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Thursday, 28 November 1912


Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - Senator McDougall has said that the information I gave the Committee was supplied by men who are trying to save their billets. ' I do not wish the men who have supplied me with this information to rest under any such imputation. I am able to inform honorable senators that one of the gentlemen who have advised the Government in this matter is Professor Payne, who is professor of engineering at the Melbourne University. I have the names of four other gentlemen who supplied information before me, and I shall have no objection to show them to Senator McDougall, or any other member of the Committee who desires to see them, on condition that they are not brought into the debate, because the gentlemen referred to do not desire that their names shall be published. I have before me a case where a certificate of survey granted by the Legislature of Bengal has been practically debarred from certain trade. It is provided in section 284 of the Merchant Shipping Act that -

Where the Legislature of any British Possession provides for the survey of, and grant of certificates for passenger steamers, and the Board of Trade report to Her Majesty the Queen that they are satisfied that the certificates are to a like effect, and are granted after a like survey, and in such manner as to be equally efficient with the certificates granted for the same purpose in the United Kingdom under this Act, Her Majesty in Council may -

1.   Declare that the certificates granted in the said British Possession shall be of the same force as if granted under this Act.

Then we have a proclamation issued under that. It is as follows -

Whereas by the Merchant Shipping Act 1876, it is enacted that, when the Legislature of any British possession provides for the survey of and grant of certificates for passenger steamers, and the Board of Trade report to Her Majesty that they are satisfied that the certificates are to the like effect, and are granted after a like survey, and in such manner as to be equally efficient with the certificates granted for the same purpose in the United Kingdom under the Acts relating to Merchant Shipping, it shall be lawful for Her Majesty by Order in Council -

1.   To declare that the said certificates shall be of the same force as if they had been granted under the said Acts; and

2.   To declare that all or any of the provisions of the said Acts which relate to certificates granted for passenger steamers under those Acts shall either without modification or such modification as to Her Majesty may seem necessary, apply to the certificates referred to in the Order; and

3.   To impose such conditions and to make such regulations with respect to the said certificates, and to the use, delivery, and cancellation thereof, as to Her Majesty may seem fit, and to impose penalties not exceeding fifty pounds for the breach of such conditions and regulations.

And whereas the Legislature of the British Possession of Bengal has provided for the survey of and grant of certificates for passenger steamers ;

And whereas the Board of Trade have reported to Her Majesty that they were satisfied that such certificates are to the like effect, and are granted after a like survey, and in such Manner as to be equally efficient with the certificates granted for the same purpose in the United Kingdom under the Acts relating to Merchant shipping;

Now therefore, Her Majesty, in virtue of the powers vested in her by the said recited Act, by and with the advice of Her Privy Council, us pleased to direct -

Then, in .paragraph 4, the proclamation ^provides for a limitation as follows -

4.   That if any such passenger steamer goes to sea from any place in the United Kingdom with any passengers on board upon any voyage to any port in Canada or the United States of America, the owner thereof shall for every such offence incur a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds, and such penalty is hereby imposed accordingly (Signed) L. Peel.

This measure has yet to pass the scrutiny of the Board of Trade, and in regard to this vital question of survey we ought to do nothing that will place us before the world as having provided for a survey which will not be an equivalent of surveys made elsewhere.

Senator RAE(New South Wales) £5.6]. - I quite agree with the Minister that anything that would diminish the value of our surveys as compared with the survey recognised by other countries would be a detriment. But it is most amazing to me, after the lengthy debate which took " place on this clause when it was last before the Committee, to find the Minister indulging in such special pleading as we have had on the question at issue. If there is a vital difference between the clause as proposed to be amended by the House of Representatives, and the clause as it originally left the Senate, certainly the Minister has not shown that that difference is going to be detrimental to ships, under our navigation legislation.


Senator Pearce - I did, but' the honorable senator was not present.







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