8th Parliament · 1st Session
Mr. Speaker (Hon. Sir Elliot Johnson) took this chair at 11 a.m., and read prayers.
Bill returned from the Senatewith amendments.
– I desire to ask the Minister for the Navy a question relating to a statement published in this morning’s Age, that it has been decided to abandon the naval search for Captain Stutt and Sergeant Dalzell, the aviators who have been missing since they left Point Cook, eight days ago, to search for missing schooners off the Tasmanian coast. The paragraph reads -
The destroyer Swordsman has been recalled from the search for the missing airmen and for survivors from the two missing schooners, and will return to Geelong. The naval vessel Platypus, which was not seriously damaged by grounding on Tuesday in the South Channel, has been ordered back to the base in Geelong, the Naval Board considering no good purpose would be served by resuming the search, it now being unlikely that the missing airmen could be found in thesea, and the schooners being regarded as total losses.
Commenting on this decision, the Age remarks that -
The decision to abandon the search for the schooners or survivors is on a different basis from that regarding the missing aviators.
The Argus this morning published the followingtelegraphic message from its Launceston correspondent: - (Launceston, Thursday. - Superintendent Weston, of Launceston, late to-night received the following urgent telegraph message’ from Gould’s Country, near the East Coast of Tasmania : - “ Lights, evidently rockets, seen again at 8 o’clock to-night by several residents in the same direction.” Last night Superintendent Weston was advised from Gould’s Country that a light, believed to be a rocket, was observed between that town and the coast, 10 miles distant.
I am assured by a relative of one of the missing aviators thatthey carried a Verey pistol, from which rockets may be discharged. I desire to ask the Minister whether the Government will’ reconsider its decision, and allow the naval search for these men to continue. These aviators were sent out by the Department, and its responsibility in respect of them is greater than in respect of those who voluntarily set out to make a search.
– Everything possible will be done to find the missing men. If, in view of the information that has just come to hand from Launceston, it is thought advisable to direct that the Swordsman shall make a search along the east coast of Tasmania, that will be done. The Swordsman, I am advised, is returning, not to Melbourne, but to Launceston, in order to obtain a fresh supply of provisions, and it willbe an easy matter to direct that she shall continue the search along the Tasmanian coast. That will be done.
Minister for the Navy state whether it is true, as reported in some of the newspapers published in New South Wales, that his Department contemplates closing the Naval College at Jervis Bay?
– I think that the honorable member was in the chamber last week when the Works and Building Estimates, which included a proposed vote for water supply for the College, were passed. That does not suggest that the institution is to be closed, and I have not given any consideration to the closing of it. The number of students entering the College, however, wall have to be restricted, since, if we continue to train as many men as we have been doing, we shall not be able to find appointments for them in the AustralianN aval Forces. It iswell worth considering whether it would not be practicable to train at the Naval College, not only naval students, but men for the merchant service.
asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -
– The answers to the honorable member’s questions are as follow: -
Rates of Pay
asked the Minister representing the Minister for Defence, upon notice -
– Areport has been received, and will be placed before the Minister for his consideration on his return fromWestern Australia.
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
– The agreement has been completed, and is now awaiting the ratification of the Queensland Parliament. I am having a copy of the agreement prepared, which I will lay on the table of the House for the information of honorable members.
asked the Minister for
Trade andCustoms, upon notice -
– The information is being obtained.
Pensioners in Hospitals.
asked the Treasurer, upon notice -
Whether he has yet considered, as promised, the matter of paying the old-age and invalid pensions to the treasurers of public hospitals in all cases where such pensions are suspended when the recipients are admitted free for medical treatment?
– The matter is still under consideration, and, so far as I can see at present, the decision must be in the negative. The question to be determined is as to whether the Commonwealth should make a definite contribution to public health, a responsibility which belongs to the State. There is the further question as to whether, if we so contributed, we should not share the responsibility and privileges of the control of the health organization to which we contribute, on the well-known principle that taxation should carry the right of representation. The other question to be determined is whether a moiety of the payment now made to thepensioner should be deducted and paid to the hospital.
In Committee (Consideration resumed from 30th September, vide page 5220) :
Clause 127 (Scale of Crew, Schedule II.).
.- This clause provides for the amendment of Schedule II of the principal Act. I should like to know, Mr. Chairman, whether the whole schedule is thus bef ore the Committee, and whether it will be possible for an honorable member to submit an amendment relating to any part of that schedule in the principal Act. I make this inquiry since the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) desires to submit an amendment relating to firemen and trimmers in- an earlier part of the schedule than that which the clause proposes to amend.
– If the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) has a prior amendment, he will be in order in proposing it now.
– That is to say, the whole schedule is before us?
The. CHAIRMAN.- Yes.
– On a point of order, I submit that the only part of the schedule which is before the Committee is that in which it is proposed by this clause to make amendments, and that while it is competent for an honorable member to move to amend any of those amendments, it is not competent for him to submit an amendment in regard to any portion of the schedule not covered by the clause, unless he does so by moving the insertion of a new clause. I take this point of order merely because I wish the position to be made clear, and do not desire that the honorable member for Melbourne Ports shall lose his opportunity.
– I do not wish to interfere with the course of business, but I should like to know whether the Minister will give me an opportunity later on to submit my amendment by recommitting this clause.
– My view is that it will not be necessary to recommit the clause. The honorable member will have to move the insertion of a new clause. Everything, of course, will depend upon the Chairman’s ruling.
.- I am anxious that the Standing Orders shall be observed ; and it seems to me that it would be possible for the honorable member for Melbourne Ports to effect the alterations in the schedule that he desires to make by moving the insertion of a new clause. His amendment relates to one of the difficulties affecting the position of firemen and trimmers, and it is one that Parliament should decide definitely at the earliest possible moment. It should not be difficult to make the necessary provision in a new clause, although if the schedule in the Act were before the Committee the position would be much clearer.
– The suggested amendment refers to a portion of the schedule in the Act which is not covered by any clause in the Bill which proposes to amend the schedule. I am bound to rule that only the portions of the schedule covered by the Bill are under review at the present moment.
– Can any other portion of the schedule be amended by a new clause ?
– Before ruling on that point it would be necessary for me to see what is contained in the proposed new clause.
Clause agreed to.
Clauses 128 and 129 agreed to.
Postponed clause 22 -
Section 85 of the principal Act is amended by omitting sub-section (1.) thereof and inserting in its stead the following sub-section: - “ (1.) Where the service of a seaman belonging to a ship registered in Australia terminates, before the period contemplated in his agreement, by reason of the wreck or loss of the ship, he shall be entitled -
Provided that the total period for which the seaman shall be entitled to receive wages in pursuance of paragraph (b) of this sub-section shall not in any case exceed one month from the time of the termination of his services by reason of the wreck or loss of the ship.”
.- When this clause was previously before the Committee there was a strongly expressed opinion that the period during which the ship-owner is liable to pay wages in the event of shipwreck should be extended from the one month provided in the proposed new sub-section, and some honorable members asked that the liability should extend for an unlimited time. I stated then that I could not see my way clear to agree to making the time unlimited, but that I would be prepared to consider a further extension of the period set down in the clause, provided it could be safeguarded in some way. Having considered the matter in the meanwhile, I am now agreeable to extend the period to three months. Accordingly, I move -
That in the proviso the words “ one month “ be left out, and the words “ three months “ inserted in lieu thereof.
.- The Minister’s amendment is satisfactory up to a certain point, but I do not think it will provide for all cases. Recently a Commonwealth steamer was wrecked on Galapagos Island.
– Although that was an extraordinary case the amendment would cover it.
– Vessels registered in Australia, or even Commonwealth steamers, may possibly be wrecked in some parts of the world where the seamen, under no circumstances, could be got home within three months. Thus, the fixing of the limit at that period might deny them the opportunity of being paid in such extreme cases.
– I do not think so; at any rate, what we now propose to do has never been done by any other nation, and in any case the amendment is a reasonable provision which ought to meet practically every case.
Mr.WATKINS. - I am satisfied that the Minister’s proposal is a considerable advanceon what has been done in other parts of the world, but I would liketo give him some discretionary power which would enable him to extend the period during which seamen must be paid their wages in the event of shipwreck.
.- I am pleased that the Minister has reconsidered thispoint during the time the clause has been postponed. It was demonstrated here that the limitation of the time to one month would likely work a good deal of injury to seamen, and this view has recently been confirmed by the case of one of the Commonwealth steamers, whose seamen could not get to their home port until at least threeor four months after having been shipwrecked. However, the Minister has attempted to meet us. I do not anticipate that there will be many cases which will not be covered by the extended period.
Amendment agreed to.
– I move -
That the following further proviso be added to the clause : - “ Provided also that if the seaman refuses or fails to accept the first reasonable means of conveyance, either as a distressed seaman or otherwise, provided or offered by the master or owner or by a proper authority, he shall not be entitled to receive wages under this subsection for any period after such refusal or failure.’”’
There may be no agent for the shipowner at the locality of a wreck, and as the master of the vessel may be lost it is necessary to provide for a “ proper authority “ to take action to get the seamen away. The proviso will remove any possibility of the seamen preferring to remain at the locality after provision has been made to return them to theirhome port.
