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Thursday, 4 October 1906

Senator WALKER (NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister representing the Minister of External Affairs, upon notice -

1.   What, if any, definite progress has been made through correspondence or negotiations with the home authorities respecting the British claims to the New Hebrides?

2.   Does the Government propose, by a Bill this session, to afford British subjects in the New Hebrides relief from the duties on their exports to the Commonwealth so as to counteract, at least to some extent, the preference given by the Government of New Caledonia to the produce of French settlers in the New Hebrides?

3.   Has it come to the knowledge of the Government that, owing to the important advantages extended by the Government of New Caledonia to French settlers in the New Hebrides who trade with New Caledonia, British settlers in the New Hebrides find themselves so disadvantageous! situated in regard to trade, owing largely to Commonwealth import duties, that several are reported to be seriously considering whether they should not become naturalized subjects of the French Republic?

4.   Will the Government be good enough to lay on the table of this House a phis of all correspondence that has taken place relative to the New Hebridesquestion and the surrounding trade complications?

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