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Wednesday, 14 August 1974
Page: 942

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I will check the precise words, but earlier I indicated to the Committee that although the clause is generally in line with the clause in the Robinson Patman Act there have been some significant drafting improvements and some changes of substance. Senator Greenwood has a copy of the Robinson Patman Act.

Senator Greenwood - I have only what was said in the House of Representatives.

Senator MURPHY - It really does not touch upon the argument as to whether it ought to be there or not. We rely upon the argument which we are putting that it is undesirable to have it there. I am reading from 'Anti-Trust Laws of the United States of America' by A. D. Neale and neither I nor my advisers can find the reference which Senator Greenwood has said was in the Robinson Patman Act. That Act contains the proviso:

That nothing herein contained shall prevent a seller rebutting the prima facie case thus made by showing that his lower price or the furnishing of services or facilities to any purchaser or purchasers was made in good faith to meet an equally low price of a competitor or the services or facilities furnished by a competitor

I cannot find in this report the reference to reasonably believed to be offered ' which Senator Greenwood has referred to. Since I do not have the original document with me -

Senator Greenwood - I am just referring to the House of Representatives debate and what was said there. Likewise there was no reference to a clause then.

Senator MURPHY -The Government considers that the amendment would be an undue weakening of the clause and the Government would resist it. On the point raised by Senator Guilfoyle, the information I have is that a clause 49. (2) (a) defence permits the supplier to allow a price concession to a customer who, say, collects all his goods at one place and undertakes his own distribution to outlets. So in that sense the matters to which the honourable senator referred may be covered. I am sorry if that does not answer her question as fully as she would want.

Senator Guilfoyle - I was referring to market promotion or service facilities which would be provided by the purchaser to the consumer and wondered whether the word 'distribution' would comprehend those factors.

Senator MURPHY -No, they would not be covered, but distribution in the sense that I described it would be.

Question put:

That the words proposed to be inserted (Senator Greenwood's amendment) be inserted.

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