Amendment agreed to.
Clause, as amended, agreed to.
– I move -
That the following new clause be added: - “9a. The list of Division headings set out at the commencement of Part II. of the principal Act is amended by omitting the number 122 ‘ and inserting in its stead the number 122a ‘.”
This is a formal matter consequent upon an alteration in the numbering of the sections in the Act.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
Motion (by Mr. Greene) proposed -
That the following new clause be added: - “ 19a. After section 47 of the principal Act the following section is inserted: - 47a. - (1.) No alien shall be permitted to engage or shall be employed in any capacity on any ship registered in the United Kingdom or in Australia unless he produces to the Superintendent or, in the case of a limited coast-trade ship of lessthan 50 tons gross registered tonnage or a river and bay ship, to the person engaging him, satisfactory proof of his nationality.
Penalty: One hundred pounds. (2.) No former enemy alien shall be permitted to engage or shall be employed in any capacity on any ship registered in the United Kingdom or in Australia.
Penalty: One hundred pounds. (3.) For the purposes of this section’ the expression “former enemy alien” means an alien who is a subject or citizen of the German Empire or any component State thereof, or of Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria or Turkey, or who, having at any time been such subject or citizen, has not changed his allegiance as the result of the recognition of new States or territorial rearrangements, or been naturalized in any other foreign State or in the United Kingdom or in any British Possession in accordance with the laws thereof and when actually resident therein and does not retain, according to the law of his State of origin, the nationality of that State’.”
. -What power have we to say who shall be permitted to engage or be employed on a ship registered in the United Kingdom? I could understand such a power under the Merchant Shipping Act, but not under the Australian Navigation Act. Prom the marginal note, this clause would appear to have been taken from an Act recently passed in the United Kingdom, but I do not see the necessity for us to take such a step here.
.- The British Government, in a despatch, recently brought under notice certain provisions of the Aliens Restriction Act passed by the Imperial Parliament last year, referring to the employment of aliens on British registered ships. The Secretary of State for the Colonies intimated that the British authorities would be glad of the co-operation of the Commonwealth Government, with a view to giving effect to such a provision, as the Imperial measure was not drawn to apply to Australasia. This, it was pointed out, made it necessary for corresponding restrictions to be imposed in Australia, so as to give the force of the law to the operation of the British Act.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
– I move -
That the following new clause be inserted: - “20a. Section 50 of the principal Act is amended - (a)by omitting from the first proviso to sub-section 2 the words ‘in any case, remain in force until the ship’s arrival at a port of destination and in the case of foreign-going ships the discharge of cargo consequent on that arrival,’ and inserting in their stead the following words: - ‘subject to sub-sections 3, 4, and 5 of this section, remain in force until the ship’s arrival at her port of destination,’; and
by omitting the second proviso to subsection 2 and inserting in its stead the following sub-sections: -
When a ship the crew of which have been engaged under a running agreement which has been in force more than six months reaches a port in Australia other than her port of destination, and the ship is not then proceeding, either directly or by intermediate ports, to the port of discharge mentioned in the agreement, the master may discharge any seaman, and any seaman may obtain his discharge.
4 ) No seaman shall be discharged, nor be entitled tobe discharged, under the last preceding sub-section, unless he has received from, or given to, the master, on any day other than Saturday and at least twenty-four hours before the ship leaves the port, twenty-four hours’ notice of the proposed or required discharge.
Any seaman discharged, or who claims his discharge, under sub-section 3 of this section, shall be entitled to receive from the master or owner-
a free passage to a proper return port, being either the port of discharge mentioned in the agreement or such other port as is mutually agreed upon with the approval of the proper authority ;
wages, at the rate provided for in hie agreement, until he arrives at the proper return port;
where a passage to the proper return port is not made available to him at the time he is discharged,, and it is necessary for the seaman to obtain accommodation ashore, an allowance for victualling and accommodation at the rate of 5s. per day for the period during which it is necessary for him to reside ashore and until the passage tothe proper return port is made available; and
where the passage provided to the proper return port is otherwise than by allowance for victualling at the rate of 3s. per day for the period occupied by the journey:
Provided that if his return to the proper return port is delayed by any act or default of the seaman, he shall not be entitled to wages or allowance for victualling and accommodation during the period of the delay.
Victualling and accommodation allowances provided for in this section may be sued for and recovered by the seaman in the same manner as wages.’ “
This is one of the amendments to which I agreed recently in consultation with the Seamen’s Union. Section 50 of the Act, which this new clause amends, relates to running agreements for voyages to and fro between stated ports, or for a specified period which must not in any case exceed six months. The section as it stands provides that every such agreement shall remain in force until the ship’s arrival at the port of destination, and, in the case of foreign-going ships, until the discharge of the cargo consequent on that arrival. The seamen consider it a great hardship that, after having arrived after a long voyage overseas, they should be obliged to stand by the ship until the whole of the cargo is discharged, though they may have little or nothing to do with that discharge, and simply because the ship may have to be moved a short distance or something of that sort. This very often prevents seamen from spending time at their homes, of which they see too little in any circumstances. The clause is intended to enable seamen to be discharged immediately on the arrival of the vessel in. port.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
– I move -
That the following new clause be inserted: - “ 20b. Section 61 of the principal Act is amended -
by inserting in sub-section (3) after the word ‘ shall ‘ the words ‘ if he has not already done so,’; and
by omitting from sub-section (3) the words ‘ in the master’s possession,’ and inserting in their stead the words ‘ taken possession of by the master at the time of the seaman’s engagement.’ “
Section proposed tobe amended -
When discharging a seaman, the master shall return to him all his previous discharges in the master’s possession.
This is one of the clauses which we talked over with the delegates from the Seamen’s Union, and to the amendment of which they agreed. According to the Act, these discharges must be in the master’s possession. Recently the case occurred of a crew arriving in Australia, where they were due for discharge, but, through the carelessness of the master, or somebody connected with the ship, it was found that the discharges had been left in London. As the Act now reads, we could not impose any penalty on the master because the discharges were not in his possession. Everybody understands what great value seamen attach to the discharges, and if a master takes possession of them, the definite responsibility is thrown on him to see that they are returned to the men.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
Motion (by Mr. Greene) proposed -
That the following new clause be inserted: - “ 21a. Section 70 of the principal Act is amended by omitting from sub-section (2) the word ‘ one-half ‘ and inserting in its stead the word ‘three-fourths’.”
Section proposed to be amended -
Except by agreement with the master an allotment note shall not provide for payment of a greater sum than one-half of the seamen’s wages. . . ‘.
. -This clause refers to what the seamen call “working off a dead horse” - the allotment note. I take it that the seamen have to agree before this is done.
– Of course.
– The clause is to compel the employer to pay three-fourths if the seamen so desire.
.- This is another of the amendments for which the seamen asked and to which I agreed. It seemed to me that one-half of the wages was not nearly sufficient to maintain a seaman’s wife and family in Australia, and the clause will have the further advantage of taking temptation out of his way to spend money which ought to be devoted to his home.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
Motion (by Mr. Greene) proposed -
That the following new clause be inserted: - “ 21b.Section 77 of the principal Act is amended-
by omitting from sub-section (1) the words ‘ to every seaman, at the prescribed times, his wages or prescribed portions thereof: ‘ and inserting in their stead the following words: - subject to all just deductions, the wages due to the crew as follows: -
during any period the ship is engaged in the coasting trade, the full amount of wages then earned shall be paid to every seaman monthly, not later than the first day of each month, or, if the ship is not, at the time when any monthly payment falls due, in a port in Australia where there is a banking institution (other than a savings bank), then within twenty-four hours of the ship’s arrival at such a port; and
during any period the ship is in parts outside the coasting trade limits, three-fourths of the amount of the wages then earned shall be paid to” every seaman within twenty-four hours of the ship’s arrival at any port at which cargo is to be loaded or discharged and at which there is a branch, agency, or correspondent of the Commonwealth Bank: ‘ ; and
by omitting from sub-section (2) the word ‘ bank ‘, and inserting in its stead the words ‘ banking institution (other than a savings bank) ‘”.
Section proposed to be amended -
1 ) The master or owner of every foreigngoing ship registered in Australia shall pay to every seaman, at the prescribed times, his wages or prescribed portions thereof :
In cases where the seamen are engaged on time or running agreement on an Australian- trade or limited coast-trade ship, all wages earned shall be paid monthly, not later than the first day of each month, or thereafter within twentyfour hours after the ship first arrives at any port in Australia at which there is a bank. . . .
.- The original section provides that the wages shall be paid to every seaman. The new clause substitutes the words “ the wages due to the crew.” The seaman, like every other workman, is entitled to the wages due to him personally. If I were working on a ship, I would have no concern as to whether or not the other seamen got their pay, so long as I received what was due to me.
– The point raised by the honorable member for Yarra is met by the subsequent wording of the clause.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
– I move -
That the following new clause be inserted: - “28a. After section 122 of the principal Act the following new section is inserted in Division 13: - 122a. (1) Every foreign-going steamship of more than 3,000 tons gross registered tonnage, registered in Australia, shall be provided with a mechanically cooled refrigerating chamber of such capacity and design as to be capable of preserving, in good condition, fresh meat in accordance with the scale set out in schedule III., or as prescribed, for the consumption of the crew, between the principal ports of supply on the projected voyage of the ship.
