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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - I thi.,k that this clause should be deleted. Honorable senators will agree that it is an absolute farce to charge a premium for permitting a lad to go to sea and serve for four years at a very small remuneration indeed, when he will subsequently be able to earn no more than £3 or £4 a month . We should not countenance the charging of premiums in such cases. It is an old custom, but one which should be abolished. A boy is sent to serve as an apprentice on board a steam-ship, and under this clause the owner is to be permitted to charge a premium for giving him employment.

Senator Millen - No, for teaching him navigation.

Senator GUTHRIE - He would not be taught navigation.

Senator Millen - He would on many of the bigger ships.

Senator Turley - This will apply to midshipmen, not to ordinary apprentices.

Senator GUTHRIE - The clause states that it will apply to apprentices. It will give a ship-owner the right to charge a premium for every apprentice who goes on board his ship. The custom is a bad one and ought not to be encouraged in any way. I need not thresh the matter out, as honorable senators know as much about apprenticeship as I do, and are aware that apprentices seldom get any value for the premiums they pay for being allowed to go to sea. I leave the matter in the hands of the Committee.

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