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Wednesday, 7 July 1920

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) .- The question is rather a difficult one to answer. The Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor) will probably confirm what I am about to say as to the time that elapsed before the Royal assent was given to the original Act. I think it was over twelve months.

Mr.Fenton. - That would not apply to this measure.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - In the case ofthe amending Navigation Bill which was passed in the last Parliament, and which was a short measure, we cabled the provisions of the Bill to the Old Country, and the Royal assent was cabled to Australia after a delay of about ten days.

Mr Ryan - What was the purpose of that Bill?

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - I cannot remember the whole of the matters with which it dealt, but it was passed mainly in order to enable us to proclaim a portion of the Navigation Act at any given time, and to avoid the necessity of having to proclaim the whole of the Act at once. As the original measure was drawn it could be proclaimed in force as a whole, with the exception of the coastal trading provisions. There was a section under which it was necessary that the coastal trading provisions should be specially proclaimed, and we put through a short amending measure to enable us to proclaim the Act in forcepiecemeal, and also to enable us to extend the provisions of the Act to the territories which under mandate are to come under the control of the Australian Parliament. As the Bill now before the Committee contains no new principle, and is submitted only that Australia may carry out its pledge to adhere to the conclusions of the International Convention, I imagine that the Royal assent to it will be received very shortly after a copy of the measure is received by post in England.

Mr Ryan - This is not one of the matters committed to the ex-Treasurer as part of his mission.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - No, it is not.

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