Database House Hansard
Date 04-07-1906
Source House of Reps
Parl No. 2
Electorate Indi
Interjector THOMSON, Dugald
GLYNN, Patrick
Page 1033
Party Protectionist
Status Final
Speaker ISAACS, Isaac
System Id hansard80/hansardr80/1906-07-04/0081


Mr ISAACS (Indi) (Attorney-General) . - With regard to the question which has been raised b- the honorable member for North Sydney, I cannot at present understand how a mere bill of lading given by a shipping combination could in itself be a contract in restraint1 of trade. But that would leave entirely untouched the combination which was outside the bill of lading, and of which the bill of lading was, so to speak, only the result. I should not think that the bill of lading could by any possibility fall within the provision.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I know that there is some fear that it may.

Mr ISAACS - I do not think that there is any ground for the fear. Of course, a bill of lading might be evidence of the overt act of an offender. But as far as I can see it could not by any stretch of imagination be brought within the Bill as being in itself a substantive offence. With regard to the position of foreign corporations it is a very difficult question which the honorable and learned1 member for Angas has raised. But I take it that the power given to the Federal Parliament under the Constitution to legislate with respect to foreign corporations and trade and financial corporations formed within the Commonwealth enables us to pass any legislation we think necessary with regard to those objects. Therefore, knowing that foreign corporations do trade in our midst, their head office being wherever they were formed and incorporated, and some of their branches or agents being here, undoubtedly they could Le sued civilly under clause 11, and the persons who represented them here, and who were party or privy to the offence, if there was an offence by the foreign corporation, would come under clause 9.

Mr Glynn - If the corporation itself were not liable under this clause its agent could not be liable under the other, because a man could not be accessory to a crime that did not exist.

Mr ISAACS - I think the fact that a foreign corporation, though formed in one country may trade in another country, and have its residence or domicile there, enables us to legislate in this way. In consequence of what was done on a previous clause at the suggestion of the honorable and learned member for Northern Melbourne, I move -

That the words " to do any act or thing," lines 5 and 6, be left out.

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