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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - It is not at all likely that coal will be proclaimed to be dangerous, and, therefore, it need not be referred to in connexion with this clause. In my opinion, the amendment does not go far enough. Suppose that a passenger leaves Australia for London on a steamer on which there is a proclamation that no dangerous goods are on board, and such goods are shipped on her arrival at Capetown. What is to become of the poor passenger? I think that Senator Stewart ought to propose either that the passenger should be returned to his port of embarkation or that the steamer's owners must pay his passage to London in a vessel which is not carrying dangerous goods. I am afraid that the poor passenger is likely to be left stranded somewhere. An amendment of this kind, if it is to be made, ought to be complete. For instance, it ought to empower a passenger to claim his passage money if he finds that some dangerous goods are on board. I hope that Senator Stewart will endeavour to make thorough provision for securing the safety of passengers. I do not know why this amendment ought to be confined to dangerous goods. There- may be dangerous passengers on a steamer.

Senator McColl - And sometimes dangerous women.

Senator VARDON - I am surprised at Senator McColl, because I do not think that any woman would be a danger to Senator Stewart. Passengers ought to be protected from the possibility of coming in contact with a person afflicted with a dangerous disease.

Senator Stewart - I think so.

Senator Guthrie - There is the Quarantine Act to do that.

Senator VARDON - We should provide for the safety of not only the crew, but also the passengers. The latter ought to be protected against every possible danger, and if Senator Stewart will extend the scope of his amendment I shall support it.

Senator Stewart - Vote for this amendment, and we can deal afterwards with the other matter.

Senator VARDON - No; this provision cannot be made in a piecemeal way. If the honorable senator will extend his amendment so as to provide that a passenger shall not only be taken on board free from danger, but delivered at his destination without coming into contact with any dangerous goods or persons. I shall be quite prepared to support him.

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