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Wednesday, 12 October 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - The. honorable senator appears to have been searching all the Statutes he can find, and wherever he has noticed a section in any Statute which he cannot find in this Bill he asks me to get up and explain why it 'is not here. I have to tell the honorable senator - and I hope he will accept this explanation as applying to all similar cases - that in this case the Government are satisfied that they are right in making the departure proposed. We believe that if two or more members of the crew of a ship make a complaint which obviously is not a frivolous one, security for costs should be dispensed with. That is all that is provided for in this clause. It is not necessary that we should rigidly follow the provisions of the Merchant Shipping Act in every case.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 217 to 220 agreed to.

Clause 221 -

Every ship shall be permanently and conspicuously marked with lines, in this Act called deck-lines and load-lines.

This provision shall not apply to -

(a)   limited coast-trade ships under fifteen tons gross registered tonnage

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [9.23]. - I wish to ask the Minister why it is considered necessary to fix the registered tonnage of limited coast- trade ships to which the provision is to apply at 15 tons, in view of the fact that under the Merchant Shipping Act it is fixed at 80 tons ? This provision is applied under the Merchant Shipping Act to every British ship proceeding from a port in the United Kingdom except ships under 80 tons register employed solely in the coasting trade or ships employed solely in fishing. I should like to know the reason for the considerable reduction in the tonnage of the vessels to which this important provision is to apply.

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