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Thursday, 31 October 1912

Senator PEARCE (Western AustraliaMinister of Defence) . - I remind the Committee that the Acts Interpretation Act, which governs all Commonwealth legislation, provides, in section 36, that -

Where the last day of any period prescribed or allowed by an Act for the doing of anything falls on a Sunday, ,or on any day which is a public or a bank holiday throughout the Commonwealth, or throughout a State or part of the Commonwealth in which the thing is to be or may be done, the thing may be done on the first day following which is not a Sunday or such public or bank holiday.

Senator Lt.-Colonel Sir ALBERTGOULD (New South Wales) [6.22].- On the first day of the month a ship may be at sea, and she may arrive in port on the second day. Suppose that there is no bank at the port.

Senator de Largie - The ship's agent would have money. '

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - This sub-clause says that the money shall be paid on the first day after the end of each month. I understand from the Minister that it is not proposed to pay seamen at sea on the first day of the month. Suppose a ship arrives at a port on the second or third day of the month, and that there is no bank there.

Senator Guthrie - At what port is there no bank?

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - In such a case, the seamen would have to wait for their wages until the ship came to a port where there was a bank. That practically means that a sailor is not entitled to be paid except at a port where there is a bank.

Senator Pearce - That is so.

Senator Lt Colonel Sir ALBERT GOULD - The clause might have been so worded as to make the meaning quite clear. It requires the Minister's explanation, and a statement of the practice that has been pursued hitherto, in order to arrive at what he says is the meaning.

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