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Thursday, 8 July 1920

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) .- I am heartily in accord with this clause, because it gives to seamen engaged on a ship the right to the same rate of wages as is paid to shore labour for this class of work. In times past, when trouble has occurred ashore, ship-owners have compelled the seamen to work ashore at a lower rate of wage than the shore workers were obtaining under an Arbitration Court award. This clause will, I believe, save trouble. In times of trouble, owners sometimes get so-called loyalists and others who are not fully qualified to do the work, but, if they have to pay those men the same rate as skilled workmen, they will not have very much to do with the loyalists. I am not sure that the penalty of £100 is high enough.

Mr Riley - Make it £100 per day.

Mr TUDOR - We may be sure that, if there is an Act safeguarding them, the seamen will take good care to get the money. Proposed new sub-section 1b provides that, if a sufficiency of shore labour cannot be obtained at such rates of wages, it shall, for the purposes of this provision, be deemed to be not available, and in that case the crew may be employed to the extent of the insufficiency. Still, the crew must have their wages made up for the time they are doing the work.

Mr Gabb - It does not say so.

Mr TUDOR - That is provided for by sub-section 1a. Asthe clause safeguards the right of the workers to receive a fair wage, I heartily agree with the Minister in introducing it.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 19, 20, and 21 agreed to.

Clause 22 -

Section 85 of the principal Act is amended by omitting sub-section 1 thereof and inserting in its stead the following sub-section : - "(1) Where the service of a seaman belonging to a ship registered in Australia terminates before the period contemplated in his agreement, by reason of the wreck or loss of the ship, he shall be entitled -

(a)   to conveyance, by or at the cost of the owner, to the port of engagement, or, at the master's option, to the port of discharge mentioned in the agreement, or to such other port as is mutually agreed upon, with the approval of the proper authority, between the master and the seaman ; and

(b)   to wages, at the rate provided for in his agreement, until his arrival at the proper port, as provided for in this sub-section :

Provided that the total period for which the seaman shall be entitled to receive wages in pursuance of paragraph (b) of this sub-section shall not in any case exceed one month from the time of the termination of his services by reason of the wreck or loss of the ship."

Section proposed to be amended : -

(1)   Where the service of any seaman terminates before the period contemplated in his agreement, by reason of the wreck or loss of the ship, he shall be entitled to mages up to the time of such termination of service only. ....

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