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Thursday, 15 September 1949

Mr CHIFLEY - I shall answer the honorable member's question. From time to time there has been a certain amount of contention in connexion with matters similar to the one that the honorable member has mentioned. It is customary that when a ship is sold out of a particular country, whether by the . Government or by a private shipping company, the seamen of the country from which the ship is sold take that vessel to its port of destination. That is the general custom; it does not apply to any greater degree in Australia than it does anywhere else. Whilst I do not know the exact particulars with relation to Reynella, I know of the general circumstances of the sale. All that the Government has done has been to sell the ship. The matter of getting it to its destination is one for the buyer. There have been a number of these cases lately. This is not a matter which affects only the Seamen's Union. A pressman, recently asked me about a Filipino ship about which there was a difference of opinion, and I furnished him with a. statement that subsequently appeared in one of the Sydney newspapers. I understand that finally the agents made a settlement with the Maritime Council, "because it was not possible to comply with the usual custom. I understand that when a ship is sold out of any country, the members of the crew to take the vessel to its destination must be members of the organization involved in that particular country, and it is not only one organization that is involved. I do not think that anybody would accuse Mr. J. Tudehope, secretary of the Maritime Council, of being " red ". In most instances the arrangements on behalf of the Maritime Council have been made through him.

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