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Thursday, 31 October 1912

Senator GUTHRIE (South Australia) . - The members of the Seamen's Union to-day are working under an award of the Court, and not under articles drawn up by any shipping master. I believe that honorable senators will support the award of the Court, which does not make any provision for a seaman being unable to get his discharge until the cargo is discharged. If we are going to put into this Bill something which the Court has not included in its award we shall be overriding the award.

Senator Vardon - Surely we cannot do that?

Senator GUTHRIE - We can override the award of the Court if we choose, but I do not want, to do so. As a rule, the ship-owners prepare a printed slip to put into the articles and, in addition to that, they state that as between the Seamen's Union and themselves, between the Merchant Service Guild and themselves, and between the Engineers and themselves, the awards of the Court will be binding.

Senator de Largie - How would it do to postpone the clause?

Senator GUTHRIE - I think that we might as well drop the clause as postpone it, because it is useless. Our men will never obey the provision, but will stick to the award of the Court.

Senator Pearce - Do they not obey the agreement ?

Senator GUTHRIE - The award of the Court is our agreement with' the shipowners, not an agreement which is signed in a shipping office.

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