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Friday, 4 December 1914

Senator TURLEY (Queeusland) . - I point out to Senator Needham that if he supports the amendment submitted by the Minister, and it is sent to another place, we may not have an opportunity to deal with the matter again, because if the amendment be accepted there, even though the Bill should be returned with other amendments, this question would not come up for further consideration.

Senator Russell - We could deal with it by regulation.

Senator Millen - If the Minister intends to deal with the matter by regulation it should not be necessary to deal with it here.

Senator TURLEY - If we provide for both shipwright and carpenter the door will be left open for employers to engage whatever men they choose. There may be men engaged on our coast who are not shipwrights, but who are by experience acquainted with the duties of a ship's carpenter, and we should, I think, preserve to them all the rights to which they are entitled. A good many years ago I was in a vessel the mate of which had no certificate. The master and first officer had certificates from the Board of Trade, but the mate had only a ticket of service. He had never passed any examination, but he had been at sea for a certain length of time, and had worked his way up under the system in force prior to the practice of requiring men to pass an examination to secure certificates. We were coming up the channel, had run past Beechy Head, and had got up to the Downs without meeting a pilot. The master of the vessel said, " I suppose we shall have to anchor here until we get a pilot." The mate said ' What is the use of anchoring here ? I can take this vessel up to Greenwich as well as anybody else. I have been there scores of times." Instead of waiting for a pilot this mate, who had no certificate at all, and had never passed a Board of Trade examination, took the vessel up to Greenwich, though the master or the first officer would never have dreamed of doing so. The mate was an experienced man, and he had all his rights under previous legislation preserved to him. He was allowed to continue in the same position as long as he was able to perform the duties.

Senator Story - He had local experience.

Senator TURLEY - He had sea experience as well, and his rights were preserved to him. If these ships' carpenters who have been referred to understand their duties there is no reason why they should be passed out, but I am not prepared to leave it in the power of employers to engage men who have never had any experience of shipwrights' work at all.

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