Establishment of a suite of ‘domestic’ committees
First bill referred to a Senate standing committee
The conduct of the inquiry was very similar to the conduct of select committee inquiries today. The committee met in Melbourne, Launceston, Devonport and Hobart over 13 months and invited witnesses to give evidence including the managers of private shipping companies and the Secretary of Defence, Robert Muirhead Collins. The committee heard from a range of people with an interest in the inquiry, called for documents on shipping matters from public officials and admitted the press to its sittings to report on proceedings. After presenting its report, the committee, like all select committees, ceased to exist.
In its report, the select committee recommended that the government invite tenders for a six-days-a-week steam service between Melbourne and Tasmania and that consideration be given to improved passenger accommodation and increased speed.
While a new turbine steamship, the SS Loongana, was brought into service, the frequency and quality of shipping between Tasmania and the mainland remained a perennial concern to Tasmanian senators.
Allan C Green (photographer), State Library of Victoria, H91.325/2348