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Wednesday, 23 March 1927

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) .- Before we can arrive at a proper conclusion in this matter, we must have further information. I understand that there are about 400 vessels engaged in pearl-shell fishing along the coast line of Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory.

Senator Crawford - There are 411 vessels.

Senator PAYNE - Until we know among how many owners those vessels are divided, we shall be unable to say whether this is a reasonable franchise. I do not think that a man with a very small interest in the industry should have the same voting power as one whose interest is much larger.

Senator McLachlan - Sub-clause 2 of clause 2 provides that before the act shall come into operation a poll must be taken.

Senator Duncan - That poll is only to determine whether the act shall be brought into operation.

Senator PAYNE - Until I know how many owners are concerned, I am unable to decide whether this is a fair franchise.

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