13 JUNE 1931, Page 2

On Tuesday the Upper House agreed to the second reading

of the Merchant Shipping Bill, by which effect is to be given to conventions reached at international conferences in the last three years, among which is the Load Line Convention. It includes the change over of helm orders, a highly disputable matter into which prejudice is bound to enter and to obscure the sound reasoning for and against the change. In the Lower House the first official announcement was made by the Secretary of State for the Dominions that the Conference at Ottawa was postponed for a year at least. This had already been made public by the Prime Minister of Canada. It is not regretted here. The Government as unbending Free Traders can have little to offer or bargain with ; those who have harboured any illusion that the Dominions might let in any of our manufactures which compete with their own were enlightened at the Imperial Conference here. The nominal reason given, and a perfectly genuine one, was that it is plain that none of the principal Ministers in Atistralia or even New Zealand could possibly leave those Dominions, which are passing 'through such critical days. * * * *