The master and owner of any such ship which goes to sea without compliance with this section shall be guilty of an offence.
In these times, it is only reasonable to require that the crews - at any rate, of steamers which have the necessary mechanical power - shall be provided with fresh provisions. Men should not be compelled to eat the “salt junk “of the old days.
.- The new clause refers only to foreign-going steam-ships. Why should we not compel the owners of the Inter-State steam-ships to make the same provision?
– They do.
– Foreign-going vessels engage in longer voyages.
– That may be the reason for the differentiation. This is to apply only to vessels of more than 3,000 tons gross register. I think that tonnage is too high. A ship of 3,000 tons gross is a fairly big vessel.
In Committee (Consideration of Senate’s amendments) :
– All arrangements have been completed for bringing these new rates into operation to-morrow; and it is, therefore, urgent that the measure should be disposed of as quickly as possible.
The Senate ‘has agreed to the Bill subject to two amendments. . On looking into the matter, I find it is clear that the Senate has constitutional power to make amendments in a Bill of this character; that is to say, charges for services rendered are not taxation in the technical sense. The first amendment is in clause 5, which provides that the postage on newspaper shall be lid. per 20 ozs. on the aggregate weight of newspapers posted by any one person at any one time, “ provided that the minimum amount of postage payable on the aggregate weight of newspapers so posted shall be’ ls.” The Senate has struck out that proviso, and the effect of the amendment will be to give a great deal of relief to country newspapers.
– Will it apply to metropolitan newspapers also?
– Yes ; but it does not affect them very much. The Government have no abjection to the amendment. The proviso was inserted only because it would save a little clerical labour in the office. The second amendment is in clause 8, and means that the minimum charge for Inter-State telegrams shall be ls. 4d. instead of ls. 3d. As Treasurer, I cannot afford to look a gift horse in the mouth; indeed, I am very much obliged to the Senate for this little evidence of consideration. The amendment will give the Department a little more revenue, and will simplify the calculation of telegram charges by the sender. ‘The new charge is an even penny per word, with a minimum of ls. 4d. I move: -
That the Senate’s amendments be agreed to.
.- It is pleasing to have the Treasurer’s assurance that he has looked into the constitutional aspect of these amendments, because this Chamber cannot permit the Senate to interfere with finance Bills in excess of its constitutional rights. I am in agreement with the Treasurer in regard to giving relief to country newspapers. It is very difficult for many of them to carry on their operations at the present time, especially on account of the very high cost of paper. Many of them have had to close down. I offer no objection to the first amendment. In re’gard to the second amendment, I see nothing in the Treasurer’s argument that the process of calculation is simplified. It is as easy to send sixteen words for ls. 3d. as for ls. 4d. I can understand that the Treasurer embraces the opportunity of getting a little more revenue.
– Our telegrams will still be the cheapest in the world.
– Possibly; but the amendment does not mean simplification.
– It does, really.
– Yes. A man sending a sixty-word telegram will know that the cost is sixty pence.
– The amendment makes no difference, except that it increases the rate. At present, I know that a telegram of sixteen words or less will cost me ls. 3d., and that each additional word will cost a further penny. ,
– What about subtraction when there are less than sixteen words?
– If a telegram contains only twelve words, one must still pay 15d. There is no question of subtraction. I cannot agree with the argument of the Treasurer. However, the amendments are not of vital importance, and I shall not; oppose them.
– I cannot support the proposed, alteration of the basis of payment for telegrams. The arguments used in sup-! port of the Senate’s amendment are ludicrous. The minimum charge for sixteen words was originally ls. 3d. The vast’ proportion of telegrams sent every day. contain either sixteen words or less; and,, to begin with, the sum of ls. 3d. is a much more convenient amount to pay than ls., 4d., if the matter is to be studied from that angle. If .a telegram contains more: than sixteen words, say sixty, one is simply required to calculate at the rate of Id. per word over and above the sixteen, and ; then to pay Id. short. Why should those’ who are in the habit of sending telegrams of not more than sixteen words be penalised by this proposed extra payment of Id.?
– That is all it means, namely, the payment of an additional penny.
– Quite so.
– First there is to be a calculation, to ascertain the amount to be paid.
– Not at all. If there are sixty words in a telegram, one has to deduct one penny.
– That is a calculation to begin with.
– I object to the additional impost. The pressure of taxation is heavy enough, in all conscience; and, to penalize those who are in the habit of sending simple telegrams of sixteen words or less is unfair.
– I cannot help it; I am not going to quarrel with the Senate over Id. The Government cannot have a penny crisis.
– I am quite sure of that; but, nevertheless, the argument in support of the amendment is ludicrous.
.- I do not agree with the amendment of the Senate. I do not intend to oppose it, however, although I would do so now and at any time if it appeared that the Senate was seeking to interfere with our rights, and to encroach upon our privileges. I accept the statement of the Treasurer that there is nothing of that nature involved here, and am satisfied, therefore, to let the matter go.
.- I am pleased that the Senate has altered the pro- posed rates with respect to newspapers, be imposition, as intended, would have involved hardship upon news agents who send small parcels of magazines and the like to country sources. As for the proposed additional payment of Id. in connexion with telegrams, I have always held the view that the public should pay for services rendered. The minimum rate has been too low for Inter-State telegrams.
I consider the rate of ls. 4d. quite fair, and will support the Senate’s amendment.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
Senate’s amendments agreed to.
Resolution reported; report adopted.
The following paper was .presented : -
Northern Territory Acceptance Act and Northern Territory Crown Lands Act 1890 (South Australia) - Proclamation resuming portion of Crown lands reserved for use of Aborigines, together with map showing area resumed.
In Committee (Consideration resumed) :
Proposed new clause 28a.
.- When progress was reported, I was raising the point whether the amount of tonnage mentioned in proposed new section 122 a. could not be reduced in order to cover vessels of a less tonnage than 3,000. Perhaps the Minister has information for the guidance of the Committee in this matter.
– The proposed new section covers one of those matters which were discussed with the delegates of the Seamen’s Union. The same problem also received the attention of the ship-owners. I was perfectly frank with both parties in the endeavour to get them together so that we might ascertain just what would suit all concerned. “With respect to sh’ips trading on the Australian coast, it was generally agreed that there was no necessity for the provision of refrigerating chambers as indicated in the section. Requirements are already met, to a very large extent, on nearly every boat. In cases where a refrigeration chamber is not provided, the voyages undertaken are so short, and the ports of call so comparatively near to each other, that the equipment of an ordinary ice-chest, in which goods can be carried from place to place in fresh condition, is ample. With respect to the matter of tonnage, it was agreed that the limit of 3,000 tons would cover practically every foreign-going vessel concerned, for the reason that small boats do not pay on long voyages.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
Motion (by Mr. Greene)agreed to -
That the following new clause he inserted: - “ 53a. Section 190 of the principal Act is amended by omitting the word ‘ Minister ‘ and inserting in its stead the word ‘ GovernorGeneral’.”
– I move -
That the following new clause he inserted:- 118a. Section 397 of the principal Act is amended -
by omitting therefrom the words “no conviction for an offence and”;
by omitting therefrom the words “ after the commission of the offence or”;
by omitting therefrom the words “ , as the case may be “ ; and
by omitting therefrom the words “in the case of a summary conviction within two months, and in the case of a summary order”.
It not infrequently happens that Parliament, in the production of new Acts, deals with some matter already covered to greater or less extent by previous legislation. As honorable members are aware, the principle in such cases is that where there is any conflict in the provisions of these two Acts, the later legislation prevails. Overlapping of this sort has occurred in connexion with one of the sections of the Navigation Act. Section 397 provides, among other things, that summary proceedings in regard to offences against the Act must be instituted, except under certain specified circumstances, within six months of the breach of the law. The majority of the offences created by the Act in regard to acts or defaults of masters, owners, agents, and others, are punishable on summary conviction, as distinct from indictable offences, which are required to be dealt with by a Judge and jury. Another Commonwealth Act, passed by Parliament two years after the Navigation Act, namely, the Crimes Act 1914, deals fully with offences against Commonwealth Acts, and their punishment. Section 21 of this Act provides, among other things, that prosecutions for offences against Commonwealth Acts or Regulations may be commenced as follows : -
Where the maximum term of imprisonment exceeds six months, at any time after the commission of the offence.
) Where the maximum term of imprisonment does not exceed six months, at any time within one year; and
Where the penalty is a pecuniary one, any time within one year after the commission of the offence.
It goes on further to provide that -
Notwithstanding any provision in any Act, or regulation under an Act passed or made before the commencement of this Act, and providing any shorter time for the commencement of the prosecution, any prosecution for an offence against the Act or regulation may be commenced at any time within one year after the commission of the offence.
Although, in accordance with the principle of law to which I have previously referred, the provisions of section 397 of the Navigation Act are, in so far as they conflict with section 21 of the Crimes Act, superseded by the latter, it is undesirable that the section should be allowed to remain in its present incorrect and misleading form. The amendment will have no real effect on the law, but is beting made simply in order to prevent misapprehension.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
.- I move -
That the following new clause be inserted: - 123a. Section 423 of the principal Act is amended by inserting therein after the words “ apply to “ the words “ barges or other vessels not equipped with means of propulsion or to”.
