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Thursday, 14 September 1911

Senator PEARCE (Western' AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - In clause 1.00, Senator Rae will find a list of the offences against discipline, together with the punishments attached thereto. The clause was well debated here last year, and the main attack on it was that it was too tender. The concluding paragraph of the clause reads -

Any forfeiture und,ir this section (except whereexpressed to be of accrued wages) shall be out of such wages as have accrued or may accrue to the person committing the offence; and wagesshall not be deemed to include salvage.

If the honorable senator will look through clause 100, he will see that it covers cases where loss may be caused to the owner or the master, such as wilfully damaging the ship and wilfully damaging cargo, stores, or equipment. As regards the other statements made by Senator Rae, I should need to make a second-reading speech to answer them; but that I shall not attempt to do. I can assure him that the position of the seaman, as regards his food, was fully explained when the Bill wasintroduced, and it was also debated on the clauses relating thereto. I think that every one was satisfied at that time that we had exceeded any legislation in the world in our effort to secure the supply of proper food. It is provided that ships shall carry certificated cooks, and that complaints may be made from time to time, and entered in the official log, and the captain is made liable to a very severe penalty if he fails to enter certain complaints. It is also provided that, on the arrival of a ship in port, the complaintsshall be investigated by the superintendent.. If Senator Rae will look through the debates of last session, or glance through the Bill itself, he will find that, as regards all the cases he quoted, we have made, provisions which are not' to be found in any other measure of this kind. He can safely take my assurance that this clause will not inflict any harm upon any one.

Clause agreed to.

Clauses 395 to 407 agreed to.

Progress reported.

Sitting suspended from 6.28 to 8 p.m.

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