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Wednesday, 12 October 1910

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - I suppose the Minister is aware of the provisions of section 444 of the Merchant Shipping Act of 1894, and understands that if any alteration in the loadline is proposed, the Bill must be reserved for the Royal assent ? I might mention the course followed in connexion with similar provisions in the Canadian Act passed in 1904 or 1905. In dealing with the load-line, a slight departure was made from the provisions of the Board of Trade, and the section of the Canadian Act dealing with the matter was prefaced with a special section providing that it was only to come into operation when it had received the Royal assent. If we make any alterations in the load-line in this Bill, it must be understood that the provision must be "reserved for the Royal assent.

Senator Guthrie - Not necessarily.

Senator ST LEDGER - I do not intend to argue the question, which is a constitutional, as well as a legal, one, but I would refer Senator Guthrie to the clear terms of section 444 of the Imperial Act.

Senator Guthrie - Our Commonwealth Constitution Act is a later Imperial Statute than that.

Senator ST LEDGER - I know that that is so. I wish to ask. the Minister whether the Government contemplate the adoption of two load-lines?

Senator Guthrie - There are five loadlines.

Senator ST LEDGER - The Board of Trade have the fresh-water, the Indian summer, the winter, and the winter North Atlantic load-lines. Does the Minister intend to follow the Board of Trade regulations by prescribing the position of these various load-lines?

Senator Turley - Sub-clause 3 of clause 223 deals with that matter.

Senator Pearce - We intend to follow the Board of Trade load-lines.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 222 - (1.) Deck lines shall be not less than twelve inches in length and one inch in breadth, and shall be painted longitudinally on each side amidships, or as near thereto as is practicable, and shall indicate the position of each deck which is above water. (a.) The upper edge of each of the deck-lines must be level with the upper side of the deck plank next the water-way at the place of mark ing, and the deck-lines must be white or yellow on a dark ground, or black on a light ground. (3.) In this division " amidships " means the middle of the length of the load water-line, as measured from the fore side of the stem to the aft side of the stern-post.

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