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Wednesday, 21 July 1920

Senator FAIRBAIRN (Victoria) . - I do not know whether it is the change of environment or not, but on coming over to this side, I find myself in complete accord with the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Gardiner), on the first question that he has brought before the Senate. I refer to the payment of cash to anybody who wants to travel. The law of the country, and it is a very good law, is that the amount of gold that any one make take out of the country shall be limited. Senator Gardiner says that the amount i= £15, and Senator Pratten says it is £50.

Senator PRATTEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - It was £50 until recently.

Senator FAIRBAIRN - Then, I understand, it has now been reduced to £15. Facilities to get that amount of gold ought to be accorded to the people. It is the law of the country, and the people of Sydney, Brisbane, and other cities ought to have exactly the same facilities as the people of Melbourne have. I know it is the case, and has to be the case, that notes on a large scale can be exchanged for gold only in one centre. That was unavoidable. But where the law is that any citizen .travelling to another country may take a certain amount of gold with him, it is only fair that the people in the other capital cities should have the same facilities as those of Melbourne. It would not be hard for the Government to make a provision of that sort by regulation. I think it could te done without the necessity of an amendment of the Act. A trifling matter of that sort should easily be arranged, and it is the small matters that are often' most irritating. I am sorry that Senator Pratten has found cause to complain of the doings of the Fleet in Sydney Harbor. If he wants a fine bay to float the Fleet on, Port Phillip is always available.

Senator E D MILLEN (NEW SOUTH WALES) - For the reason, I suppose, that it could not possibly pollute the waters here.

Senator FAIRBAIRN - The waters of Port Phillip are so pure that they would stand any amount of pollution. This is really a lovely harbor, with any amount of room to float the Fleets of the world. Sydney is getting very congested, and I quite appreciate Senator Pratten's suggestion, that the Fleet might be moved to Melbourne.

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