The object here is to exempt from the operation of the law barges plying on the River Murray, and similar craft, to which it was never intended that the Navigation Act,as such, should apply.
Proposed new clause agreed to.
.- It is my intention to move for the insertion of a new clause 99 (a). In section 100 of the Act, certain offences against discipline and penalties are specified. It is felt by the Seamen’s Union - and I understand that its delegates have discussed the point with the Minister - that the penalties are too high. My desire is that the penalties shall be brought into conformity with the wishes of the Seamen’s Union. Section 100 of the principal Act provides that the punishment for desertion shall be “ Forfeiture of all accrued wages not exceeding £20, or a penalty of £20.” The Seamen’s Union suggests that the penalty should he forfeiture of all accrued wages not exceeding £5, or a penalty of £5. For the offence of “failure or refusal without reasonable cause to join the ship or proceed to sea in- the ship,” the section provides for- a penalty of £10. The Seamen’s Union proposes that that penalty shall be reduced to £1. Under the Act as it stands, absence without leave from duty without reasonable cause, “ such absence not amounting to desertion or not treated as such ‘by the master,” is punishable by forfeiture of two days’ wages, with an additional forfeiture of two days’ wages for every twenty-four hours of absence, or a penalty of £20. It has been suggested by the Seamen’s Union that the punishment should be forfeiture of wages during the actual time of absence. Then, again, under section 100, insubordination at .sea, or wilful disobedience to any lawful command at sea, is punishable by one month’s imprisonment or forfeiture of ten days’ wages. The Seamen’s Union recommends that the punishment should be forfeiture of two days’ wages. For the offence of insubordination or wilful disobedience to any lawful command, the section provides for forfeiture of two “days’ wages or a penalty of £10. I pro”pose that, as recommended by the Seamen’s Union, the punishment should be forfeiture of one day’s wages. For “ continued wilful disobedience to lawful commands or continued wilful failure in duty,” the section provides for forfeiture of two days’ wages for each day during which the offence continues. The Seamen’s Union recommends that the punishment should be forfeiture of wages for the actual time during which the offence continues. The next offence with which section 100 deals is that of “ conspiring with any other of the crew to disobey lawful commands at sea, neglecting duty at sea, or impeding the “navigation of the ship or progress of the voyage.” For this offence a punishment of six months’ imprisonment is provided. The Seamen’s Union recommends that the punishment should be reduced to one month’s imprisonment. For “wilfully damaging the ship,’’ the section provides for a punishment of twelve months’ imprisonment or a penalty equal in amount to the loss sustained. In lieu of this punishment, the Seamen’s Union recommends that we should provide for three months’ imprisonment.
The .Act was passed in 1912, and, as many honorable members are aware, it occupied our attention for a very considerable time. Section 100, which deals with these penalties, was copied from the Merchant Service Act of 1894.
– The honorable member does not suggest that the penalties as they stand in the principal Act were copied from the Merchant Service Act?
– The marginal notes show that they were copied from that Act.
– With the exception, of those relating to conspiring with others to disobey lawful commands, wilful damage, and embezzling or wilfully damaging cargo, stores, or equipment, the penalties provided for in the principal Act are much lower than those for which the Merchant Service Act provides.
– When I made the statement that these punishments had been copied from the Imperial Act, I was guided only by the marginal notes. I do not- think any useful purpose can be served by continuing these high penalties. They tend only- to embitter the relations between employers and employees. The Seamen’s Union is perfectly frank. It recognises that some punishment is .necessary in respect of these offences, and it has agreed to those which I have embodied in the new clause that I propose to move. The proposed new clause is in keeping with the tendency of the age. Public feeling nowadays is opposed to the infliction of such heavy punishments as those for which section 100 provides. The men who go down to the sea in ships to-day, whether they be employed as seamen or firemen, are of a better type than were those who were so employed some years ago. In making that statement, I have no desire to reflect upon those who, in the days gone by, followed a seafaring life. As a matter of fact, for over 100 years my family havebeen connected with the sea. I believe, however, that by reducing these penalties we shall create a better feeling: I therefore move -
That the following new clause be added : - 23a (a) The acts specified in Column 1 hereunder shall be offences against discipline and a seaman or apprentice committing any one of them shall be liable to a punishment not exceeding the punishment set opposite to the offence in Column 2 hereunder: -
– Representatives of the Seamen’s Union and of the employees have conferred with the Minister in regard to this matter. I think that the honorable gentleman is to be commended for his action, which has greatly assisted in creating a better feeling than has previously existed between the ship-owners and the seamen. The seamen demand that they shall be regarded as human beings, and treated in the same way as men who work on shore. In days gone by they were not so treated. The captain of a ship had power to inflict on his crew punishments that no employer on shore dare attempt to impose on his men.
– None of these penalties could be imposed by the captain of a ship, except under agreement with the men. All of them involve proceedings before the Courts.
– Quite so. I am simply pointing out that the position of seamen to-day is different from what it was in the years gone by. Until quite recently, they were dealt with in a way that the workers on shore would not tolerate. No doubt the fact that they were separated from the rest of their fellow-men encouraged the old system, and there still seems to be in the minds of some people the idea that they should be treated differently from ordinary human beings. The seamen say, however, that the time has arrived when they will, if necessary, force upon the community the recognitionof their right to treatment such as is meted out to workers on the land. No workman on shore who refused to work could be punished in the way for which section 100 of the Act provides. I shall, doubtless, be told that offences at sea are calculated to create more difficulties and trouble than would similar offences on land. That may be so, but those who earn their living as seamen or firemen do not enjoy the privileges and advantages of those who work on shore, and they deserve special consideration at our hands’. The Act provides punishment for refusing to work. Every day in the week men engaged in various industries on short tell the “bosses” to go to Hades, and there; upon cease work. They are not punished, They simply draw their wages, and look elsewhere for employment. The Seamen’s Union admits that refusal to work at sea is deserving of punishment and recommends that the punishment should be forfeiture of pay in respect of the time so lost If concerted action is taken and seamen leave their work, which, of course, is regarded as mutiny, the punishment suggested is heavier. The men have conferred with the Minister upon this matter, but he cannot see his way to go as far as they have requested. On many occasions I have spoken to seamen about the work they perform, but sailors do not care to talk much about their experiences at sea, just as soldiers will not speak freely about what occurs on the battlefield. There is a lot of sentiment and romance about a sailor’s life, but an air of romance does not carry with it comfort, good pay, or good working conditions. The sailors would rather have the same matter-of-fact treatment that men on shore enjoy. I am certain that their treatment will be better in the future th’an it has been in the past. The honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Tudor) has already referred to the fact that the seamen and firemen of to-day are a different class from those who followed the calling in the past, and this is due to the fact that bv organization they have been able to secure better treatment. We cannot expect refinement from a man who is subjected to brutal handling. It is not long since any request for improved accommodation and better food for sailors was ridiculed, but organization has brought about improvements in such matters, and the seamen claim now that the punishments imposed for crimes committed by them, which’ on shore would, not be regarded as” crimes, should be reduced. Whether it is possible to secure any concession for them from this Committee I do not know, but although I have no desire to raise a crisis at this stage upon this particular issue, nor any desire to utter a threat, I can assure the Government and their supporters that if certain forms of punishment are sought to be inflicted upon the seamen engaged on our coast the men will demand, by other methods than by legislation, the removal ‘of all these penalties which they consider unjust, as applied to them. They claim now that legislation should place them on the same footing as men on shore, and treat them as human beings, and they submit that the penalties they suggest are quite sufficient.
.- The punishments set out in the Act are not fines in the ordinary legal meaning of the term, but are actual forfeitures of pay to the master of the ship. If honorable members had encountered some of the cases with which I have come into contact in respect to seamen engaged on overseas vessels - and while we are discussing legislation of this kind it is well to keep such matters in mind - they would realize that it is not always the seaman who is to blame, but that very often the skipper of a vessel has deliberately attempted to rob his crew of their wages. An American consul has given me an instance of where this has been done. A number of seamen came to him and asked him for assistance. They had been before him on the previous day and been paid off with £2 each, which was all they swore they had to draw after, I believe, a nine months’ voyage. But, apparently, they did this in order to get away from the ship, because when they came before him on the second day and he had cross-examined them, he ascertained their reason for accepting £2 each as their wages. They told him that during the latter period of the voyage the chief mate had evidently laid himself out to drive them out of the ship, and made matters so extremely warm for them that they were compelled to approach the captain and. ask for their discharge immediately on reaching port. They offered to leave without drawing any pay, but the master told them he would not leave them without any money, and offered to pay them £2 each. This offer they accepted, and accordingly they swore before the consul that £2 each represented all the money due to them. The skipper of this vessel, who had probably put the mate up to this course of action, netted £300 in this way out of his crew. We may not have skippers on the Australian coastal trade who would do anything like that, but we ought not to make such conduct possible, and should provide that seamen must be treated on the same footing as workers on shore. I do not object to the exercise of a fair amount of discipline in order to prevent a ship from being lost or damaged, but no one can recall any case of a ship having been lost through the men standing up for their rights on board as they would have done if they had been working on shore. Has any honorable member been in a police Court when a sailor has been charged with disobedience of orders to see what chance the seaman has? When sailors, after reaching port, meet a few friends, and do not return to their vessel, they are taken to Court and carefully put into gaol until their ship is about to leave again. They are maintained at the expense of the Government, and as their wages are deducted while they are thus incarcerated there is so much saving to the ship. It is a very heavy penalty to impose fines of £20 or £10 for comparatively minor offences, and it is certainly a greater punishment than is imposed upon shore workers. I agree with the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) that the sooner we treat sailors as human beings, and improve their conditions as far as we possibly can, even makin? them better than those of shore workers, because of the long periods for which they are away from their homes, and because of the dangers they run which other people are not called upon to endure, the better it will be for shipowners and the community generally. I hope that the Minister will agree to the new clause and to the principle of imposing penalties on seamen which are much more reasonable than the drastic punishments provided in the Act.
