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Wednesday, 18 March 1936


Senator E B JOHNSTON asked the Minister in Charge of Territories, upon notice -

1.   Is it a fact that a new Ordinance restricting shipping in the Territory of New Guinea is now awaiting the assent of the GovernorGeneral?

2.   If so, is it a fact that the restrictions imposed by this new Ordinance are regarded in the Territory as very inimical to all interests there ?

3.   Is it a fact that a unanimous resolution of both official and non-official members of the Legislative Council of New Guinea in 1934 urged the Commonwealth Government to refrain from interference with shipping in the territory ?

4.   Is it a fact that the official members of the Legislative Council of New Guinea were unsympathetic to the new Ordinance, but passed it under the direction of the Commonwealth Government?

5.   If so, what were the reasons for the Commonwealth Government's action in the matter?

6.   Is it a fact that every non-official member of the Legislative Council of New Guinea opposed the new Ordinance on the grounds that shipping and buying competition would be restricted, and planters and returned soldier settlers exposed to exploitation? 7.Is the Ordinance directly contrary to assurances previously given to the settlers by the Commonwealth Government?

8.   Will the Government consider the Hansard reports of the debates on this subject in the Legislative Council of New Guinea, before approving this Ordinance?

9.   If not, why not?

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE.The answers to the honorable senator's questions are as follows: -

l.   Yes. 2 to 9. The ordinance, which is entitled the Shipping Ordinance 1930, has been reserved for the pleasure of the Governor-General pursuant to the New Guinea Act 1920-1935, and will not come into operation until a notification of the Governor-General's pleasure in regard thereto is published in New Guinea by the Administrator of the Territory. The Government is aware that there is certain opposition to the enactment of the ordinance, and has received and considered representations against the ordinance including a resolution passed by the Legislative Council of New Guinea in 1034. Those representations and all aspects of the question have received the careful consideration of the Commonwealth Government, which, however, is of opinion that the public interest of the Commonwealth and the territories makes it necessary that action should be taken to promulgate an ordinance on the lines of the Shipping Ordinance 1936.







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