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Wednesday, 7 July 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- Subclauses 3, 4, and 5 are quite right, and sub-clause 6 is a wise provision, as it states that a seaman must satisfy the Superintendent that he can pull an oar and handle a boat. But their value is destroyed by sub-clause 7, which states that any persons rated as greasers, firemen, shipwrights, or ship's carpenters, before the commencement of this division, shall continue to be entitled to be so rated. I remember on one occasion at Cairns the captain of the Wodonga sent two men ashore in a boat to tie the ship up. The men promptly jumped ashore with the rope, and allowed the boat to float down the river. Naturally the captain used " language," and remarked that on the next occasion he would send a stewardess ashore, as she would do better. That was his opinion of the ability of those men. The provisions in sub-clauses 3, 4, and 5 are perfectly satisfactory; but I would go further, and say that no man should be engaged as a seaman unless he was able to swim. Under the clause as it stands, if a man is engaged on a vessel as ship's carpenter, he will be entitled to rate as such when the Act. comes into operation; though, as a matter of fact, he might not be qualified for that position at all, and as much may depend upon his ability as upon any one else on board.

Mr Stewart - Do you not think that clause 14 meets that position to a great extent ? It provides that asuperintendent may refuse to enter a man as A.B., O.S., greaser, fireman, shipwright, or ship's carpenter, unless he gives satisfactory proof of his title to be so rated ?

Mr TUDOR - No, because a man need only show his discharge as a shipwright in order to be rated as such. I suggest that the Minister provide, either in this or a subsequent clause, that the superintendent, before whom a seaman is engaged, shall refuse to enter him unless he gives satisfactory proof of his title to be rated. In Great Britain shipwrights hold certificates from the Board of Trade, but the Board of Trade in Australia does not undertake that duty. I suggest that shipwrights and carpenters be excluded from the operation of this clause, so as to compel the superintendent to see thatonly competent men are engaged, and that trained men may receive a certificate of competency.

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