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Wednesday, 5 October 1910
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Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - During the discussion on this item some reference has been made to the reports which have been supplied to the Senate. On a previous occasion it was thoroughly understood that progress reports were to be made for the purpose of acquainting the Parliament and the country with what the trawler has been doing. But it was also understood that we were to be supplied with an annual report covering the whole ground. In my opinion, a great deal of value attaches to the progress reports. Otherwise the trawler might dis>:over some grounds which were very profitable, and the general public would get no information on the subject until the annual report was published, and the value of the work of the trawler would be to a considerable extent lost. Senator Stewart has referred to the view which -fishermen generally take of its work. I admit that there is a deal of truth in what he said, but it must be remembered that men who have been fishing in a small way have been, and still are, somewhat prejudiced against the inroad of the trawler. We have not to regard their prejudices at all, but to consider whether it is scientifically carrying out the work it was intended to do. My opinion is that no one ship can suffice for a coastline of- 8,500 miles. Hitherto the arrangement has been to allow each State to get some benefit from the Endeavour. She was sent to Tasmania, thence to Port Philip Bay, thence to South Australia, thence to New South Wales, and next to Queensland, without being allowed sufficient, time in which to make an exhaustive report at every place. The time must come when it will be necessary to employ two or three trawlers, if we wish to carry out the work with anything like satisfaction, and we want reports to be supplied from time to time.

Senator Vardon - They ought to be illustrated too.

Senator GUTHRIE - The fish can be described in the reports without being illustrated.

Senator McGregor - They could bring a few of the fish here too.

Senator GUTHRIE - No doubt some samples would be interesting; but that is not the object. It is not a question of the kind of fish which are obtained, but whether the waters round our coast are such as to breed the fish and keep them in their shoals. So far the trawler has done good work; but it has not been kept for a sufficient time at any point to give an exhaustive report.

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