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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - Surely the Minister in charge of the Bill will not force the Committee to a division on a little matter ? I do not think it can be disputed for a moment that the sense of the Committee is against the use of the word "fluently." According to Webster's dictionary it means " smooth speech." Is a candidate who aspires to take command of a vessel required to be a man of smooth speech before he can obtain a certificate? The idea is too absurd. I venture to say that no honorable senator would more readily detect its absurdity than would Senator Pearce in one of his humorous moments. In the circumstances I suggest that in order to make a little progress he should accept the amendment which unquestionably has been moved to improve the language of the measure.

Senator Pearce - I will accept the addition - "fluently and intelligibly."

Senator MILLEN - The addition of the word " intelligibly " would make the clause more ridiculous than it is now. I have no doubt that Senator Pearce has known many a man who has been anything but fluent, but who, nevertheless, was quite fit to take command of a ship. All that is required is that a man shall be able to understand those who speak to him, and to convey his meaning to those to whom he speaks.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 15 -

(1)   Subject to the condition in the next subsection mentioned, a certificate in the form prescribed shall be delivered to every applicant who passes the prescribed examination satisfactorily, and gives satisfactory evidence that he possesses the qualifications prescribed for the holder of the certificate, and of his sobriety, experience, ability, physical fitness, and general good conduct.

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