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Thursday, 31 October 1912

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - The time was when, as Senator Guthrie has said, it was necessary that strict precautions should be taken to see that seamen, when being engaged, were not taken advantage of, and did not sign their names to agreements which would be to their disadvantage.

Senator Guthrie - The honorable senator knows what happens in Newcastle.

Senator DE LARGIE - I was just going to refer to that. We are dealing here with Australian seamen, and they do not require to be dry-nursed or treated as children. Many of the men who sign on at Newcastle are foreign seamen, who do not understand the English language. They sign on for deep-sea ships, and may be taken advantage of, and it is right that their articles should be signed before a superintendent. In the matter of intelligence they are generations behind the Australian seamen. The case of -Australian seamen engaged in the restricted Australian trade, with which we are dealing in this clause, is quite dissimilar.

Motion agreed to.

Amendments to clauses 39,, 41, 42, 'and 44 agreed to.

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