– Every one will agree that *an offence should meet with some punishment, but the question is whether the punishments set out in the Act are too drastic.
– As maximums.
– I was just about to point out that the punishments set out in the Act are the maximum penalties that may be imposed. Usually, on the hea’ring of a charge, all the circumstances in regard to an alleged offence are taken into account and the punishment is made to fit the crime, but my experience is that the tendency is for Courts to take a lenient view of offences of sailors unless they are of a very serious character indeed. I have had a good deal of experience in regard to law breakers - I have had to defend them - and, in addressing the Bench, have frequently had occasion to deal with the matter of punishments. I have had a fair opportunity of noticing the effect that a punishment, has on a law-breaker. My experience has led me to conclude that it does not matter much whether the punishment is six months or twelve months so far as its efficiency to act as a deterrent is concerned. I do not care much whether the Minister reduces the maximum or not in regard to certain of the offences set out in the Act, but I am astonished that the honorable member, for Yarra should suggest a maximum penalty of one month’s imprisonment for the offence of “ conspiring with any other of the crew to disobey lawful commands at sea, neglect duty at sea, or impede the navigation of the ship or progress of the voyage.”
– He suggests one month’s imprisonment in place of six months.
– I cannot imagine any honorable member urging that six months’ imprisonment is too great a punishment for a man against whom such an offence can be proved, for this is about the most serious of which any seaman can be guilty.
– The punishment is really to meet cases of open mutiny.
– Very little is regarded as mutiny.
– The Court will decide as to the merits of the case, having regard to all the circumstances, and for an offence of this kind the maximum punishment ought to be inflicted. However the Minister may meet the suggestions made in regard to other offences by reducing the maximum punishment, I hope that provided for this offence will at least be permitted to stand, if not increased.
– What about some of the other offences?
– The trouble is, of course, that absence without leave may have serious consequences.
– That is so, and the Minister’s interjection applies to all these offences - they may be very trivial, or they may be exceedingly serious.
– I am sorry that I cannot see my way to accept the proposal of the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. .Tudor). It must not be forgotten that, after all, these are maximum penalties, and no honorable member, I fancy, is prepared to deny that the conditions of employment at sea differ very materially, in some respects, from the conditions of employment on shore. In the case of sea employment, the failure of the individual may result in much “greater damage than would be the case in land employment. If two or three men absent themselves from ordinary work on shore, the business may go on pretty well as usual.
– Not in some cases.
– In the great majority of cases no material difference is felt ; but if an equal number of seamen desert from a ship, their absence may result in much delay and serious loss. There is nothing more essential on board ship than strict discipline, within certain limits. The honorable member for Newcastle (Mr. Watkins) gave an instance which he said ought to be an object lesson as to what may happen under the law; but such an instance could not occur under the Australian Navigation Act. The case cited was that of an American ship, and it was dealt with under American law, and what happened there could not happen in Australia under our law. Another honorable member asserted that the fines inflicted for offences go into the owners’ pockets. That is not so, for all fines and forfeitures are paid into the public revenue.
– State or Federal?
– When the Navigation Act is in operation, these moneys will go into the Federal revenue. Honorable members must keep in mind the fact that these are maximum penalties, and that the occasions on which such offences are brought before the Court are very few. Desertion on the Australian coast is practically unknown, for the simple reason that under the agreement which the seamen have entered into with the owners, a man may leave at any time on giving twenty-four hours’ notice. The Seamen’s Union does all it possibly can to discourage desertion. The members who do desert are in most cases undesirables, and the Union is prepared to go to the length of expelling a man from membership who is guilty of such an offence. It is only fair to the Union that this should be known. The penalties can only be imposed by the Court, which has to decide as to the degree of guilt and the degree of punishment. In many cases the maximum penalty is not inflicted, but one considerably lighter. Some of these amendments go far beyond what is a fair thing. For instance, all that is suggested for insubordination at sea and wilful disobedience is the forfeiture of two days’ wages, yet such an offence is a most serious one. However, under the Billthe Court may fine a man only ls. if it likes; there is no necessity to impose the maximum penalty. Then, again, it is proposed that for insubordination or wilful disobedience to any lawful command the punishment shall be the forfeiture of one day’s wages. That, of course, might be too little in some circumstances, and too much in others. For continued wilful disobedience to lawful command, or continued wilful failure in duty, the punishment suggested is merely that the man shall not be paid for the time he does not work. No one can deny that there are circumstances under which such continued disobedience or failure in duty might cause the gravest danger to other members of the crew, and yet this minor punishment is provided, although the ship-owner has to continue to feed the offender all the time. The punishments proposed do not “fit the crime.” Then for the offence of conspiring to disobey lawful commands, and so forth - an offence which might possibly mean the loss of the ship itself - imprisonment for one month is proposed; and three months’ imprisonment is suggested as sufficient for wilfully damaging a ship, though in some cases this has amounted to actually setting the ship on fire and burning it to the water’s edge in harbor. Such punishments show no regard for the fitness of things. After talking over the matter with the representatives of the Seamen’s Union, we felt that nothing had been advanced sufficient to justify us in asking Parliament to make the maximum penalties less than those proposed - penalties which, so far as we know, are milder than those provided by the legislation of any other maritime nation.
.- I regret the Minister does not see his way to accept myproposal. It is said that the penalties provided in the Bill are lighter than those provided in the legislation of any other maritime nation. I am informed, however, that in the United States of America, for refusal without reasonable cause to join a ship or proceed to. sea, the penalty is the forfeiture of wages to the extent of no more than two days’ pay and the payment of ex- penses properly incurred in hiring a substitute. The penaltyprovided in our Act is regarded by the seamen as outrageous, and certainly it is a penalty which no one would think of imposing on similar offenders in land employment.
– We are considering the maximum penalty, and we ought to keep in view the maximum crime.
– If men, after working in the country for five or six weeks, come down to town to enjoy themselves, and do not return to time, they are not subject to anything like the penalties imposed upon seamen for a similar offence.
– In such a case nothing like the maximum penalty would be inflicted.
– The maximum very often becomes the minimum.
– That is the trouble The seamen are, no doubt, in a better position than other workers, for if they get into trouble they have behind them an organization to take up their case, and, if necessary, supply legal assistance. In the past, however, these seafaring offenders have notbeen properly defended, and have very often been kept in gaol until the time came for the departure of the ship.
– That was the usual custom.
– It was. The skipper of a ship is all-powerful, and a law unto himself, whereas on shore employers cannot go beyond certain limits.
Sitting suspended from 1 to 2.15 p.m.
– The policy of placing one man in charge, and making him practically the sole law-giver in regard to shipping is apt to lead to tyranny. That is why the seamen feel that they are entitled to some consideration in regard to penalties. The admission of the Minister that the seamen had met him fairly, and had in some cases dismissed men from the union for having deserted or not arrived at the ship in time, is an argument in favour of treating them leniently. The United States Seamen’s Act stipulates that if a seaman refuses to proceed to sea, or is absent without leave, or is absent without cause, he shall forfeit from his wages a sum of not more than two days’ pay, or sufficient to defray any expenses which may have been incurred in hiring a substitute. That provision would meet the seamen’s desire. I very much regret that the Minister has not seen his way to accede to the wishes of the seamen in this regard. In the past the penalties have been altogether too high. The Merchant Shipping Act of GreatBritain, and other laws of the kind, have treated the seamen as uncivilized beings, who were not entitled to the same consideration as were landsmen. I would like the Minister to accept the proposed new clause, or, at any rate, some modification of it.
Question - That the proposed new clause be added to the Bill (Mr. Tudor’s amendment) - put. The Committee divided.
Majority . . . . 14
Question so resolved in the negative.
Proposed new clause negatived.
.- I move -
That the following new clause be added : - “ Section 135 of the principal Act is amended by adding the following new . paragraph: -
make provision, where such can be provided without detriment to the sale navigation of the ship, for a wheel-house, or, if such is not practicable, a framework erection with canvas screens for the protection from the weather of the man at the wheel.”
