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Thursday, 8 July 1920

Mr MATHEWS (Melbourne Ports) . - It is evident that this clause has been inserted in the Bill because the Minister recognises that it is unfair that shipwrecked seamen shall receive no wages from the time of the wreck until their return' home. It is unreasonable to expect them and their families to liveon air.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - Our object in introducing this provision in the Bill was to remedy an injustice. At the same time, we are trying to safeguard the position. The amendment would probably do an injustice to the other side.

Mr MATHEWS - The crew of the John Murray, when she was wrecked, were stranded for many a month. Why should shipwrecked sailors and their families be expected to live without pay? There are parts of the coast of Western Australia from which it would not be possible to return a shipwrecked crew to their home port within two months. The industry should be called upon to carry the charges necessary to keep a shipwrecked sailor until he is returned to his home port. ' Having recognised the principle that shipwrecked seamen should be provided for, why should we stop at the payment of one month's wages ?

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