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Friday, 15 September 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) .- This clause does away with the necessity for a discharge being given and produced where a seaman, immediately on the expiration of one agreement, re-engages on the same ship. The clause is taken from the New South Wales Act of 1898, which followed the New South Wales' Act of 1864, but has not, so far as I am aware, been adopted elsewhere. Senator Guthrie's objection to it was couched in the following terms -

Supposing a man has been employed, say, for two years, on four agreements of six months each. In the ordinary course, apart from this section, he might have received four good discharges. Then, perhaps, a change takes place in the command of a ship. The seaman may fall foul of the new master, and at the expiration of his next six months may determine not to seek re-engagement. The new master may give him a bad discharge, which would, under this section, be the only discharge the seaman could produce for this whole two and a half years' service. Apart from this section, he would have four good discharges to set off against the one bad one.

That seems to be a sound argument.

Senator Millen - The fact that the seaman had been eighteen months in the one employ would, to an impartial mind, speak for itself.

Senator PEARCE - It might do so. If we strike out the clause a seaman will be able to obtain his discharge at the end of his term. That will meet the objection raised by Senator Guthrie. At the end of each term of service he will receive his discharge, irrespective of whether it be a good or a bad one. I ask the Committee to negative the clause.

Clause negatived.

Postponed clause 283 -

A ship shall be deemed to engage in the coasting trade if she takes on board passengersor cargo at any port in Australia, or any territory under the authority of the Commonwealth, to be carried to, and landed or delivered at, any other port in Australia or in any such territory :

Provided that the carrying of passengers who hold through tickets to or from a port beyond Australia, or of cargo consigned on a through bill of lading to or from a port beyond Australia, or of mails, shall not be deemed engaging in the coasting trade :

Provided further that the Governor-General may by order declare that the carrying of passengers between specified ports in Australia, by

British ships, shallnot be deemed engaging in the coasting trade.

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