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Friday, 30 September 1910
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Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - The proviso to this clause is not, I think, as clear as it might be. I should like to know whether it is intended that if a seaman has hot exerted himself to the utmost at the time of a wreck, that shall be a bar to his claim to wages, not merely during the time within which it is contended that he did not exert himself to the utmost, but for the whole term of his agreement, which might be three years.


Senator Chataway - He has to be paid his wages every month.


Senator GUTHRIE - That is only in the Inter-State trade, and this clause applies to foreign-going ships.


Senator Pearce - Foreign-going ships registered in Australia.


Senator Millen - Does the seaman not receive payments as he goes along?


Senator GUTHRIE - He may not receive a single penny, and when he does receive advances he has to pay for them. We are doing away with advance notes under this Bill.


Senator Chataway - Does the honorable senator mean to say that this reform law will not provide for occasional payments on account of wages?


Senator GUTHRIE - No.


Senator Pearce - It does provide for that.


Senator GUTHRIE - If a ship is leaving port on a voyage which may not occupy more than six months, the seamen under the usual practice would sign articles for three years to go to any port in the known world. I wish to know whether under the proviso to this clause a seaman for the reasons stated may forfeit the whole of his wages.


Senator Millen - No; because he will have been paid some on account, under clause 76.


Senator Pearce - In any case, he would not have three years' wages due to him.


Senator GUTHRIE - How does the honorable senator know that?


Senator Millen - Has the honorable senator ever known of a seaman who, after travelling round the world for three years and putting in at a number of ports, had not drawn a penny of his wages?


Senator GUTHRIE - Yes, I have.


Senator Pearce - Under clause 76 a seaman may get advances.


Senator GUTHRIE - That is a new provision. I am speaking of the practice in the past. Masters have often charged for advances. When rupees in India were at1s.10d., I have had to pay 2s. 3d. each for them to get money that I had earned myself. I wish to know whether under this clause a man who has not exerted himself to the utmost at the time of a wreck may forfeit the whole of the wages due to him under his agreement, or only wages due for the times during which it is said he did not exert himself.







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