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Tuesday, 4 September 1906

Senator PLAYFORD (South Australia) (Minister of Defence) . - The Government have not yet decided on what particular part of the coast this trawler shall be used; but, in any case, the expenditure will be debited, on a population basis, to the whole of the Commonwealth. The trawler is really intended for the purposes of exploration, in order to ascertain whether, and if so where, there are good fishing grounds to be found.

Senator Givens - Is the trawler to be an aid to private enterprise ?

Senator PLAYFORD - It is to be an aid to private enterprise. The Government do not expect to have a trawling fleet of their own ; but hope to do what has been done with some success in South Africa. At the Cape, the Government purchased a trawler, and as a result of the exploration made, good fishing grounds were found, and now, after the lapse of a few years, there are four or five trawlers at work with profit.

Senator Givens - Who has the profit - the State or private individuals?

Senator PLAYFORD - The State is made up of private individuals, and when private individuals make a. profit, the State makes a profit?

Senator Findley - That is too thin !

Senator Givens - That sort of argument will not do.

Senator PLAYFORD - As I say, the trawler has been purchased for exploration purposes; but, of course, if the Government think they can undertake the general work of trawling to better advantage than can private individuals, that may be done. However, apart altogether from whether the trawling will eventually be conducted by the State or by private enterprise, it is a wise step to explore the coast in order to ascertain whether or not there are good fishing grounds.

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