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Wednesday, 4 October 1911
Page: 1014

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - I accept the Minister's statement that he has not heard of any injustice which will be inflicted under this proposed new scale; but I say that the officials of the bodies concerned did make their representations to the Department of Trade and Customs.

Senator Pearce - In regard to the scale now in the Bill?

Senator MILLEN - When the Minister declares that the information is not in the Department, my reply is that those representations were made to it.

Senator Pearce - Not in regard to this scale.

Senator MILLEN - Because this scale has never been seen by them.

Senator Pearce - It has been seen by the parties interested.

Senator MILLEN - Then they have seen it before it was submitted to Parliament. I say that this scale shows that I have not brought forward imaginary cases. The first portion of it provides that every vessel fitted with, engines of from 55 to 85 nominal horse-power shall carry one man who shall possess a first-class coast engineer's certificate. Now, take the case of a vessel of 85 nominal horse-power. At present she is obliged to carry one firstclass engineer. But when this Bill becomes law, she will no longer be a vessel of 85 nominal horse-power, but one of 90 nominal horse-power. Consequently, that engineer will have to vacate his position upon her.

Senator McGregor - But that is compensated for at the other end.

Senator MILLEN - Let us assume that there are one hundred steamers of the grade of which I am speaking, each carrying an engineer of a subordinate grade. Under this proposed new scale, owing to the new method which it is proposed to' adopt in determining the horse-power, ten of those vessels may be transferred to a higher class. Consequently, ten engineersof a subordinate grade will lose their jobs. I cannot say how far this amended scale will inflict such an injustice. But it is clear that, as we raise the horsepower of vessels, we shall exclude certain men from an opportunity te* find employment. Suppose that an engineer possesses a certificate which entitles him to take charge of a vessel fitted with engines of 50 nominal horse-power. Under this new scale, that vessel will be made a vessel of 55 nominal horse-power. Thus the position of men who have been employed on the lower grade of vessels will be jeopardized. There may be compensations provided elsewhere which have escaped my notice; but I feel sure that some men will find their occupation gone if this new method of determining the horse-power of vessels is put into force.

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