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Wednesday, 4 October 1911
Page: 1013

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - My knowledge of the matters referred to in the schedule is much too slight to justify me attempting a criticism of them. But I should like to ask the Minister if it be correct that the formula for ascertaining the horse-power of ships is a variation from the formula previously adopted in, at any rate, some of the States? I am informed that the divisor has been altered. Will not that prejudice the position of some men who to-day hold certificates ?

Senator Pearce - - The new scale will not prejudice any one, I think.

Senator MILLEN - Say that a man holds a certificate entitling him to work on a vessel up to 50 horse-power. By altering the method of determining what is horse-power, I am informed that this schedule brings such a vessel up to 60 horse-power, which means that such a man will be prevented from continuing in the occupation which he has been successfully following for years. We know perfectly that the term horse-power is merely arbitrary. By altering the method of ascertaining what is horse-power it can be made higher or lower. I believe that there are certain men in Sydney - and perhaps in some other States as well - who to-day are carrying on their occupations in vessels of limited capacity. By altering the method of determining the horse-power they will be shut out from earning their livelihood on those vessels.

Senator Pearce - I have not heard of any such case.

Senator MILLEN - Some cases of the kind were, I know, brought under the notice of the Department, and they were before me when this Bill was under consideration on a previous occasion.

Senator Pearce - We are increasing the number of engineers carried.

Senator MILLEN - But that does not affect the position of an individual engineer. Take the case of A.B., who, we will say, is entitled at present to act as engineer on a vessel up to 50 or 100 horse-power. By adopting a different method of ascertaining what is horse-power, that vessel is brought up to 60 or 120 horse-power. Then A.B's certificate is of no use.

Senator Pearce - Oh, yes it is, but the vessel may have to carry two engineers instead of one.

Senator MILLEN - But the man in the case I have supposed will be debarred. This matter has been brought before me by officers of the men's union in Sydney.

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