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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - The Government are putting up one or two land stations for wireless telegraphic communication at the present time, and they hope to erect more later, but, for some years, the number of land stations on our coast will necessarily be limited. Obviously, it would be foolish for the Government to impose these conditions generally and indifferently unless there were some means by which a vessel having wireless telegraphic apparatus might communicate with another ship or with the shore. I take it that the regulations will be framed with a knowledge of this fact. On the other point, I ask why we should exempt cargo ships. The lives of the crew and officers of cargo ships are as precious to their friends and the public generally as are the lives of the passengers on a passenger ship, and the property in each case may be said to be equally valu able. The idea is to enable a warning to be given, or an appeal for help to be made, in order that life and property may be saved. One can imagine that where a ship is trading close to the coast, and might easily communicate by signal with the shore, the Minister would not impose this condition, but in the case of ships that go to sea, it may be very necessary for the protection of the lives of crews and passengers, as well as of property, to provide that they should carry wireless telegraphic apparatus. In such cases, the provision ought to be enforced whether the ships carry passengers or not.

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