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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator SAYERS (Queensland) .- I am surprised that the Honorary Minister should have made such a statement as he has done. He has simply been trying to mislead the Committee. My amendment in no wayffects ththe power of the Government to make regulations affecting any steamer making a voyage of less than 300 miles.

Senator Findley - In the first instance, the honorable senator did not propose to place- an v limitation upon his amendment.

Senator SAYERS - I consulted the Minister of Defence, and told him that I had no wish to hamper the Government, nor did my amendment in its original form do so.

Senator Pearce - It does hamper the Government, but not in the direction that Senator Findley stated.

Senator SAYERS - The amendment does not hamper the Government, even as I have amended it at the suggestion of Senator Givens ; because they can make any regulations they please to provide for passengers an air space greater than 140 cubic feet. Senator de Largie labours under the same delusion as Senator .Findley .does, when he says that the amendment would interfere with the passenger trade between Sydney and Newcastle. My proposal, as Senator Givens has pointed out, would not in- the slightest degree limit the power of the Government to make regulations affecting that trade. But I do desire that passengers who are likely to be more than a night at sea should have at least as much accommodation as is provided for seamen. I think it only reasonable that they should have at least 140 cubic feet of space provided for them. Senator St. Ledger informs us that he has often been satisfied with less than tso cubic feet- I have occasionally travelled on a boat where such limited accommodation was provided, but I have never been satisfied with it. Senator St. Ledger might be satisfied with 50 cubic feet of space, but I am not, and I do not think that ordinary passengers are. The Government may be of the same opinion as their new supporter, and, if so. they will. I suppose, succeed in defeating my amendment. We have had some peculiar examples of political conduct lately. We have had members of the Labour party denounced by Labour Ministers because of their utterances, and now we have a new recruit added to that party in the person of Senator St. Ledger. His support of the Government is something of a novelty. Of course, they want a lawyer over there, and Senator St. Ledger may be able to assist them in the drafting of their Bills. I am getting rather suspicious of this change of front. I hope, however, that the Government are not of the same opinion as their legal adviser, and that, after all, they will accept the amendment.

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