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Tuesday, 18 September 1973
Page: 1125

Mr MARTIN (BANKS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - My question is directed to the Minister representing the AttorneyGeneral. I preface my question by referring to the continuing public discussion in Australia concerning the need for a single Australia-wide companies law and the absence in Australia of proper securities and exchange administrative facilities. Did the report by Professor Loss, professor of law from Harvard University, who is an expert in company law and securities and exchange law, which was presented by the Minister to this House last week deal with the subject? If so, can the Minister say whether the Government agrees with the recommendations in the report? What steps does the Government propose to take to have these recommendations implemented?

Mr ENDERBY (Minister for the Northern Territory) - Honourable members will be aware from the report tabled last week that it contains suggestions and comments from a very eminent American professor, skilled and knowledgeable in this branch of the law. I found the reading of that report very, very interesting. Of course, the Government is not committed to the recommendations contained in it. It deals with such diverse subjects as insider trading, short sales, breaches of fiduciary duty and all the problems that arise from the capital market and the securities industry in Australia and in the United States, drawing on the United States experience. I know that the Attorney-General in the Senate is anxious or hoping to introduce a single companies law on this subject this session, although there are difficulties about it. There is, for example, a report that has not yet been received from the Senate Select Committee on Securities and Exchange, which presumably would be a welcome contribution on the subject. The American scene, as we all know, is different from the Australian scene. The professor deals with the advantages of some of the American features, and it is interesting that he comes down wholeheartedly in favour of a single companies law for the whole of Australia dealing with this problem.

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