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Thursday, 3 December 1914

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (Assistant Minister) . - I move -

That all the words after the word " amended " be left out, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the following words: - "by omitting the word shipwright ' (wherever occurring) and inserting in its stead the words 'qualified shipwright or ship's carpenter.' "

Senator Bakhap - Does the amendment meet with the approval of the Carpenters and Joiners Society, who have been circulating dodgers about the matter?

Senator RUSSELL - The amendment embodies what the Government and the Department think is the best settlement of the trouble.

Senator Guthrie - Are not all shipwrights qualified?

Senator RUSSELL - No person who is not qualified will be allowed on a ship.

Senator Guthrie - What do you mean by the word " qualified " ?

Senator RUSSELL - This matter has been in dispute for some time, and as some honorable senators may remember, I made a long fight when the principal measure was under consideration. Unfortunately, there is a dispute, and I, so far as lay in my power, have endeavoured to get the two bodies to come together and settle the matter. We have not been quite successful, and probably time has been against us; but I do hope that the two bodies will now come together, and that a final decision may be arrived at when the Bill is before another place.

Senator Bakhap - Have they effected a settlement yet?

Senator RUSSELL - No. It is not that the men are not willing to settle the dispute; it has been a question of time rather than any difficulty as to arranging finality between the bodies. I hope that, while the Bill is before the other House, we shall be able to get a decision from the two bodies. In the meantime, we simply provide that where a carpenter or shipwright is required on a boat he shall be qualified. It leaves it optional to take either one or the other.

Senator Keating - The purport of the amendment is to use the word " qualified," as applicable to each body; but what does the word " qualified " mean ?

Senator RUSSELL - It means a man who is able to present the ordinary credential which is accepted by any employer in engaging a tradesman.

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