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Wednesday, 13 May 1942

Mr JAMES (HUNTER, NEW SOUTH WALES) - -Recently. I asked the Minister for the Navy whether there was any adequate reason why the owners of small craft who live more than 2 miles from the coast should not be allowed to take their boats to their homes. The Minister replied that he could see no harm in that step being taken, and, as a result of that statement, I told certain owners that there would be no abjection to their transporting their boats to their homes. When the owners attempted to take action, however, permission to remove the craft was refused. I ark the Minister for the Navy whether provision cannot he made to enable owners of small craft to remove the craft to their homes so that they will not be left in positions where they will become damaged by exposure to the weather?

Mr MAKIN - It is true that I intimated to the honorable member for Hunter that I thought it reasonable that provision should be made whereby the owners of small craft who could house the craft on their own properties at a safe distance from the coast be enabled to do so. However, the military authorities, who are charged with the responsibility of determining these matters, were not in agreement with the view I held. They considered that such action would nullify the security precautions which they considered necessary. That being so, the Minister for the Army, exercising the authority that rightly is his in these matters, has asked that a report be made by an independent committee. I have no doubt that, when the report has been supplied, the honorable gentlemen will take appropriate measures.

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