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Wednesday, 12 October 1910

Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - I have some doubt regarding the effect of this clause. A reference is made to certificates " recognised by the Board of Trade." I have no objection to take cognisance of a certificate issued by the Board of Trade. I remind the Committee that under the Board of Trade no certificate of survey is required for British ships that do not carry passengers. Such ships may trade upon our coasts and handicap our own ship-owners. At the Imperial Conference, at which we were represented, the following resolution affecting this matter was adopted-

That it should be a suggestion to the Board of Trade that they should provide for the issue of a survey certificate in the case of nonpassenger vessels, and that standards as to hull, machinery, boilers, and life-saving appliances established by the Board of Trade and testified by current certificates should be accepted for British ships in Australian and New Zealand waters, the Board of Trade certificates' to be accepted as of the same effect as the local certificates.

That would be all right, but, unfortunately, up to the present, the Board of Trade has not provided for the issue of survey certificates for non-passenger vessels. The use of the expression " or recognised by the Board of Trade " leads me to believe that these vessels, which are not required to have survey certificates, may be allowed to enter into competition with our own ships, which, under this Bill, must be surveyed every six months or twelve months, as the case may be. The decision of the Navigation Conference was that we should recognise the British standard, but, as I have said, up to the present time no action has been taken by the Board of Trade to require survey certificates for non passenger vessels. I should like to know from the Minister whether it is intended under this clause that we should recognise non-passenger British ships without survey certificates ?

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