure of this kind, it is quite possible that some of us would not be able to support it. but as we are dealing with a Bill of this kind it is incumbent upon us to make it as effective as possible. Although I am in opposition, I recognise that when a Bill has passed its second reading and pets into Committee, it is our duty to make it as consistent and logical with its own principles as we can.

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