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Tuesday, 11 October 1910

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I hope that Senator St. Ledger will not move an amendment. The officers whom he has mentioned, the superintendent and the seamen's inspector, would be the wrong officers to deal with the question affected by Ite clause. Under clause 195, it is provided that a surveyor shall furnish a report to the Minister, and the Minister may, if the surveyor's report justifies him in doing so, issue to the owner a certificate of survey. Then clause 200 enables the Minister, for the purpose of survey, to require certain things to be done. The person to report to the Minister is the surveyor. I know what Senator St. Ledger has in his mind. There are certain things that come under the notice of the superintendent and the seamen's inspector, and on which it might be desirable that they should report to the Minister. But if the honorable senator turns to clause 211, he will see that it enumerates matters that come under the notice of the superintendent and seamen's inspector. The question of unseaworthiness may be reported to these officers by the crew. The honorable senator's amendment, if needed at all - which I do not admit - would be in order upon clause 211, but not, I think, upon clause 200, where we deal with matters that do not come under the official notice of the superintendent and seamen's inspector.

Senator ST.LEDGER ( Queensland) £9.51]. - On the suggestion of the Minister, I shall not move an amendment; but I should like to know whether it is proposed to give the Minister in charge of the administration of this measure power to exercise discretion under clause 200. I take it that he will act on a report from the surveyor.

Senator Pearce - What is meant by this clause is that should, for instance, a vessel have grounded in going down a harbor, the Minister may call upon a surveyor for a report, although the term of the vessel's certificate has not expired.

Senator ST LEDGER - The power seems to be arbitrary, but I shall not submit an amendment.

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