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Wednesday, 12 October 1910

Senator GUTHRIE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - Exactly. What has Lloyd's done in the case of. the Era? It has withdrawn its certificate from her because her load-line has been altered.

Senator Chataway - What does that mean ?

Senator GUTHRIE - It means that the ship, if lost, cannot claim insurance.

Senator Chataway - It means a good or a bad gamble from Lloyd's point of view.

Senator GUTHRIE -Lloyd's is "laying off," to use a gambling phrase. It says, " We wash our hands of the thing, because you have altered her load-line; we no longer recognise that we have a responsibility to you."

Senator St Ledger - Will not the increased strength add to the buoyancy and stability of the vessel ?

Senator GUTHRIE - No.

Senator St Ledger - What !

Senator GUTHRIE - It will not add anything to the buoyancy of the ship.

Senator St Ledger - Or to its stability ?

Senator GUTHRIE - More than that, the weight of the timber has given the vessel a deeper draught, and taken away from her buoyancy. It has increased her weight ; it has made her displacement greater.

Senator St Ledger - What!

Senator GUTHRIE - The weight of the additional timber has added to the weight of the ship, and has not increased her buoyancy, but has rather reduced it.

Senator St Ledger - If you increase the strength of the deck there, are you not increasing the stability of the vessel, which is an element in the buoyancy?

Senator GUTHRIE - No; the first question which the honorable senator asked was as to the buoyancy of the ship ; I am dealing with that question.

Senator de Largie - That is what the load-line deals with.

Senator GUTHRIE - The stability does enter into the matter, but it is not Increased. The very fact of Lloyd's withdrawing its certificate from the Era shows that the risk was so great that it was not prepared to take it.

Senator St Ledger - Somebody may have " gerrymandered " one vessel.

Senator GUTHRIE - Not only that ship, but others. There is an absolutely unsafe position. The upper part of the deck of a ship is a movable part, and my suggestion is that if the measurement is taken from the lower part of the deck there can be no alteration made. The Minister has misunderstood the very object of the deck-line being put there. There is conriderable discussion going on in Melbourne regarding the shipI mentioned. The owner was perfectly justified, under an Act similar to this Bill, in doing what he did. But I think that the marine authorities were lax in allowing the building-up to go on and the load-line mark to be shifted, because it is a certainty that the scientific tables only give the ship a very small margin of safety indeed.

Senator St Ledger - Does the honorable senator question the accuracy of the tables ?

Senator GUTHRIE - No.

Senator Vardon - The honorable senator said that they would have to be altered.

Senator GUTHRIE - I said that my amendment might cause some slight alterations in the tables. At present, the clause lays down a point of departure in the measurement which can be shifted at the sweet will of an individual. That should not be possible where life and property are at stake. We ought to have a fixed point, and the only point which can. be selected for that purpose is the under part of the deck. I ask the Minister to again consider the amendment before he gives a definite reply as to whether he can accept it or not.

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