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Tuesday, 11 October 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I quite admit that the proviso to which Senator Chataway has called attention is novel in shipping legislation ; but we do not desire to see Australians taking service in foreign ships. We desire to see them serving in British ships, and especially in Australian ships.

Senator Chataway - The Minister does not desire to see Australians deserting, does he?

Senator PEARCE - No; but we do not think that Australian law should be used to compel Australian seamen, against their will, to leave Australia. This clause would operate where it is sought to compel a man to leave Australia against his will.

Senator Chataway - No; the clause says, " is absent from his .duty."

Senator PEARCE - Without such a provision an Australian seaman might be forcibly kept on board a foreign ship and taken to sea. I quite admit that there is a great deal to be said against the proviso, but, at the same time, we ought not to use the laws of Australia to compel Australian seamen to go abroad in foreign ships.

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