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Friday, 26 July 1912


Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I quite realize that the flying of a yellow flag is a signal that a doctor is wanted.


Senator Long - It is also a signal that


Senator NEEDHAM - It is not, according to the Minister. He says that it is an indication that a doctor is wanted to grant pratique, and that the vessel can go alongside a wharf on the orders of the officers of the ship. A ship's officers cannot determine whether a disease is quarantinable or not. They may be very good sailors but very bad doctors. If the Minister has correctly stated the practice in the past, the time has arrived when it should be altered. We are told that the flying of the yellow flag is an indication that a doctor is wanted.


Senator Guthrie - Not to examine as to disease, but to examine the ship's papers to see whether she should be granted pratique. There may be no disease on board.


Senator NEEDHAM - My point is that when the yellow flag is flown there is a necessity for a doctor. Now the Minister tells me that it is not a doctor who determines whether there is an infectious disease on board, but an officer of the ship.


Senator Findley - I did not say anything of the kind.


Senator NEEDHAM - The Minister said very plainly that the flying of the yellow flag is not an indication that there is disease on board a ship.


Senator Findley - If there is disease on board a ship, she flies the black and yellow flag.


Senator NEEDHAM - Such a determination should not be left to the officers of the ship. The yellow flag is, to my mind, a signal of danger. If the officers of a vessel are permitted to determine whether or not a doctor should board the ship, the regulations require alteration.







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