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Wednesday, 25 June 1941

Senator McBRIDE - The Minister for Commerce has supplied the following answers : -

1.   Yes; on 30thJune last year there were 347 apprentices, ordinary seamen and boys employed on Australian ships.This number represents5½ per cent. of the total number employed on that date and is sufficient for normal requirements. In addition, large numbers of young seamen arc being trained by theAr my.

2.   Some lads,but not many, have been prevented from joining ships because of lack of suitable accommodation. Some time ago the department was requested to permit the closing of hospital accommodation to enable boys to be carried on certain cargo ships. This was not approved, as in addition to the undesirability of taking away the hospital space, it was considered that the ships were not suitable for training purposes.

3.   The matter of making provision for the carriage of boys on the ships to he built by the Shipbuilding Board willbe discussed with the Board.

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