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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator STEWART (Queensland) . - I moye -

That the following words be added to the clause : - " and) when dangerous goods are carried, shall exhibit a notice to that effect on a conspicuous portion of the ship, and at the office where tickets are issued to passengers."

Senator de Largie - The honorable senator should specify what are dangerous goods.

Senator STEWART - I refer Senator tie Largie to clause 250, which says -

In this division "dangerous goods" means goods which have been declared by proclamation to be dangerous.

All that I am asking for is that passengers shall be informed when goods which have been proclaimed dangerous are carried upon a vessel.

Senator McColl - And the quantity?

Senator STEWART - Yes. Clause 253 provides that -

Any seaman or apprentice may decline to go to sea in a ship carrying dangerous goods, and any seaman or apprentice who so declines, shall, if he so requests, be granted a discharge from the ship.: ,

Provided that this section shall not apply where the carriage 'of the dangerous goods is in accordance with express stipulations in the agreement.

All that I desire is that a passenger shall be placed on exactly the same footing as a seaman 'or apprentice.

Senator Needham - The honorable senator's amendment will not accomplish his object.

Senator STEWART - Then Senator Needham can move to amend the amendment. I desire that when a passenger makes his contract with a shipping company he shall do so in the full knowledge that the company proposes to carry dangerous goods on board the ship in which he wishes to travel. Honorable senators have tried to be witty in connexion with this matter, but really it is one of some consequence. We hedge about the handling of explosives on shore with a great many precautions. There are magazines established in the neighbourhood of almost every town where explosives are stored, and access to them is permitted only to certain individuals. Some passengers might not care to travel on a vessel that is carrying dangerous goods.

Senator Henderson - Why not notify passengers that there is a possibility of a shipwreck ?

Senator STEWART - They do not require to be told that. Though, in some cases, man has some control to prevent a shipwreck, in many instances shipwrecks are beyond the control of man, and are regarded as the act of God. I should not care to travel in a railway compartment with a case of dynamite, or a few kegs of gunpowder. If I knew such explosives were in the compartment, I should change to another if I did not decide to leave the train altogether. I should have that much respect for my own skin. I hope the Committee will agree to the amendment.

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