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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - I cannot make out why an objection should be taken to the wording of the clause. According to the Board of Trade regulations -

11.   All candidates must pass the sight test before they can be examined for any certificate. The regulations relating to these tests are as follows : - (i.) The sight tests are open to all persons serving or intending to serve in the Mercantile Marine, and all such persons are recommended to take the earliest opportunity of ascertaining by means of these tests whether their vision is such as to qualify them for service in that profession. (ii.) The examination consists of three parts : - (a) form vision test ; (b) colour vision test ; {c) colour ignorance test.

No candidate will be examined in a colour vision test until he has passed the. form vision test, or in the colour ignorance test until he has passed the colour vision test.

All these things have to be done before a man can go up for examination. Any man in the mercantile marine can go to the Mercantile Marine Office and get a certificate as to whether he is colour blind or otherwise. But, before a man can go up for his certificate as an officer, he must pass the vision test. I take it that that will be prescribed to be done before an examination is held. Then the Board of Trade regulations say that candidates for examination must fill up a form of application. It is a pity that we have not the forms here. We are in this awkward position, that we have no Marine Department -

Candidates for examination must fill up a form of application (form Examination 2) at a Mercantile Marine Office. The form, properly filled in, together with the candidate's testimonials and discharges, must be lodged with the Local Marine Board if there is a Local Marine Board at the port, and if there is not, with the Superintendent of the Mercantile Marine Office, not later than the day before the day of examination, except in the case of London and Liverpool ; and the candidate must conform to any regulations in this respect which may be laid down by the Local Marine Board or the Board of Trade. As discharges and testimonials may have to be forwarded to the Registrar-General of Seamen for verification, it is desirable that they should be handed in, together with the form of application, as many days as possible before the date of the examination which the candidate desires to attend. In the absence of the necessary verification,- the candidate cannot be examined.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - That has all to be done before the examination is held.

Senator GUTHRIE - Yes ; as to the discharges. Probably the head-office of our Mercantile Marine Department will be in Melbourne or the Federal Capital ; and, unless the amendment is made, the discharges of a man who wants to go up for examination at Fremantle will have to be sent to the central office. Surely honorable senators will see the necessity of regulations being made before the examination as well as afterwards. Why should a man be put more than once to the trouble of getting references as to conduct and ability ?

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [5.22].- lt seems to me that the regulations which Senator Guthrie has quoted contain the conditions which have to be observed before a man is admitted by the Board of Trade to examination; and that after he is admitted to examination, and gets his certificate

Senator Guthrie - No; before that time.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD .- Then the Board of Trade has no option but to give the man his certificate. There is no prescribed qualification required to be shown after that.

Senator Guthrie - Yes, there is.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - Section 98 of the Merchant Shipping Act reads -

(1)   The Board of Trade shall, subject as hereinafter mentioned, deliver to every applicant who is duly reported by the examiners to have passed the examination satisfactorily, and to have given satisfactory evidence of his sobriety, experience, ability, and general good conduct on board ship, such a certificate of competency as the case requires.

Clause 15 of this Bill is couched in almost the same words, but with an interpolation -

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 genera) good conduct.

In our provision the words " and give satisfactory evidence that he possesses the qualifications prescribed for the holder of the certificate" have been interpolated, but in clause 14 we have provided that he must possess the prescribed qualifications before he is admitted to examination, just as the Board of Trade require a man to show that he possesses satisfactory vision and length of service. Having done that before he goes up for examination, surely there is no necessity to require him to do it again? Our measure may be wrong in requiring a man to show that he possesses the required qualifications before he is admitted to examination, but the provision has been made, and then we require him to show that he has had his period of service before he goes up to bc examined for his second class certificate.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 1 6 agreed to.

Clause 17 (Incapacity of certificated person.)

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