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Thursday, 14 September 1911

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - Senator St. Ledger has, apparently, forgotten the fact that the States occupy an entirely different position from a private person in this regard. The owners of the pilot vessels of New South Wales, or Queensland, or Western Australia, are the people. The transference of those vessels from the State Governments to the Commonwealth Government, does not really affect the ownership. The people will still continue to own them. But the pilots of Port Phillip are a cooperative company, who have their own vessels. We cannot deal with the property of private persons as we can with public property. The only point] that can be raised in regard to the transference of the pilot vessels of the States to the Commonwealth is that the Commonwealth should assume responsibility for the money borrowed for the building of the ships. But it is evident that the Port Phillip pilot vessels are on an entirely different footing. If this provision had not been in the Bill, and Senator St. Ledger had discovered the omission, he would have made the welkin ring about it}. Nothing more, however, is required. The States are provided for under the Constitution, and we need not trouble about them.

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