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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2161

Mr WATSON (Bland) .- It seems to me that the amendment is unnecessary, because the Bill incidentally gives the Government the power which the honorable member for Wentworth desires to confer.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - By what provision in the Bill is that power conferred?

Mr WATSON - I think that the powers necessary for the carrying out of the main purposes of the measure include it.

Mr Kelly - Then why is sub-clause c of clause 5 necessary?

Mr WATSON - Clause 5 deals with functions which have hitherto been performed by the States, and it seems to me necessary to lay down the specific conditions under which the meteorological branch is to be transferred to the Commonwealth. I have risen to suggest that, when a Commonwealth Meteorological Department is formed consideration should be given to the statements made by Professor Gregory in a lecture delivered in Melbourne on the subject of Australian meteorological conditions and the forecasting of weather. He is of opinion that the temperature of the waters on our coasts, influenced as it is by ocean currents, may have a material effect upon our weather conditions, and suggested that a small sum should be expended annually in recording the temperature of the sea at various places. He admitted that it would be some time before sufficient data would be available to substantiate any reasonable theory, but he thought that an expenditure of £500 per annum might produce results of value in meteorological research. I think it would be well for the Commonwealth Department of Meteorology, when created, to give attention to that suggestion.

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