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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - I am sorry that the Minister is not favorably inclined towards my amendment, and am also surprised at the inference that he draws from it. He states that it would debar a person having shop experience from presenting himself for examination for a third-class certificate. I do not see how that could occur. We are now recasting the whole method whereby . marine engineers can qualify on our coasts. The proviso at the end of clause 12 is ample for those engineers who are already possessed of third-class engineers' certificates. I am only concerned at present with the case of persons who may apply for the thirdclass engineer's certificate; and I still contend that the clause, as it stands, gives no safeguard whatever to such applicants against the condition that has always been insisted upon in respect to shop experience. In the past the possession of a third-class certificate debarred a man from progressing any further. Take my own case. I have had a little experience in this line. I hold a third-class engineer's certificate, issued under the Marine Board of New South Wales. As the law of that State stands, it tells me in plain language that I cannot apply for a first or second-class engineer's certificate, for the reason that I have not served the scheduled time in an engineer's shop. Any person holding a third-class engineer's certificate, even if he had the inventive skill of a James Watt, or the ingenuity to make a watch, could not present himself to obtain a certificate in the higher grades of the engineer's profession. It is in order to remove that traditional bar that has been placed in the way of every person holding a third-class engineer's certificate that I am pressing this very simple amendment. My proposal will not have the effect of reflecting in any way upon the ability of any person who has served his time in the engineering trade, nor would it debar him from presenting himself for examination. My complaint is that the law hitherto has looked upon me as being incapable of presenting myself for an examination for a second-class certificate because of my not having had shop experience.

Senator Pearce - The honorable senator's amendment would not deal with his own case. It deals with the case of a man who has not got his third-class engineer's certificate.

Senator LYNCH - The concluding words of the clause warrant me in saying that it will not become operative until a person is possessed of a certificate.

Senator Pearce - Let the honorable senator take his own case. He has a thirdclass engineer's certificate. Under this clause, he will have a right to get a secondclass certificate when he has qualified for it.

Senator LYNCH - But in the past, an obstacle has been imposed upon persons desirous of obtaining a third-class engineer's certificate by requiring them to possess shop experience.

Senator Pearce - The honorable senator's amendment would not remove that barrier.

Senator LYNCH - It would. The Minister has declared that the effect of my proposal would be to . debar persons who have been indentured to the engineering trade from presenting themselves for examination for a third-class engineer's certificate. It would do nothing of the kind. It would cast no reflection upon those who have served their time to the engineering trade. But it would allow the person who in the past has not had shop experience to offer himself for examination. We have the assurance of the Minister that the obstacle of which I complain has been removed from this Bill. I accept his assur ance, and in that, connexion, I do not need to be reminded of my loyalty to the Government.

Senator McGregor - The honorable senator is making a mistake by persisting with his amendment.

Senator LYNCH - I am not. I merely wish to make it plain that the bar of which I speak has been removed.

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