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Friday, 20 May 1904

Mr FISHER - The honorable member was good enough to notify me upon this subject, . and I have, so far as opportunity has been afforded to me, investigated the matter. I find that what he states is correct, that foreign vessels obtain an undue advantage over British vessels trading to our ports, and I am entirely with him in the desire to prevent this. I am advised, however, that the matter is now largely one for State action, and that until we get legislative authority to interfere, it is not advisable for the Commonwealth Government to do anything. So far as the policy of interference is concerned, we are with the honorable member.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable gentleman means that the Government will seek authority to interfere?

Mr FISHER - Certainly.

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