This amendment does not ask for too much. The man at the wheel is on duty in all weathers for two hours at a stretch without any protection. The seamen say that very few Australian ships have a wheelhouse for the protection of the man at the wheel, although he is exposed to all winds, rain, and, in a heavy sea, spray. In cold weather, he cannot walk about to keep himself warm as can the officer of the watch, and, in any case, the officer can shelter himself behind the canvas screens erected for his protection. Nearly all American ships provide a wheel-house for the protection of the man at the wheel, because the ship-owners recognise that they get better steering by reason of such accommodation.It may be argued that we are trying to coddle the seamen too much, but honorable members will admit that the man at the wheel should not be required to remain exposed to the elements for two hours at a stretch without any protection. The provision of a wheelhouse or some shelter would not be very expensive. On big vessels the officer of the watch is sheltered completely from the weather, and on nearly all ships he has some protection against the elements, but the man at the wheel has none. I remember that, on one occasion, when I was rounding Papua in the old Merrie England, the weather was so dirty that all passengers had to keep below decks, but the man at the wheel had to remain at his post fully exposed to wind, rain,and spray. As a young man, I was at sea in a barque, and the man at the wheel was subjected to weather conditions that no man should be asked to endure, especially when protection could be easily provided. Surely a ship-owner must get better steering from a man who is protected than from a man who is not. Unfortunately, the ship-owners still cling to the old idea that seamen are not human beings, and the concessions which have been obtained from them in recent years have been yielded grudgingly. I hope the Minister will accept the proposed new clause.
.- This is a matter to which I have already given consideration. My first inclination, following on the representations made to me, was to agree to the insertion of a new clause, covering this same matter; but, upon further cogitation, it appeared to me to be unwise to adopt sucha course, because the outcome might lead to conditions which - however worthy the intention - would imperil the safety of a ship. The Director of Navigation has informed me that, as a matter of actual practice to-day, in heavy weather the man at the wheel is, in almost every instance, provided with some shelter. I have before me a memo, prepared upon this point, in which the Director of Navigation says -
The inclusion of the clause appears to me to be unnecessary, as I consider that the practice is so generally adopted in modern ships that the wisdom of interfering with the control of the master in these matters is doubtful.
While it is a fact that for a long time masters of deep-water sailing vessels could not bring themselves to believe that an officer could keep his watch behind a dodger in shelter from the wind, nowadays very few remain who still hold with the idea that an officer must be marching the weather side of the poop in a gale of wind to be awake.
The real objection that will beraised to the clause is that when a vessel is in narrow waters or in a fog, the helmsman must necessarily be onthe flying bridge of the vessel. Here the erection of a canvas screen or dodger round the standard compass would certainly interfere with the navigation of the vessel in certain cases.
The difficulty which I see in compelling the erection of these screens in all circumstances is that, in practice, there would be involved an interference with the discretion of the master concerning the safety of his vessel. I have every sympathy with the seamen in the discharge of their duties, but I ask the Committee not to agree to the new clause, for the reasons which I have mentioned.
.- I am sorry that the Minister is not disposed to accept the proposal. The view of the steersman would not be impeded in any way by the construction mentioned in the clause. If, as the Minister says, the protection is generally provided to-day, why should he not agree to it being set forth in black and white that owners shall provide the shelter?
.- I hope the Minister will reconsider his decision. It is asking very little to provide protection for the man at the wheel who, in his exposed position, has highly responsible duties to perform. It has been my lot to see more than one helmsman overwhelmed by seas at the wheel. He has been torn from his post, and his ship has only narrowly escaped destruction owing to the loss of control. The whole history of shipping is a long series of disasters, owing to vessels being pooped by big seas. From the humanitarian view-point, the Government should not hesitate to compel the provision of necessary shelter. I have walked away from the wheel on many an occasion having no feeling at all in my legs below the knees. I had to stand for hour upon hour in sleet and snow when, if the water dashing about me had been fresh, it would have frozen.
– In the British Navy the man at the wheel is protected.
– What is good enough for the British Navy should be made compulsorily good enough for the merchant service. It is strange and unfortunate that every concession in the interests of men on shipboard has to be wrested from the owner at the point of the bayonet, so to speak.
– There is no question of cost involved here. The whole matter hinges upon the inadvisability, in some circumstances, of making compulsory such provision as is indicated in the clause.
– Seeing that the Minister has already pointed out that protection is afforded in nearly every instance, he would not be doing wrong in accepting the clause.
– I suggest that the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) consent to an amendment of his proposed new clause, to make it read: - make provision, where such canbe provided without detriment to the safe navigation of the ship, for a wheelhouse, or, if such is not practicable, an ordinary canvas weather cloth be provided.
What I am anxious to avoid is the erection of a defined structure, in certain positions, which it would be practically impossible to remove. If the honorable member will agree to my suggestion, my chief objection to the clause will have been overcome, and, at the same time, the seamen will be given all that they are asking for.
– I cannot see the force of the Minister’s contention. I understand that he will be content to set forth in the Act that that which is at present generally provided shall be considered sufficient. But that would not meet the views of the seamen. It is all very well to place a canvas screen out in front of the wheel, some ten feet distant, but overhead protection is not thus afforded. Why should seamen be compelled to undergo exposure from the weather when the smallest amount of trouble and expense would be involved in providing protection ? Market gardeners, as they bring their produce into the city and return, may be seen comfortably ensconced in little canvas shelters upon their vehicles, in the wettest and heaviest weather. Surely something, affording both overhead and side protection, could be safely, easily, and cheaply provided for the man at the wheel.
– Such provision exists in almost every case to-day, but circumstances occasionally arise in which it is inadvisable to have such provision. We should not interfere with the discretion of the master in those special conditions.
– I appreciate the attitude of the Minister, and realize that it is not antagonistic; but, if the matter of providing protection for the helmsman is left to the master, it will be tantamount to putting the responsibility upon the shipowner.
– No; the practicability of erecting shelter will not rest with the ship-owner, but with the Department of Navigation. That is to say, the discretion of the master will be the guiding factor.
– Could we ask for less?
– I advise the honorable member to hold to his amendment.
– I do not think we could ask for less. The Minister, I believe, wants to give us what we are asking for, but objects to insert such a provision in the Bill itself, because it might place some ship-owners in a rather awkward position.
– Not at all. The sole consideration is the safety of the ship.
– I am going to stand by my amendment.
– Very well. I am trying to meet the honorable member quite fairly, but if he insists upon his amendment I can do no more.
– Then I shall have to ask for the support of the Committee.
– All that the honorable member asks for is that where a permanent structure cannot reasonably be erected, a temporary structure shall be provided .
– Exactly .
– As a matter of fact, the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) is asking that a permanent structure be provided, and that is exactly what we desire to avoid. I am offering to provide that a temporary structure shall be set up. I wish to meet the honorable member, and am endeavouring to do 90. If he cannot meet me to some extent, then we shall have to abide by the decision of the Committee. If the proposed new clause be thrown out, however, I shall be powerless to move any further amendment dealing with the matter. I mention this only that the honorable member may know exactly where he stands.
– If the proposed new clause were rejected, it would still be possible for the Minister (Mr. Greene) to take action to carry out the object that we have in view. It has been my good fortune to inspect some of the cargo vessels recently constructed to the order of the Commonwealth Government, and I am able to say that they have provided the shelter for which the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) asks.
– That has been done in practically every ship where such a shelter can be provided ; but in some cases a permanent framework to carry a canvas screenwould be inadvisable. I do not profess to be an expert, but I am advised to that effect.
– It would be a curiously constructed ship on which rods could not be erected to carry a canvas screen, or curtains, to shelter the man at the wheel. Where there was any suggestion of danger, these canvas curtains could be drawn aside, so that the man at the wheel would have an unobstructed view. I think it would meet our purpose if the Minister would agree to provide that this shelter shall be erected in all cases where practicable. We shall increase the safety of our shipping by enacting that the man at the wheel of a vessel shall have some reasonable protection from the weather.
– If my proposed amendment of the new clause is inserted, the whole question as to the practicability or otherwise of erecting the shelter will rest, not with the ship-owners,but with the Department of Navigation.
-After all, it is only a small matter on which it should not be necessary to divide the Committee. I hope that the Minister will see his way clear to give effect to the desire of the honorable member for Melbourne Ports. The safety of a ship very materially depends upon the man at the wheel, and he ought to be protected from the weather.
.- The Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene) is prepared to make some concession, but the honorable member for Melbourne Ports (Mr. Mathews) thinks that he should go further. I have been on as many navigating bridges as has the average landsman, and I know that the captain and officers, while on duty, have a house in which to seek protection from the weather. But between the wheel and the compass there is a space of about 2 feet, and also a clear space on the other side for the officer on duty; so that a canvas screen, 4 feet, 6 feet, or 8 feet in front of the man at the wheel does not prevent him from being drenched by every wave that comes aboard. Our desire is that the man at the wheel should be afforded reasonable protection from the weather, and the screen which the honorable member for Melbourne Ports thinks should be erected could be readily removed when a vessel was coming into port.
– Does the Seamen’s Union ask for this shelter?
