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Thursday, 14 September 1911

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) - - This clause, I think, seeks to vest the master of a ship with extraordinary powers over any person who may attempt to go on board, or who may happen to approach near to such vessel. I do not see any reason why persons should be warned from approaching a vessel in1 the night time. But under this provision an officious policeman may be able to punish any individual who approaches close to a ship. I do not see why a vessel should be entitled to a greater measure of protection than is accorded to our banks or our homes. I think that the clause might be amended by making it provide only for the prevention of any person boarding a vessel without lawful excuse. In its present form it almost prohibits a man from pulling a small boat alongside or from walking along a public highway close to a ship. I recognise that it is necessary to keep strict watch over vessels at night, because they have so much machinery on board which might easily be tampered with by evil-minded persons. I would suggest the deletion of that portion of the clause which relates to persons who happen to be in the vicinity of ships at night.

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