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Thursday, 14 September 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - Undoubtedly the Minister will be the final arbiter; but each case will, no doubt, be submitted to a competent tribunal. If, for instance, the objection urged against a pilot is one of defective eyesight, there is no doubt that the Minister would see that he was examined by a medical board. If it was thought his certificate should be suspended or cancelled on any other ground of incompetency, the matter would, no doubt, be dealt with first by a competent authority ; but the power to suspend or withdraw the certificate must rest with the Minister, who has the power to issue it. Under the Merchant Shipping Act, the Board of Trade, or a pilotage authority, as the case may be, may withdraw any pilotage certificate granted by them if it appears that the holder thereof is guilty of misconduct, or has shown himself to be incompetent ; and a certificate so withdrawn ceases to be of effect.

Senator Barker - Would this matter not be covered by clause 329?

Senator PEARCE - It would, because these officers will be practically Commonwealth servants, with a right to ask for a board of inquiry ; but even where that is done the Minister is the final arbiter.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 342 and 343 agreed to.

Clause 344 -

No person shall display the prescribed signal except for the purpose of summoning a pilot. Penalty, ,£20.

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