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Friday, 22 November 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I trust that the Committee will not accept this amendment. If it is accepted, it will set aside all idea of Government pilots. The Government will proclaim Melbourne and Sydney as ports at which pilotage will be compulsory; and, if Senator Gould's amendment be agreed to, what will happen will be that we shall have in those ports pilots who will be Government servants and at the same time licensed pilots who will be able to do the work of pilotage in those ports.

Senator Guthrie - The Government would not license them.

Senator PEARCE - Of course, no Government in such circumstances would grant licences to men who were not in their employ. All that would follow from the adoption of the amendment would be that men now holding licences would be deprived of them.

Senator Barker - Which would be a worse evil than that which might arise under the clause.

Senator PEARCE - That is so. ''The object of the Government in making pilotage compulsory at ports where there is. great traffic or many difficufties of navigation, and where, consequently, very great care is necessary in the handling of vessels, is that they may have complete control over the pilots employed at such ports. They desire that for this purpose pilots employed in such ports shall be Government servants. For the reasons I have stated I ask the Committee not to accept the amendment.

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