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Wednesday, 1 August 1906
Page: 2160

The CHAIRMAN - The amendment is in order. I would point out to the honorable member that it is possible that the proposal embodied in it might involve no cost whatever.

Mr WILSON - I think that the honorable member for Wide Bay has touched upon a point of considerable Importance, in view of recent developments in regard to wireless telegraphy. He has shown that ships at sea - a long distance to the west - might be able to supply us with far more valuable information than we could obtain from any. other quarter of the globe.. The Minister should have power to make arrangements with shipping companies to supply meteorological information. Most of our storms come from the west, and the most valuable information we secure with regard to disturbances comes from the meridian west of the Leeuwin. , The question is whether the amendment will limit the Minister's powers. We should make it clear that no such limitation is imposed1 upon the Minister.

Mr Fisher - We should give him power to act according to law and common sense.

Mr WILSON - I quite agree with the honorable member. I would point out that information from the south is also of value to our meteorologists. Many of our storms originate in the Antarctic, and are first recorded in the vicinity of the Cape.

Mr Groom - The Government will have the necessary power, even without the amendment, which is only declaratory.

Mr WILSON - I wish it to be clearly understood that the Department will have all the powers necessary for the collection of valuable information, and, in meteorology, information which is not gathered over wide areas is of practically no value.

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