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Wednesday, 4 October 1911
Page: 1024

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - If this heading is adopted, I shall move the other amendment as it is printed, except that the word " British " will be left out wherever it occurs, so that the heading will read, " Scale of Provisions in Case of Ships Registered in Australia and Ships Engaged in the Coasting Trade." There will be two scales of provisions, namely, one for British vessels not registered in Australia, and not engaged in the coasting trade; and the other for ships registered in Australia and engaged in the coasting trade. That is all that we are able to deal with. In the case of British ships not registered in Australia, we simply apply the scale of provisions which is laid down in the Merchant Shipping Act, while in the case of ships engaged in the Australian trade, and registered in Australia, we apply our own scale, which, I point out, is more generous than the British scale.

Senator MILLEN(New South Wales} [S-4S]- - I nave followed the Minister's explanation. I cannot say whether the provision is right or not ; but I should like to know if he has had any consultation with those who are concerned with this matter, or whether this proposal simply comes from the departmental officers.

Senator Pearce - From the departmental officers, in conjunction with the Minister of Trade and Customs and myself.

Senator MILLEN - I read in the press that in the Arbitration Court this very question is coming up.

Senator Pearce - The question of wages.

Senator MILLEN - Wages and provisions.

Senator Turley - Not so much the scale of provisions as the way in which they are served.

Senator MILLEN - If the newspaper reports are not misleading, the scale of provisions is before the Arbitration Court. If we lay down what is to be the law in the case, it ought to stand, and ought not to be subject to revision by any Court.

Senator Pearce - The Arbitration Court cannot revise the scale of provisions, surely.

Senator MILLEN - I am not at all certain that it cannot. If we give to an Arbitration Court, created under an Arbitration Act, the right to lay down the terms and conditions of employment, and the employment provides for the keep of the men, I think that the Court is entitled to say what provisions shall be supplied. It will be for the Minister of Defence to see whether there is a possibility of a conflict arising between this schedule and the very wide powers which are given to the Arbitration Couri.

Amendment agreed to.

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