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Thursday, 8 July 1920

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - I am sorry the Leader of the Opposition spoke so warmly on the subject, and am certain that when he hears the explanation I have to offer he will recognise that the alteration proposed by the Bill will not have the effect he anticipates. Instead of leading to incompetent men being engaged, the object is to: insure the competency of the men. What the principal Act provided was that the man had to present a discharge or certificate. This meant that if he had the certificate he need not have a discharge. It is most desirable that in all cases where a seaman applies for engagement he should present his discharge from his last ship. The intention of the clause is to make it perfectly clear that in every case he must present his discharge from his last ship at the time he seeks engagement. The other amendments of the Act which have already been agreed to by this Committee secure everything that is required in regard to the competency of those who are shipped. All that is being done by this clause is to make perfectly clear what was really intended when the Act was passed.

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