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Wednesday, 28 September 1910

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - There are some old customs which, because of the good which may be derived from them, ought not to be unnecessarily set aside. We know that any employer in Melbourne can demand a premium from an apprentice, but would he always get it? Honorable senators must see that the parents or guardians of a lad must believe that some reasonable inducement is held out to them before they will agree to pay a premium for his apprenticeship on board a ship. If a lad desires to go to sea and learn navigation, and a ship-owner or a shipmaster is prepared to take him as an apprentice with a premium, it may be to his interest to pay such a premium. Honorable senators need be under no apprehension that premiums will be charged indiscriminately without any return being made for them. A lad would not pay a premium to go to set in order to learn to be an A.B., because it would not be worth his while. But if a youth were given an opportunity to become a navigator, and rise to be a mate or master of a vessel, it might be a great advantage to him if he were able to secure an education in navigation by the payment of a premium.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 32 agreed to.

Clause 33 -

Before the execution of the indentures, the superintendent shall satisfy himself that the intended apprentice -

(a)   freely consents to be bound ;

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