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Friday, 19 June 1903

Mr KINGSTON - The answer to the honorable member's question is as follows : -

Wharfage rates devised to interfere with Interstate free-trade are unconstitutional and cannot be permitted. At the same time, wharfage rates which are not so devised, but are simply fair charges for the services rendered, are not open to objection. The value of wharfage services differs at various ports. Special attention will be given to any particular case which is brought under the notice of the Government. The passing of the Inter-State Commission Bill will facilitate dealing with matters of this sort, as the commission is charged by the Constitution with the duty of executing the provisions of the Constitution relating to trade and commerce.

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