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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - Does the Minister of Defence forget that, for a long time, the Australian States attempted to induce New Zealand to join the Commonwealth? It is absolutely certain that, as New Zealand and the Commonwealth increase in population and importance, they will come closer together - almost as close as England and Ireland.

Senator Pearce - New Zealand, in her legislation, did not recognise our certificates.

Senator ST LEDGER - How could she do so, seeing that we have never had a Navigation Act?

Senator Guthrie - There was a Navigation Act in operation in each of the States.

Senator ST LEDGER - The position then was entirely different from what it is now. The Minister has said that he has not the slightest doubt that, if the adjustment of compasses in New Zealand is in accordance with the Board of Trade regulations, and is scientifically accurate, the Commonwealth authorities will recognise certificates issued by the Dominion. In these circumstances, what objection can be urged to my amendment?

Senator Guthrie - Has New Zealand any legislation in regard to the adjustment of compasses?

Senator ST LEDGER - Certainly.

Senator Guthrie - I cannot find it.

Senator Pearce - A section of the New Zealand Act states that the matter is subject to regulations.

Senator ST LEDGER - So that, whilst New Zealand has dealt with this matter by regulations, the Commonwealth intends to deal with it by Statute.

Senator Pearce - The same section appears in the New Zealand Act as appears in this Bill.

Senator ST LEDGER - It would be a gracious act on the part of the Commonwealth to extend the recognition which I desire to New Zealand, as an indication that we wish to develop trade relations with that country. But it is evident that, no matter how harmless may be any amendment which may emanate from this side of the Chamber, it will not be accepted by the Government.

Senator de Largie - What advantage would flow from the adoption of the amendment ?

Senator ST LEDGER - That is not the question which should be addressed to a member of the Opposition.

Senator de Largie - Surely, when the honorable senator wishes to amend a clause, he ought to be in a position to show what advantage would result from his amendment !

Senator ST LEDGER - It is for honorable senators opposite to show what disadvantage would result from it.

Senator de Largie - It is like the fifth wheel of a coach, in that it is not necessary.

Senator ST LEDGER - Is it not necessary that our trade relations with New Zealand should be as free as possible? The only reason why the amendment is being opposed is because it emanates from a member of the Opposition.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 236 to 248 agreed to.

Clause 249 (Using gear not tested, &c., as prescribed, or unsafe).

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