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Friday, 15 September 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I do not think it is necessary to insert the words "and the general public" because the Minister will represent their interests. The whole purpose of the Marine Council is to advise the Minister, and he will really be the representative of the public.

Senator Rae - The Minister may want advice from the rest of the public as much as from the representatives of these particular interests.

Senator PEARCE - How can one man speak for the public? The people can always voice their complaints and opinions through Parliament. Some man might believe that ships should carry, for instance, fans, or some apparatus of that kind, while another man might hold that in vessels trading round Tasmania, or in a cooler climate, that was unnecessary.

Senator Millen - Or one man might think that a ship should have a bar, and another might not.

Senator PEARCE - Yes. We cannot get one man in that way to express the collective opinion of the public, and in order to meet that difficulty, I move -

That after the word " Council," line 1, the words " of such number as may be prescribed," T>e inserted.

If that amendment be agreed to, the regulation fixing the number of members will have to be laid before each House of the Parliament, and thus any honorable senator who thought that a larger number than was necessary had been appointed would have the right to object.

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