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Thursday, 21 November 1912

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) - - I am sorry that I cannot accept the amendment of my amendment submitted by Senator Walker.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir Albert Gould - I thought the honorable senator had agreed to do so.

Senator LYNCH - I cannot do so as I now understand the honorable senator's proposal. Under Senator Walker's amendment, a library might be established on board a ship, and access given to it to passengers and seamen on different conditions which might impose a disability upon seamen. I do not desire that. An essential condition of my proposal is that precisely the same conditions should apply to seamen as to passengers in obtaining books from a ship's library. The Minister of Defence, apparently, regards the possibility of a departure from that principle as something in favour of Senator Walker's amendment, but that is not the view which I hold. A further objection I have to Senator Walker's amendment is that it would exempt all steamers carrying a crew of nineteen persons, or under that number, and so would differentiate unfairly in our maritime craft. A steamer of fair size might have a crew of only fifteen or eighteen persons, and I do not see why they should be denied this privilege. I see no reason for departing from my original amendment, which, if agreed to, would open ships' libraries to seamen on the same terms . and conditions as to passengers.

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