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Wednesday, 12 October 1910


Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - The speech of Senator Gould might lead some persons to think that this is a new provision in a measure of this kind. As a matter of fact, it has appeared in every Navigation Bill which has been originated here. So far as I can remember, not one witness before the Navigation Commission raised the slightest objection to the provision for watertight partitions in the Bill of 1904. In the face of the fact that all the witnesses accepted the principle, it is rather unfair for the honorable senator to state that the Government have no case further than that they will accept no amendment from the other side.


Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Will the honorable senator tell me how many amendments they have accepted from this side?


Senator DE LARGIE - At present, we are considering a particular question, and certainly we ought to take the ordinary precautions which are taken the world over to insure the safety of passengers on steam-ships. The principle of watertight partitions is so well-established that I am surprised at any one rising and suggesting that there should be any going back.


Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould -I have not made that suggestion.


Senator DE LARGIE - Then I fail to grasp the meaning of the honorable senator's suggestion.


Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Watertight compartments and watertight false bottoms are two distinct things.


Senator DE LARGIE - I suppose that if there is one State in Australia in which such a provision is necessary, it is New South Wales. I do not think it is necessary in many of the other States. It is certainly not required for safe navigation in Western Australia. According to the marginal note, this clause was taken from the New South Wales Act of 190 1. It is a very wise precaution to take to insure the safety of navigation in the case of bad bar harbors. In the absence of such a provision, captains would take the liberty of going out when there was not sufficient water on the bar, and incur a very great risk both to the ship and to the persons on board. It is unreasonable to expect the Government to go back on such a wellestablished principle as is embodied in the provision.







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