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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - In this clause there is an error of draftsmanship, which probably has occurred in this way : Clause 14 has been taken from the New Zealand Act ; but clause 15 has been taken from the Merchant Shipping Act j and there is an overlapping. Clause 14 states that no person shall be admitted to examination for a certificate unless he is a British subject and " pos- sesses the prescribed qualifications." He cannot go up for examination at all unless he does possess the prescribed qualifications. Then clause 15 goes on to say that, having passed his examination, and proved that he possesses the qualifications, he is to give " satisfactory evidence that he possesses the qualifications prescribed." That is to say, having demonstrated that he possesses the " prescribed qualifications " under clause 14, the moment the examination is over, and he goes up for his certificate, clause 15 says to him, "You are now entitled to your certificate provided that you show that you possess the prescribed qualifications. " His answer would naturally be, "I have already shown that I possess the prescribed qualifications." The reason for the overlapping is that, under the New Zealand Act, from which clause 14 was taken, the qualifications have to be demonstrated before the examination ; but under the Merchant Shipping Act, from which clause 15 was taken, a man is allowed to be examined first, and to prove the possession of the qualifications afterwards. We do not want a man to prove the possession of the qualifications both before and after the examination.

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