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Wednesday, 20 December 1905

Senator GUTHRIE (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I desire to direct the attention of the Minister of Defence to the fact that vessels are arriving within the Commonwealth weekly with immigrants under contract or agreement to serve as members of the crews of vessels in Australian waters, at rates of pay below those ruling in the coastal trade. I desire to know if it is the intention of the Government to enforce the provisions of paragraph c of section 4 of the Contract Immigrants Act, under which the Minister is required to approve of the terms of a contract only if, in his opinion -

The remuneration and other terms and conditions of employment are as advantageous to the contract immigrant as those current for workers of the same class at the place where the contract is to be performed.

Senator PLAYFORD - I can only make inquiries. I know nothing of thecircumstances referred to by the honorable senator, but I have no doubt that the officers of the Department will look into the matter.

Senator Guthrie - Will the result of the Minister's inquiries be publicly announced ?

Senator PLAYFORD - If the Minister can arrive at a decision, he will no doubt announce it.

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