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Wednesday, 12 October 1910

Senator FINDLEY (Victoria) (Honorary Minister) . - If this provision were intended to apply in the manner which Senator Gould imagines, the probability is that we should become a laughing-stock in the eyes of a certain section of the community. But that is not intended. In imagination the honorable senator pictures the case of a river boat with a few bales of wool, or a few bags of lucerne.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - I have lived long enough on a river in New South Wales to know that it is a fact, and not a piece of imagination.

Senator FINDLEY - The honorable senator imagines that, in a case of that kind, the Minister will rigidly enforce this provision. He must have a very poor conception of the capacity of a Minister who would enforce the provision against such a ship.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - The Government are asking Parliament to give the Minister power to do so.

Senator FINDLEY - The power which the Minister will have under the provision is one which is given to Ministers under many Acts. It will only be exercised if considered necessary by him.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - And the regulations are to be confined to carrying out the provisions of the Act.

Senator FINDLEY - They are certainly intended for that purpose, and for no other. No Minister would dream, I should say, of attempting to do what the honorable senator imagines will be done under this measure.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - Yet the Minister asks for power to do it?

Senator FINDLEY - The Minister asks for the necessary power, in the event of a contingency arising, to safeguard the interests of passengers and of the community.

Senator Long - We have already given the Minister greater power in regard to regulations concerning the employment of crews in loading and discharging cargoes.

Senator FINDLEY - Exactly. There need be no fear or apprehension on the part of Senator Gould.'

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - It does not follow, because we have done one foolish act, that we should do another.

Senator FINDLEY - We do not admit that we have done so. We shall not accept any amendment in the direction indicated by the honorable senator. We desire that this clause shall be passed as it is.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - The Government will not allow the Committee even to dot an " i " or cross a " t," I suppose.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 209 to 211 agreed to.

Clause 212 (Compensation for unnecessary detention).

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