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Friday, 13 July 1906

Mr KELLY (Wentworth) .Ministers have now accepted the principle of penalizing the person who malicously sets the ball rolling against an innocent importer, but such a man can only be hit if he has anything worth hitting. If he is a dummy put up by , some local manufacturer he cannot be touched. How can a dummy pay costs? It would be taking blood from a stone. We none of us have any desire to protract the proceedings this afternoon, and perhaps the AttorneyGeneral would promise to look into the matter carefully, with a view to see that no loophole isleft in this matter.

Mr Isaacs - What I intended was to strike out the word " indictable " in this clause, and make it a summary offence. An indictable offencewould be too cumbersome a proceeding, I think.

Mr KELLY - Does the honorable and learned gentleman think that would meet the situation?

Mr Isaacs - It would then be a matter which justices could deal with, and would not require the cumbersome proceeding of ajury case.

Mr KELLY - Would it enable any person putting up a man of straw to be got at?

Mr Watson - The complaint is to be investigated in the first instance by the AttorneyGeneral.

Mr KELLY - If the honorable member for Bland will look at clause 15 he will find that when the Comptroller-General " has received a complaint in writing " certain things are to happen. Some of these complaints may be as to loss of employment.

Mr Watson - The Attorney-General, on looking into the complaint, may decide tocarry it no further.

Mr KELLY - That is so : but I submit this position, which the honorable gentleman will no doubt appreciate. A union secretary may be told by the manufacturer employing the men of his union that if certain competition is allowed to go on unchecked the members of the union may be seriously affected in the matter of their employment. He might make an application under clause 15, and there might be nothing behind that application. The union secretary might be bond fide in the case, but the employer might not, and I desire that in such a case as I have submitted the union secretary shall be placed in such a position that he will have to take such a risk as will make him careful to be sure of his facts before he proceeds.

Mr Watson - The Attorney -General will look for a prima facie case before the Crown proceeds.

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