– Yes; the representatives of the Union have assured me that they are anxious to secure it. The hon- orable member for Herbert (Mr. Bamford), who has an intimate knowledge of seafaring life, will recognise that the man at the wheel, who is exposed to all weathers, is entitled to some consideration. The honorable member for Wimmera (Mr. Stewart), who has also followed a seafaring life, supports our proposal, which, in my opinion, would add to the safety of a vessel. The honorable member for Melbourne Ports, who has already spoken twice to this question and therefore cannot again address himself to it, suggests to me that the position might be met by agreeing to the proposed new clause submitted by the Minister on the understanding that a regulation dealing with the whole matter shall be framed.
– I am prepared to move to amend the proposed new clause by omitting the words “ a framework erection with canvas screens for the protection from the weather of the man at the wheel “ and inserting in lieu thereof the words, “such temporary shelter as may be prescribed.”
– Very well.
Proposed new clause amended accordingly, and agreed to.
.- I move-
That the following new clause he inserted: - “ Section 135 of the principal Act is amended by adding the following paragraph : - ” (f) provide in all ships of 1,500 tons gross and over built after the commencement of this Act, berthing accommodation for each seaman or apprentice a space of not less than180 cubic feet and of not less than 26 superficial feet measured on the deck or floor of that space,”
There has been a lot of discussion, and much heart-burning, in regard to this matter on the part of both seamen and ship-owners. Ship-owners, who are naturally “ after the profits,” have tried to confine as much as possible the space allotted for the accommodation of seamen on ship-board. From time to time, that space, however, has been increased, and better conditions have been secured. I would draw special attention to the fact that the proposed new clause provides that in the case of all ships of 1,500 tons gross and over “ built after the commencement of this Act,” this additional accommodation shall be provided for seamen and apprentices. That meets the old argument that it would be impossible, in the case of many vessels, to make the structural alterations necessary to permit of this increased space being allotted to the men. If we agree to this clause, those who build ships after the commencement of the Act will know what, in this regard, is expected of them. Australian shipowners will not be able to claim that they have to compete with ship-owners in other countries who are not called upon to conform to such conditions, since seamen all over the world are demanding better conditions. We have been told to-day that ship-building in Australia is as cheap as anywhere else, and there is no reason why our ship-owners should not be called upon to allot this increased accommodation to their men. The men themselves say, “We think the space allotted for seamen as their berthing quarters is far too small, and as a seaman has to spend the greater portion of his life on board ship he ought to be entitled to at least the same space as a passenger.” I know that there are people who will laugh at such a claim, but it really does not ask too much. Does anybodywho goes to sea, even as a passenger, ever consider that he is given enough space for comfort? And yet the passenger accommodation is infinitely superior to that provided for the seamen. I admit that there are economic difficulties, but they can. and ought to be surmounted if we are a civilized people. We are told by the Seamen’s Union -
We think that the present space allotted to seamen in their berthing quarters is far too small, and as a seaman has to spend the greater portion of his life on board ship, he ought at least be entitled to the same space as a passenger. In the Merchant Shipping Act of as far back as the year 1355, the passenger regulations (schedule 10, section 3, Merchant Shipping Act 1906) says, “That if the height between the lower passenger deck and the deck immediately above it is less than 7 feet, no greater number of passengers shall be carried on such deck than in the proportion of one statute adult to every twenty-five clear superficial feet thereof.”
– That refers to the whole deck space, whereas we are dealing with cabin accommodation - actual berthing accommodation. There is no comparison.
– We are further told-
There are very few ships on the Australian register where the height of the crew’s quarters under deck exceeds 6 feet 6 inches, and as the regulations for passengers above referred to applied to second-class and steerage passengers in immigrant ships at that time, when ships were much smaller, and shipbuilding was not nearly as far advanced as it is at the present time, surely the seaman of the twentieth century is entitled to a little more space than the immigrant of the old sailing ship of over sixty years ago. Further, it must be remembered that thu seaman has to make his home on board ship, and the passenger is only there for a short period.
The seamen persist in emphasizing the fact that they have practically to live on board -
When the ship reaches port the passenger goes ashore, but the seaman has to remain on board, or if he leaves he has to join another ship in a very short time and put up with the same conditions again.
Certainly seamen are now given considerable advantages as compared with the past, but .all they have obtained they have had to fight for. During the last few months they have had to resort to’ direct action*, which many seafaring men prefer; and though I am of opinion that their demands ought to be met in ,a peaceful way, direct action should be held in reserve to be used when necessary. I believe in the old method when men cannot get a fair deal by other means. I have known a Minister of the Crown take a foot-rule and measure out on the floor the space which would be required if the men’s demands were granted; but my reply to that is that those demands represent only about one-sixth of the space which a man would be’ given on shore. In a number of houses in my electorate the rooms are not large, but they are bigger than the accommodation provided on board ship and yet, if as many men were put into one of them as are asked to berth together at sea, the Board of Health would interfere. “We ought to remember that the better conditions the better the class of men who will enter the calling. No doubt their treatment in the past brutalized men, and this largely accounts for the allegations that if proper lavatory and bathing accommodation is provided, the men allow it to get into a filthy condition. For that, I say, their environment is largely responsible, bringing out, as it does, their worst qualities. “With better conditions, a man is encouraged to look after himself, and to prefer cleanliness. Australian seamen, like all Australians, are a bit proud, and desire clean- liness and civilized surroundings. They now claim the same air space that is demanded for the people ashore,’ and the demand is reasonable. Possibly the Minister will tell us that my proposal is not feasible; but ship-owners, both private and State, will have to realize the fact that the old days of the “ boss “ who insisted on running his business “ in his own way “ are gone, it being realized that those employed have as much interest in it as the employer.
.- I hope the Minister will accept the proposed new clause, for if ever compulsion was needed it is in relation to the accommodation provided for seamen. On the 5th May, 1900, there was a debate on shipping matters in the House of Commons. At that time, Lord Salisbury was Premier, and Mr. Ritchie President of the Board of Trade. The Peninsular and Oriental Company then allowed only 36 cubic feet for their men, and in justification pleaded, when entering English ports, that they were under the Indian law. This 36 cubic feet meant something like 2 feet wide by 6 feet long, or the dimensions of a double-size coffin. Mr. Ritchie pointed out that it was not due to lack of continual warning that the Peninsular and Oriental Company could plead ignorance as to what its duty was, and although one of his colleagues was a director of the company, he said that the time might come when it would have to be prosecuted criminally. The motion on which this debate took place was introduced by Mr. Wilson, a member for one of the English sea-port towns; and ultimately every vessel of the Peninsular and Oriental Company that left the port of London was deprived by the authorities of space for cargo to the extent of the difference between the 36 cubic feet provided and the 120 cubic feet demanded by English law. I may point out that had it not been for the compulsory four-hours duty on deck, the death rate amongst sailormen would have shown their calling to be the most dangerous known in Britain. It was this enforced duty on deck that preserved their health, and saved them from having to remain under infernal- conditions in their quarters, generally below water line, with no means of ventilation. I came to Australia no less than five times as doctor on board passenger ships, and on not one occasion did I observe that proper accommodation was provided for the sailormen. There has been a continual fight between sailors and owners - a fight marked .at times with absolute murder. The Plimsoll mark is disappearing, and many ships are sailing without it under the British flag. The time was when a merchant could say that his best market was under the sea, provided the ships and goods were properly insured.
– And many found that market.
– Many were designedly sent to the bottom. Some fortyyears ago I remember a man in this city making use of that saying in my presence. As a youngster I wondered, and asked my boss what was meant. I was informed that the merchant preferred that “mar: ket” even if it involved the loss of ship and crew, and when I suggested that that was murder, my boss smiled grimly and agreed with me. Honorable members may not be aware that architects of the present day are allowing a greater number of cubic feet than ever before in factories, because it is realized that workers must have ample light and fresh lair. Even the picture theatres of this city are setting an example to some of the churches in this connexion. Only within the last ten years has the sailorman been winning a decent position in life. The accommodation for which we are asking would mean merely a space 3 feet by 6 feet by 10 feet. ‘Surely that is little enough.
– Or 6 by 6 by 5 feet.
– The bunks are above each other, and a space of 18 inches between them and the wall is little enough.
– I have previously mentioned to the House the scandalous way in which the seamen and others were treated on board one- of the Orient steamers. I boarded the vessel at Fremantle, and General Lassetter and two nurses called my .attention to the disgraceful accommodation provided for the crew. I accompanied General Lassetter on a visit oi inspection to the mien’s quarters, and I found that the owners had tried to crowd 100 men into the apace provided for 80. When the seamen struck in port, and would not sail under those conditions, the vessel put to sea, and it was then found that eight additional men had been crowded into each compartment designed to accommodate forty. There was no accommodation for the men to sit- down to meals; they had to eat in the alleys. Yet on that great steamer the cost of a first class saloon passage to Australia was £120. As members of Parliament, we must get out of our minds the idea that the owners will ever go out of their way to provide proper accommodation for the seamen. I remember Professor Scott, of Melbourne University, calling my attention to a report which was published in the weekly edition of The Times, in 1900, in which a British Admiral, who was a member of the House of Commons, said that the Peninsular and Oriental Company employed more lascars than any other company, and was partly responsible for the under-manning of British men-of-war, because, said he, “ England’s battles cannot be fought with lascars and foreigners.” The debate on that occasion led to the passing of legislation controlling the employment of lascars on board ship.
