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Tuesday, 11 October 1910

Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - The Bill makes suitable provision for engineers and the engine-room staff, and the Royal Commission made a recommendation in regard to engineers, firemen, trimmers, " and others." The only people left out of consideration in regard to the supply of hot water are the sailors.

Senator Sayers - Passengers do not get hot fresh water in large quantities.

Senator GUTHRIE - It is true that hot salt water is supplied to passengers in their baths; but it has to be remembered that a first-class passenger merely wants a bath to refresh himself, and not to cleanse him after doing very dirty work. In vessels trading on the north-west coast men have to handle cattle. In clearing up after work of that kind, is it not necessary that they should be supplied with hot fresh water for a bath? Such a provision is essential in the interests of sanitation. If the Minister of Defence had ever had to clear up decks after coaling, he would have demanded hot fresh water. This concession would mean nothing to the steam-ship companies. My amendment would not mean an extra expense of ^1 a year to a ship.

Senator St Ledger - Why did not the Navigation Commission make a recommendation on the lines of the amendment?

Senator GUTHRIE - We made a recommendation as to the engine-room staff " and others."

Senator Pearce - The Commission did not recommend that hot fresh water should be supplied.

Senator GUTHRIE - That was understood, because every one knows that hot salt water will not cleanse. This amendment will mean a great boon to seamen.

Senator St Ledger - Is there any precedent for what is asked for?

Senator GUTHRIE - On most ships men who have done dirty work are supplied with hot fresh- water now ; but it is only given as a privilege. I ask for it as a right. Senator de Largie has had con,siderable experience of cleaning coal dust from his body, and I ask him whether he thinks that it can be removed by salt water or by cold water?

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