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Thursday, 8 July 1920

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .- In proposing an amendment to leave out the proviso, I want to say, in reply to the statement made by the Minister, that in the presentNavigation Act, there is no provision made for the payment of seamen in these circumstances, but I find that in subsection 2 of section 85 of the Act it is provided that -

Where a seaman whose service terminates by reason of the wreck or loss of a ship has been engaged by the run he shall be entitled to the wages to which he would have been entitled on the termination of the run, subject to just deductions.

That shows that under the Act as it at present stands a seaman is entitled under his agreement, notwithstanding what may happen to the ship, to full pay until he reaches the place at which he is to be discharged .

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - That applies only to men engaged for the run. There is no such provision applying to men employed under agreement. The provision with respect to men engaged by the run still stands.

Mr CHARLTON - That is to say that if a seaman engaged by the run is shipwrecked and held up for a considerable time, it may be for a couple of months, he is entitled to full pay under the section I have quoted; but if a seaman is working under an agreement, and is shipwrecked, it is proposed, under the clause now under consideration, that he shall not be entitled to more than one month's wages, though he may have been six months earning them. The seaman who is under agreement and is shipwrecked may be detained in some foreign place for two or three months, but he will receive only one month's pay. Even the amendment suggested by the honorable member for Angas would allow him only a maximum of three months' pay. That is an injustice to seamen, who are just as much entitled to protection as is any man working ashore. In order to test the question, I move -

That all the words in the proviso up to and inclusive of the word "exceed" be left out.

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