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Tuesday, 11 October 1910

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - What Senator Guthrie asks for seems to be a small concession, and to refuse it is somewhat disagreeable. But, until we know the full effect of what is proposed, we can hardly agree to the amendment. The honorable senator treats matters of this kind rather lightly. The clause has been carefully considered by the Government, who had before them the recommendations of the Navigation Commission. If Senator Guthrie can show that the concession can be made without inconvenience to the working of ships, I am sure that the Minister of Defence would be willing to accept it, and no single member of the Senate would refuse his assent.

Senator McColl - The penalty for a breach of the provision is .£100.

Senator ST LEDGER - This is a most Draconian Bill in regard to penalties. A small offence is punished as severely as a serious one.

Senator Guthrie - This is a maximum penalty.

Senator ST LEDGER - I ask Senator Guthrie to withdraw the amendment for the time being. If on further inquiry it be found that the concession can be granted, it ought to be made; but, if not, it ought to be refused. The Committee is not in -a position at present to decide the point. '

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