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Thursday, 21 November 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - This clause, which gave power to exempt foreign ships from the necessity of obtaining a licence before engaging in the coasting trade, was, as I have already explained in connexion with a previous amendment, ' rendered necessary by reason of the fact that a number of treaties existing between Great Britain and certain foreign countries entitled the ships of those countries to engage in the coasting trade of all British Possessions upon exactly the same terms as British ships. Now that the conditions applicable to ships engaging in that trade have been made uniform in regard to British and foreign ships alike, there no longer exists any necessity to grant exemptions to those foreign ships, and it is considered desirable that the clause should be omitted, for so long as it remains it is an invitation to foreign Powers to apply for the exemption of their ships. This question of exemption was one of the most troublesome in the Bill, as any discrimination in favour of the ships of any one country would inevitably have involved considerable friction with other Powers whose ships were not exempted. The amendments already made in the clauses of Part VI., together with the omission of clause 295, will entirely obviate trouble on that score. I move -

That the amendment be agreed to.

Motion agreed to.

Amendments of clause 320 agreed to.

Clause 321 - (1.) Disputes as to salvage which are to be determined summarily shall -

(i)   where the dispute relates to salvage in the case of services rendered to any ship, or to any wreck, or in saving life therefrom - be referred to a Court having jurisdiction at or near the place where the ship is lying or the wreck is, or at or near the port in Australia into which the ship or wreck is first brought, after the occurrence by reason whereof the claim of salvage arises.

House of Representatives' Amendments.- Omit " any wreck " and insert " the cargo or equipment thereof"; omit "or the wreck is"; omit " or wreck."

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