Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 29 November 1912


Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - In another place there seems to have been a little misconception regarding this provision. I think that honorable members there were perfectly willing that the trade between Papua and Australia should be deemed to be coasting trade. According to the discussion which took place, an attempt was made to bring the Papuan coast within the coasting trade, and the Minister incharge of the Bill thought that that was going too far. In the amendments which have been circulated for the last fortnight I have endeavoured to overcome the objections which were raised in the other House. It will be seen that in the first paragraph I propose to substitute under the authority"for " which is part," which, I think, honorable senators will agree is a very fair proposition. Then I propose in paragraph b to insert after "lading" the words "in the same ship," because if we leave the provision as it is there will be room for absolute evasion of the whole of our coastal agreements. Take for instance a steamer belonging to a German line which comes to Australia by "Torres Straits, calls at various ports in Queensland, and takes in cargo, but with no intention of returning to England, and tranships the cargo into another ship of the same line at Sydney. That will destroy our coasting trade entirely. Under the second proviso the Governor-General may by order declare that the carrying of passengers or cargo between ports in any Territory "which is part" of the Commonwealth shall not be deemed engaging in the coasting trade. I want to substitute " under the authority " for " which is part." If my amendments are agreed to the amendment of the other House will read - " 5A. A ship shall be deemed to be engaged in the coasting trade, within the meaning of this Act, if she takes on board passengers or cargo at any port in a State, or a Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth, to be carried to, and landed or delivered at, any other port in the same State or Territory or in any other State or other such Territory :

Provided that a ship shall not be deemed to be engaged in the coasting trade by reason of the fact that she carries -

(a)   passengers who hold through tickets to or from a port beyond Australia and the Territories under the authority of the Commonwealth ; or

(b)   cargo consigned on a through bill of lading in the same ship to or from a port beyond Australia and those Territories; or

(c)   mails between any ports in Australia or in any of those Territories; or

(d)   passengers or cargo between ports in the Territory of Papua :

Provided further that the Governor-General may by order declare that the carrying of passengers or cargo between ports in any Territory under the authority of the Commonwealth, or between ports in any such Territory and any other Australian ports, shall not be deemed engaging in the coasting trade."

I am only asking that we shall extend what we have done for all parts of the Commonwealth proper to territories under its authority and exactly on the same conditions.


Senator St Ledger - Does that correspond with the request which came to us from Papua?


Senator GUTHRIE - No. The people in Papua said that they wished to travel and send cargo by any ship whether British, or Chinese, or Japanese, or Dutch, or German. We have to recognise that some people did the pioneering trade to the South Seas. Foreign Governments, more especially the Dutch Government, are subsidizing ships with a view to take that trade away from the pioneers who, I freely recognise, acted in the interests of Australia. I am anxious to see the Bill go through, but I am also anxious to make it as perfect as possible, and to conserve Australian interests. I first ask honorable senators to agree to the amendment to leave out the words " which is part," and insert " under the authority." The change effected would be this : Under the Bill at the present time the coastal trade is confined to ships engaged in the Commonwealth, and does not extend to Territories under the authority of the Commonwealth. I think it is a fair thing to ask that the coastal trade shall be extended to the Territory of Papua. A provision is also made in the Bill that if any monopoly is established, and hardship is caused, the GovernorGeneral can allow other British ships to come in and compete for the coasting trade. This is absolutely a British preference, and I do not think that honorable senators will raise any objection to granting

British preference in Australian waters. I move -

That the amendment be amended by leaving out the words " which is part," with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " under the authority."







Suggest corrections