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Friday, 26 July 1912

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) . - When the Irishman was inspected by the quarantine authorities they knew there was measles on board, but did not regard the outbreak as serious enough, or did not think that they had sufficient power, to send the passengers into quarantine. The State authorities actually waited until the boat touched at the wharf. Just as measles at this time was not considered a quarantinable disease, so there may at some future time be some other disease which may not be quarantinable under the law, but which, nevertheless, it may be desirable for the quarantine officers to deal with. There ought to be some clause in the Bill enabling; the quarantine authorities, if they consider an outbreak of disease serious enough to put the passengers into quarantine, to take that action, although, the particular disease may not be specifically quarantinable.

Senator Findley - That is provided, for in this Bill.

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - I am anxious that the quarantine authorities shall have a general power* In the case of the Irishman there was divided authority, and it was very regrettable that the authoritiesbegan to quarrel among themselves.

Senator Findley - There was no divided' power. The Federal authorities had nopower.

Senator Millen - But they exercised a power which they did not possess.

Senator E J RUSSELL (VICTORIA) - They did1 so by the wish of the State authorities. If the disease was not quarantinable it must have been with the consent of the shipmaster that the authorities were able to get over a serious- difficulty. I hope that thisBill will, confer that general power which is necessary to enable the quarantine authorities to take drastic action whenever they consider it necessary.

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