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Thursday, 14 June 1928

Mr BRUCE - On the 11th June the right honorable member for North Sydney referred to a recent press report in which it was stated that six stewards on the s.s. Ballarat who had been engaged for the voyage from London, and who had asked to be paid off at Melbourne, had been refused permission to land unless they could produce . £20 in cash. A report has been obtained from the

Customs authorities at Melbourne, which shows that the statement referred to is incorrect. The stewards in question were passage-workers, and not seafaring men by regular occupation. They wished to be discharged in Australia for permanent residence. In accordance with the usual practice they were questioned as to their means, in order that the authorities might be satisfied that, if permitted to land, they would be in a position to support themselves pending an opportunity of finding employment. It was not required that they should each possess £20. The master of the ship sought permission to discharge only four of them at Melbourne, and these were permitted to land without restriction.

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