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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - I hope that the Minister will stand by the clause. It is a well-known fact that most explosives if properly handled and safely stowed are absolutely harmless.

Senator Pearce - Cordite is, for instance. You can burn it like a candle.

Senator ST LEDGER - Quite so. Some people are so nervous that if they knew that a ship was carrying a few pounds of cordite or dynamite they would not go to sea, although it might be as safe to do so as to travel in a Melbourne tramcar. 1 have seen, on some ships, large iron tubes filled with compressed carbonic acid. Being carefully stowed and securely lashed, they were perfectly safe. If they were improperly handled, however, there would be danger of an explosion. Passengers know that the officers will see to it that they are carefully stowed. It is useless to multiply imaginary dangers. There is no precedent for declaring publicly at the ticket-office that dangerous goods are to be carried. Ship-owners incur heavy penalties, if they do not stow their cargo properly. Furthermore, all goods are shipped under the supervision of Government officers. The seamen and officers on a ship are self-compelled watchmen, in their own interests, as well as for the safety of the passengers.

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