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Wednesday, 4 October 1911
Page: 1033

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I take it that the purpose of de: fining " owner " is to have some one upon whom to rest the responsibility imposed by the clause. But does this amendment make provision against a bogus sale? Suppose that a vessel is wrecked to-day. A week or a fortnight may elapse before she is definitely abandoned. In the meantime the owner may sell her to some dummy. Is such a case met ? -

Senator Pearce - Yes, because we can say, " You w.ere the owner prior to the wreck."

Senator MILLEN - There may have been a bond fide sale immediately before the wreck.

Senator Pearce - In the case of a genuine sale the man who bought would be liable. '

Senator MILLEN - A vessel may have become water-logged, but she would not on that account be lost, though she would be in a parlous condition. Tn such a case the owner might say, " I will run no risks'; I will sell."

Senator Pearce - In such a' case the vessel would be lost.

Senator MILLEN - No. Would it not be wise to. insert a few words to safeguard those who will be called upon to administer this measure, and who may have to meet such cases as I have pointed out? It is extremely difficult, as we all know, to determine when a transaction is genuine and when it is bogus. Say, that there are two vessels, both of which have been partially wrecked. Suppose that one of them has been the subject of a bond fide sale, whilst the other is the subject of a- bogus sale. It will be very hard for the Minister to come in and say in the one case, " I will proceed against the purchaser," and in the other case, " I will" proceed against the vendor."

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