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Thursday, 8 July 1920

Mr RILEY (South Sydney) .- The navigation laws are not a party question. When the original Bill wasbefore this House all parties agreed to try to make the measure perfect. This Bill provides that men who are under agreement, and are shipwrecked, shall be entitled to one month's pay, and we are now asking that they be entitled to not more than three months'pay. Shipwrecked seamen might be detained on some island for much longer than three months. They might have wives and families dependent upon them, and they should not be deprived of their pay for all that time.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for the Navy) - Three months is rather long. Why not split the difference?

Mr RILEY - If a man is shipwrecked on an island for three months, he should not be at a loss.

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) - We desire to do the fair thing, and, in all the circumstances, this provision appears to us to be fair.

Mr RILEY - The feeling of the Committee is that the clause, as drafted, may inflict a grave injustice upon the seamen. The Minister must see that it is the desire of the Committee - and it should be the desire of the Government also - to do the right thing by the seamen. I, therefore, press for the acceptance of the amendment.

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