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Thursday, 8 July 1920

Mr GREENE (RICHMOND, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Trade and Customs) . - The clause as it stands is copied from the New South Wales Act of 1898, but the provision in that Statute has long since been repealed. Other Navigation Acts are so phrased as to throw responsibility upon the owner or his agent. What is more, in our measure, as it formerly stood, it was obligatory on the superintendent to take action. It is not now considered desirable that the superintendent should be compelled to follow up a seaman, no matter to what part of the world he might go. Therefore the owner or agent is to be placed in a position to carry on proceedings if that party considers it worth while.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 25 -

After section one hundred and six of the principal Act the following section is inserted : - "106a. - (1) Where any seaman lawfully engaged in Australia wilfully or through misconduct fails to join his ship, or having joined his ship deserts her before her departure, and no proceedings under this Act have been instituted against the seaman in respect of the offence, the Minister, on a report by the superintendent, may direct that the seaman's certificates of discharge shall be withheld from him for such period, not exceeding one month, as the Minister thinks fit. " (2.) While a seaman's certificates of discharge are so withheld then, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act -

(a)   no superintendent shall grant to the seaman a permit to sign articles; and

(b)   no officer having the custody of documents shall furnish, to any person, copies of that seaman's certificates of discharge, or any of them, or certified extracts of any particulars of his service or character."

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