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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - I do not know whether if Senator Stewart could draft an amendment it might not have the opposite effect to that which he intended. We all know that there are types of people floating around who do the most strange things. If some of these apparently harmless lunatics knew that there was a load of kerosene on board the steamer in which" they were travelling the places which they would choose for having their daily pipe would be the hatches. On land we see people doing remarkable things, and the place of danger is the very place to which they resort. If a passenger wanted to send himself and a few friends to eternity, he would be afforded a splendid opportunity if it were notified that she was carrying gunpowder. Clause 256 empowers the Minister, if he thinks that the carriage of explosive goods will interfere with the comfort and the safety of the passengers, to prohibit them from being sent. That gives sufficient power, I think, to meet the case suggested by Senator Stewart. The shipper has to give notice that he is going to carry dangerous goods, so that the authorities may decide whether to allow them to go by one ship or another.

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