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Thursday, 7 July 1921

Senator KEATING (TASMANIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Trade and Customs, upon notice -

1.   Is he aware, whether it has been complained that, owing to the requirements of the Navigation Act of the Commonwealth -

(a)   The Union Steam-ship Company's steamers hitherto engaged in the New Zealand-Sydney-Hobart service will have to make Sydney there terminal port, in Australia, and cease running in the coastwise service between Sydney and Hobart?

(b)   All steamers, including river steamers, of 10 tons, are required to provide libraries for their crews? 2.Has theMinister any, and what information, as to the foundation of such complaints, and is it proposed to redress them, and insure tothe one geographically isolated State of the Common wealth a continuance of such communication with itssister States as it. has hitherto enjoyed?

Senator RUSSELL - The answers are- 1.(a) There is reason to believe that the withdrawal of certain of the Union Company's vessels from the New ZealandTasmaniaAustralia run and the substitution of a smaller vessel of another line is due directly to the world-wide trade depression, and not to the operation of the Navigation Act.

(b)   No, thereisno necessity under the Navigation Act to provide a library for the crew in any ship. If, 'however, a library is provided for the use of passengers, and there is no separate library for the crew, the latter shall be given reasonable means of access to the library under the same conditions as the passengers.

2.   No complaints have been addressed to the Minister or the Department in the matter. The only . information available has been gathered from reports in the daily press.

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