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Wednesday, 21 October 1931

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - What action does the

Government purpose taking in view of the fact that the shipping combine with which Lord Kylsant is connected, has defaulted to the extent of £156,000 in respect of instalments due on the purchase of the Australian Commonwealth Line of Steamers? Does the Government consider that the promise to pay interest on the sum overdue is sufficient to safe- guard the interests of the Commonwealth? Is it not a fact that the purchasers of the line solemnly undertook not to raise freights to Australian shippers because of securing a monopoly of the export trade from Australia? As this undertaking has been flagrantly violated, and as defaulting purchasers of soldiers' homes have, in many instances, forfeited their holdings, will the Government take steps to recover the Australian Commonwealth Line of Steamers? If such action is not taken, how can this differential treatment between the rich and the poor be justified?

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