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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - The Minister has adopted his usual method of dealing with an amendment from this side. On this occasion we are met with a very peculiar argument, but it was not used by the honorable senator when he pointed out that it might be inadvisable to require 140 cubic feet of air space for each member of the crew and each apprentice. My amendment, if carried) will not curtail his hands at all. He can make as many alterations as he thinks fit to suit the various classes of ships; but he cannot give a passenger less than 140 cubic feet of air space. It is very peculiar that he should object to the proposal. Perhaps he does so because it comes from this side.

Senator Pearce - Oh, no.

Senator SAYERS - I have noticed that the honorable senator has not yet adopted a suggestion from this side, but has adopted several suggestions, without any hitch, from the other side.

Senator Pearce - I can assure the honorable senator that he is incorrect. I have adopted more than one suggestion from his side.

Senator SAYERS - Well, I was not here when it was done.

Senator Pearce - I am going to adopt a suggestion from an honorable senator in the case of the next clause.

Senator SAYERS - Perhaps 1 have made a mistake, and, if so, I am sorry. I shall not ask the honorable senator to interfere with any regulations which he may choose to make. Although he admits that it is not likely that any Minister will give less than 140 cubic feet of air space to a passenger, still he refuses to make such a provision in the Bill. It is another case of government by regulation. When Senator Guthrie moved the previous amendment, the Minister did not say that its subjectmatter should be dealt with by regulation, and that an attempt was being made to tie the hands of the Government. But when I ask that a similar provision for passengers shall be put in the Bill, he immediately says mat it is inadvisable to do so. One thing is prescribed in the Bill, and the other is to be dealt with by regulation. I am not asking that the regulations shall he framed now, but that they shall provide for that amount of air space to. each passenger. The Minister is dealing with the amendment very harshly. Surely the Senate ought to be allowed to exercise some control over the subject-matter of the regulations. Are we to be governed by regulations when it suits the Minister, and by a provision in the measure in other cases? i do not know whether Senator Pearce wishes to leave a loophole for another Minister, if not for himself, to make a regulation which will give a passenger less than 140 cubic feet of air space. I submit that it is as reasonable to make this provision in respect of passengers as it was to prescribe the accommodation for the officers and crew.

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