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Friday, 15 September 1911

Senator CHATAWAY (Queensland) . - Upon this matter, I am very much in agreement with Senator Givens. It seems to me that if, under this clause, we allow the Government to declare what particular British ships may be exempted, we shall be giving them a dangerous power. We all know that the vessels of Burns, Philp and Company, which are British-owned, do a very large trade with the Philippines. I understand that the Minister of Defence, in reply to a question, has stated that those ships will be eligible for exemption.

Senator Pearce - That is so.

Senator CHATAWAY - It seems to me that we are asked to arm the Government with power to exempt a certain line of ships trading along one part of the coast of Australia, and to ignore the vessels trading along another part. I think that we ought to lay down a hard-and-fast rule by refusing to allow the Government to exempt any ships. For that reason, I am inclined to support the amendment of Senator Givens.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Postponed clause 292 -

The Governor-General may, if he thinks fit, by proclamation, exempt ships registered in or sailing under the flag of any foreign country from the provisions of this Part of this Act requiring such ships to be licensed before they engage in the coasting trade, if he is satisfied -

(a)   that by the law of that country British ships may engage in the coasting trade of that country without a licence and as freely as ships registered in or sailing under the flag of that country ; and

(b)   that the effect of the exemption will not be to give to ships of that country privileges or advantages in excess of those given to British ships.

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