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Thursday, 23 June 1904

Mr KNOX (Kooyong) - The Prime Minister, when dealing with the request that some capable representatives of shipping and mercantile interests should be added to the Royal Commission on the Navigation Bill, referred to an able and exhaustive speech made by Mr. Maitland Paxton at the annual meeting of the General Council of the Chambers of Commerce. On that occasion the Prime Minister, quite inadvertently I am sure, overlooked a portion of Mr. Maitland Paxton's remarks. The inference from the Prime Minister's observations was, practically, that Mr. Maitland Paxton had not taken any exception to the restrictions which were embraced in the proposals relating to the coastal trade. I am perfectly certain that it was entirely through an oversight that the Prime Minister made that statement ; but the Sydney Chamber of Commerce, the members of which have seen the report of the remarks of the Prime Minister, greatly regret that his words should have gone. abroad, and they have sent a telegram asking that a correction should be made, inasmuch as the coastal restrictions which the Government propose are totally condemned by that and the other Chambers of Commerce.

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