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Thursday, 13 October 1910
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Senator SAYERS (Queensland) . - I move -

That the following proviso be added : - " Provided that the Regulations relating to the accommodation of passengers shall provide that not more than four persons shall be accommodated in each cabin, and that each cabin shall have a cubic content sufficient to provide for not less than one hundred and forty cubic feet for each passenger."

I do not think that any exception can be taken to the amendment. I take it that regulations will be framed dealing with ships travelling from port to port, and carrying passengers, and that those regulations will not apply to ferry boats or to vessels trading within the waters of Hobson's Bay or Port Jackson.

Senator Henderson - Will the honorable senator's amendment apply to all classes of passengers - both second and third?

Senator SAYERS - Yes.

Senator Henderson - The honorable senator is aware that at the present time there are no cabins for third-class passengers ?

Senator SAYERS - I am. My amendment will apply to both saloon and steerage passengers. Of course, the Minister may by regulation provide more accommodation than that for which I ask. I merely ask that 140 cubic feet shall be allotted to each passenger, which is the space that has been allocated to each seaman.

Senator Guthrie - But not when there are only four in a cabin.

Senator SAYERS - I pointed out on a previous occasion that only half the seamen are in the forecastle quarters simultaneously. I would remind the Committee that, whereas the crew of a vessel are in daily intercourse with each other, the passengers are mostly strangers to each other. It is wrong to jamb eight or ten passengers into a cabin in a confined space. A man may be travelling from one port to another who is afflicted with a serious complaint, and he may be placed in a cabin with eight or ten other passengers. I have known persons who were suffering from contagious diseases, such as consumption, to be huddled in a stifling cabin in the tropics, with insufficient air-space. I think that the amendment is a reasonable one, and I ask the Committee to accept it.

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