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Friday, 26 July 1912

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - The Honorary Minister has not yet got a grasp of my point. This vessel was carrying a doctor, and she waited for two hours for the port doctor to come, as the former thought that it was a quarantinable disease, and might turn out to be a case of small-pox.

Senator Findley - What flag was he flying?

Senator NEEDHAM - The yellow flag.

Senator Findley - Then he was flying the wrong flag.

Senator NEEDHAM - That is not my fault. The yellow flag was flown, asking the port doctor to go on board, but he said, "No, the weather is too stormy; I will not venture out; I will wait until the ship comes alongside." If, on diagnosis, it had been proved that it was a case of smallpox, what would have been the position of the lumpers?

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - Did the authorities take no action in the matter?

Senator NEEDHAM - The only action taken was a representation of the facts by me to the Department, and the expression of the hope that it would not occur again ; but it might occur again.

Senator Millen - That was an admission by the Department that it did occur on that occasion.

Senator NEEDHAM - Yes. There were lumpers waiting to go to work on the vessel. Had there been a case of smallpox on board there would have been communication at once with them.

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