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Tuesday, 11 October 1910

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) - I am afraid that my colleagues on this side do not fully appreciate the reason why the Government have introduced this proviso. They have a very good reason for it. It is part of their new immigration policy. The object of the proviso is to encourage desertion from vessels when they arrive in Australia. That is, possibly, the only reason which can be given for it. If agreed to, it would be a standing invitation to other nations to retaliate against Australian seamen on the same lines, or to seek for some other means of retaliation. As no benefit could arise from the proviso other than the imaginary one I have satirically suggested, and as it -might involve us in international complications, the Minister would do well to agree to its omission.

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