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Wednesday, 14 August 1901

Mr BROWN (Canobolas) - I have no objection to the postponement of the clause for further consideration, but I hold very strong opinions upon the question of employing coloured labour in connexion with our mail contracts. In times of national emergency, we must look to our mercantile marine to assist in fighting our battles. If the naval defence of these States wereto be left exclusively to the coloured races, there might be some ground for the contention that only that class of labour should be employed on our mail steamers. But when trouble comes, I am afraid that the lascar will disappear, and we shall have to look to the British bulldog to fight our battles. As custodians of the ' public purse, we should see that the men employed upon mail steamers, which we subsidize, are those of our own race. They will thus be able to gain experience to equip them for service in our naval defence, should the. occasion ever require it.

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