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Thursday, 31 October 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - If Senator Rae will read clauses 44, 45, and 46, he will see the exact process which is adopted in regard to all ships. He will find that an agreement has to be signed before the superintendent, and a record kept. And if he will refer to clause51, he will find that the agreement has to be exhibited, and that under clause 52, the master of a foreign-going ship is required, within 48 hours of his arrival in an Australian port, or upon the discharge of his crew, whichever first happens, to deliver the agreement of the superintendent, including any alterations which may have been made. Frequently changes occur just before a ship leaves on a foreign voyage. A desertion may occur, perhaps, when the tug is going off ; and then the information can be sent to the superintendent by the pilot. But if a ship clears out without her master furnishing the information, the ship can only be dealt with when she comes back. Like the provision in the Customs Act requiring the lockers on a ship to be sealed while she is within our jurisdiction, this provision cannot be enforced if the master of a ship breaks it just when he leaves port and never comes back.

Senator ST.LEDGER (Queensland) planation is fairly satisfactory. The provision reminds me of the position1 of- Dick Swiveller and the roads to the cookshops: Sometimes criminals escape, and that, ' of course, is regrettable.

Motion agreed to.

Clause 51 - (1.) The master of every ship shall, at the beginning of every voyage, cause a legible copy of the agreement (omitting signatures) to be posted up in some part of the ship . which is accessible to the" crew, and shall use all reasonable precautions to keep it so posted during the voyage. (2.) No person shall wilfully deface or de stroy any such copy.

Penalty : Five pounds.

House of Representatives' Amendment.- After " voyage," insert " or engagement."

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