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Wednesday, 20 November 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) .- The object of the first amendment is to make it clear that the clause does not apply to foreign ships. The Commonwealth may have power to make laws which will have the effect of annulling agreements between the masters and seamen of these ships. There is considerable doubt about it. At all events, it would be very unwise to attempt to do so, for it would inevitably result in considerable international friction. Under this Bill, " dangerous goods " mean goods which have been proclaimed to be dangerous. Under the Merchant Shipping Act, which we will probably follow, a large number of common commodities, such as matches, kerosene, &c, are classed as dangerous. Other goods so classed are, however, of a highly dangerous character, such as dynamite, gunpowder, benzine, &c. This will make it clear that we do not intend to apply these provisions to foreign ships. I move -

That the amendment be agreed to.

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [8.49].- Do I understand that matches are dangerous goods.

Senator Guthrie - Not under the Imperial Act.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - I think that the Minister's explanation was that matches were included in the category of " dangerous goods."

Senator Pearce - I said they were dangerous under the Merchant Shipping Act.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - Are we going to allow a man, because there is a box of lucifer matches on a ship, to refuse to go to sea in her? That would be absurd.

Senator Pearce - It refers to cargo.

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