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ARTICLE IV.

These vessels shall be under the sole control and orders of the Naval Commander-in-Chief for the time being appointed to command Her Majesty's ships and vessels on the Australian station.

These vessels shall be retained within the limits of the Australian station, as defined in the standing orders of the Naval Commander-in-Chief, and in times of peace or war shall be employed within such limits in the same way as are Her Majesty's ships of war, or employed beyond those limits only with the consent of the Colonial Governments.

I moved the second reading of the Bill on November 24, 1887. The debate was protracted over two nights, and some animated speeches were delivered, the little party in opposition to the Bill being composed of members from both sides of the House. The principal grounds of opposition were, that the Bill committed the colony to the quarrels of the old world, and that it brought the people under payment of ‘tribute’ to the power of England. It was further objected that the colony had no voice in the command of the fleet in the maintenance of which it was called upon to pay its share. As the naval arm of defence is the most valuable to the colonies, which are not in a position to create, and hitherto have shown no disposition to undertake, the vast expense of creating a fleet of their own, these facts alone would seem to be a sufficient reply. However, an amendment was moved that the Bill be


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read the second time that day six months. This was defeated by forty-one votes to nine, and, thereupon, the second reading was carried by a similar division. An unusual incident followed; the members, who had been in the House all night, rose to their feet as the daylight streamed in through the windows, and gave three cheers for Australia, and three cheers for Old England.

Besides these great Acts of Parliament—reducing the Customs tariff to simple proportions on the basis of Free-trade, creating an entirely new authority for protecting the people in large expenditures for public works, placing the State railways under a system of non-political and competent management, dealing effectually with the Chinese difficulty,—a large number of other useful measures were passed into law. The Ministry, which had held office for eighteen months when Parliament was prorogued on July 24, 1888, could point to as fair an array of important legislative measures as any Ministry that ever existed in New South Wales.

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