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Tuesday, 11 October 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - Perhaps Senator Guthrie has not foreseen a difficulty which might arise in connexion with his amendment. The clause affirms that all steamers must provide an adequate supply of hot fresh water to all persons employed in the engine-room. Now the supply of fresh water on board these vessels is limited.

Senator Guthrie - They are condensing fresh water all the time.

Senator PEARCE - But the capacity of their condensers is limited. I should have no objection to the amendment if it provided for the supply of " hot fresh or salt water."

Senator Guthrie - What would be the use of salt water to men who are engaged upon colliers.

Senator PEARCE - The number of persons engaged in the engine-room of a steamer is limited, and many of this class of vessels may not have a sufficient condensing plant to enable them to conform to the terms of the amendment. I do not think that I can agree to it in its present form, at any rate, without further inquiry. The evidence tendered to the Navigation Commission was to the effect that hot fresh water should be supplied only to those who are connected with the engines of steamers. I cannot accept the amendment, seeing that it may involve structural alterations upon certain vessels.

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