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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator STEWART (Queensland) . -While every care has been taken in this Bill to protect seamen who may desire to leave a ship upon which dangerous goods are carried, no concern whatever has been displayed for the passengers. Several honorable senators have complained that I have not defined what dangerous goods are. It is no part of my business to do so. It is left to the Government to issue a proclamation stating what goods are dangerous. All that I desire is that an opportunity shall be given to passengers not to travel by a ship carrying dangerous goods, if they do not feel disposed to do so. The Minister has referred me to clause 256 ; but if we had a Government in power which was favorable to shipping companies, the probability is that that provision would not be enforced, and vessels would be allowed to carry dangerous goods as often as they pleased.

Senator Vardon - The honorable senator means that one Government might be humane, whilst another Government would be altogether inhumane?

Senator STEWART - I do not say that.

Senator Pearce - Even in the States I have known an instance where a section equivalent to clause 256 was enforced in connexion with a Defence Department.

Senator STEWART - I am well aware that I cannot carry the amendment if the Minister insists upon his opinion, and therefore I ask leave to withdraw it.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 253 -

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.

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