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Thursday, 30 November 1905

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) - I think that Senator Guthrie ought to insist on this amendment. It relates to the definition of a dwelling, which is made to include vessels travelling between ports of the Commonwealth. The schedules could easily be left with the captains of vessels leaving ports within a certain number of clays of the census day. Of course, proper regulations would have to be framed to carry out what is intended. We do not need to put in the Bill the machinery for carrying out the idea. But we ought to require that a dwelling shall include a ship which may be between two Commonwealth ports on census day. It should be remembered that the census papers are not left at dwellings on one particular day. They have to be filled up on a particular day, but they can be left a number of days before the census. The captain of a ship should be made just as much responsible as a householder for seeing that schedules left with him are properly filled up. They can be collected when the vessel arrives in port. The regulations might provide that the Customs officers shall be empowered to collect them. The provision will apply only to coastal vessels. I am afraid that in the tremendous excitement over the union label clauses in the other House, not much attention has been given to this matter. Senator Guthrie has had considerable ex- perience, and take's a keen interest in shipping affairs. What is there that is impracticable in this amendment? I think it ought to be insisted upon.

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