.- This is a. very important amendment, and it commends itself to me. I am surprised that we have not previously stipulated that an adequate space shall be allowed to each seaman. An area of 6 by 6 by 5 feet is little enough for anybody. I do not wonder that there is difficulty in getting men for the shipping service, if the accommodation provided for them is not in conformity with that provided in other occupations. I understand that one of the vessels being built by the Commonwealth at the present time includes the provision for which the -proposed new clause stipulates. We should make such provision general. Prom a health point of view, it is necessary to provide proper breathing space. As a -passenger on board ship I have always found the space too limited; but the seamen, who work on the vessels day after day, and mon,th after month, have not nearly as much space as have the passengers. We have far too much regard for the owners’ point of view. The ship-owner, like every other employer, is constantly urging his side of the -case, and he cannot be blamed for so doing; but Parliament should be able to decide what is reasonable accommodation in the interests of all concerned. We should effect some improvements on the conditions which existed, say, thirty or forty years ago.
– We have already done that, particularly in regard to space.
Mr.CHARLTON. - Then, why not concede what the amendment asks?
– We think that we have already gone as far as is wise.
– That is a matter of opinion. I do not think it would be unwise to allow each man a space 6 by 6 by 5 feet.
– There are very few saloon berths that give that space to the passenger.
-They provide a space of 6 feet by 3 feet, and there is at least 3 feet between the bunk and the cabin door.
-But there are three berths in a cabin.
Mr.CHARLTON.- I do not know how seamen who are 6 feet in height manage to squeeze into the accommodation that is provided. I am not a very big man, but if I had to crowd into the space which is allowed to a seaman, I would be touching each end of the bunk. I urge the Minister to give this question more careful consideration. He has been endeavouring to meet the desires of different honorable members as far as possible, especially of those members who are closely identified with the shipping industry. By accepting this amendment, he will render a good service not only to the seamen, but to the community generally, because there will be an additional inducement to men to engage in seafaring life.
.- Section 135 of the principal Act provides that the owner of every steam-ship registered in Australia or engaging in the coastal trade - shall, except as in the next two paragraphs mentioned, provide for each officer,up to at least four, a separate room having a cubic content of not less than 180 feet, and having a separate entrance to the deck, and not opening directly into the engine-room; or
In both instances there is to be an opening into the alley-way, which means additional air space, yet the accommodation to be provided for each officer is 180 and 175 cubic feet respectively. I have previously mentioned in this House the accommodation on the Rotomahana, where the bunks are so close together that a fireman of stout build had to get out of his bunk in order to turn over. On the American steam-ship Liberty the seamen’s quarters under the poop, to accommodate twelve men, measure 34 by 13 by 7 ft. 6 in., or approximately 276 cubic feet per man. In addition, there are iron spring beds, supplied with bed and bedding, which is changed once a week, ventilation by five 12-in. port-holes, one ventilator, and fly or screen door, four double electric lights, two fans for cooling purposes, and four radiators for heating.
– We are already providing for radiators and electric fans.
– They are very necessary. We are not asking for a cubic space of 276 feet per man. Twenty-six feet of deck or floor space means merely an area 6 feet by 4½ feet, of which the bunk will occupy 3 feet by 6 feet. The seamen have not only to sleep inthat space, it is also their living and dining room. In any modern factory the cubic space per employee is infinitely greater than is provided for in this amendment; and that space is only for working, not for living and eating. We ask the Minister to agree to stipulate the accommodation mentioned in the new clause, and to provide that all new ships built by the Commonwealth shall be in strict accordance with the Act, providing the space mentioned as a minimum, and, if possible, giving the same accommodation as on the American steamer Liberty.
– All that is asked for is space per man amounting to 6 feet by 6 feet by 5 feet. Surely that is not too much air space. Commonwealth ships hitherto constructed did not conform to the provision of 6 feet by 3 feet space, and some structural alteration hasbeen required. That fact indicates how little either the general public or the actual ship designers know of what is really necessary in the health of seamen. How long would honorable members care to be boxed up, four of them together, in a four-berth cabin? Seamen have to live in such conditions day after day and month after month.
.- This is one of the questions which I discussed with the seamen themselves. After giving the whole of the points grave consideration, I came to the conclusion that I could not ask Parliament to consent at present to an alteration of this vital provision in the Act. In the first place, our navigation laws are much more liberal than those of any other country in the world. I will furnish figures to indicate to what extent the requirements of our Act exceed those in existence elsewhere. The Australian Navigation Act provides for 140 cubic feet capacity and 18 super, feet by way of floor area. There is also separate mess room, sanitary, bath and hospital accommodation. In Great Britain the cubic capacity is 120 feet, and the floor area 15 super, feet. The space occupied by messroom and washing place, if provided, may be deducted from accommodation space, provided that the latter be not reduced below a minimum of 72 cubic feet and 12 super, feet. The last-mentioned measurements are all that are required in vessels up to 3,00 tons net. Under the New Zealand Act, the cubic capacity is 72 feet, and the floor area 15 super, feet; the general provisions are the same as those existing under the British Act. In Canada, the provision is for 72 cubic feet and 12 super, feet, but there is no provision for messroom, bathrooms, &c. In the United States the provision is 120 cubic feet, and 16 super, feet. Washing places are provided, but there is no provision for mess room. In Germany the provisions are 123^ cubic feet, and 16 super, feet. There, mess accommodation is provided for half the crew, and there is a bathroom as well as facilities for washing clothes. In France the same figures rule as in respect of Germany, and washing-places are provided. In Norway the provision is 120 cubic feet, and 17.2 super, feet. Twentyfive per cent, of the space occupied by separate mess rooms, if provided, may be deducted from the space allowed for sleeping quarters.- There are no bathrooms, &c. In Japan there are, as yet, no legal requirements, and conditions are regulated by custom. I emphasize that, in connexion with the space provided under the Australian Act, it is space for sleeping quarters only. It must not be forgotten that the apace available in a ship is that which determines its earning capacity.
– That is the whole trouble. The owners will not provide sufficient space for the men. They would sooner carry cargo.
– We believe that it will be found, when our legislation is in operation, that a reasonably adequate amount of space has been provided. The Act has not yet had a trial.
– Present-day constructions are being carried out in conformity with the Act.
– Unfortunately, that is not so in respect of some- vessels ; but others, “ again, are being built in which special provision has been made to fulfil the requirements of the Act. Space governs the earning capacity of a vessel; and, while one may have every desire to meet the requirements of the seamen, it must not be forgotten that, if the mark is over-stepped, the public must ultimately pay by way of increased charges. Thus, the burden will return upon the producers and the general public.
– And so it should, so long as the seamen are provided with decent conditions.
– Quite so- if our present provisions are inadequate. Seeing that the provisions of our legislation are, so far as we know, in advance of those in any other Act in the world, I stress that we should give them a trial. let us ascertain what the furnishing of this increased space will mean in added charges to the public; for it must not be overlooked that such space as is already provided for will involve increased’ freight costs. Subsequently, if it is found in practice that amendments of the Act are desirable, the matters involved will be for Parliament to deal with.
– Is there provision for ventilation in our Act?
Question - That theproposed new clause (Mr. Mathews’ amendment) be added - put. The Committee divided.
Majority . . . . 13
Question so resolved in the negative.
Proposed new clause negatived.
Third interim report presented by Mr Richard Foster.
Ordered to be printed.
Motion (by Mr. Greene) proposed -
That the House do now adjourn.
.- There are two matters that I desire to bring before the House. I am informed that it is proposed to transfer from the Victorian State Service to a position in the Defence Department an officer who has been on loan to that Department. Commonwealth public servants naturally claim that such positions should be allotted to them.The State Service is not open to Commonwealth officers, and, that being so, Commonwealth officers should have the first claim to vacancies in the Service. Officers of the Department have already protested, but have obtained no satisfaction. I hope that the Assistant Minister for Defence (Sir Granville Ryrie) will take this matter into immediate consideration. I desire now to draw the attention of the Treasurer (Sir Joseph Cook) to the fact that in this week’s issue of the Commonwealth Gazette there appears an advertisement inviting applications from persons outside the Service for the position of Investigation Officer in the Commonwealth Taxation Department. As honorable members know, more skilled officers have retired from that branch of the Service than from any other, in order to enter upon outside business pursuits.
– And returned soldiers have more trouble in obtaining preference of employment in that Department than in any other.
– I have not heard of that. There are in the Taxation Department, and other branches of the Service, a great number of officers who have spent years of study and large sums of money in qualifying in accountancy and business principles. These men are now to be overlooked, and are told that some one from outside is to fill this position. For years this investigation work, I am advised, has been satisfactorily performed by qualified men alreadyin the Service. Officers in the Department ask that the advertisement be withdrawn, and that applications should first of all be invited from those within the Service. If no applications are received from members of the Commonwealth Public Service who are qualified for the position, the ordinary routine of inviting applications from outside may then be followed. Having regard to the fact that many officers are leaving the Service, it is unwise for the Taxation Department to confine this position to outsiders; and it is certainly unwise that the Defence Department should go to the State Service for an officer to fill a position for which many men already in the Department are admirably qualified.
-Will the honorable member give me a copy of his statement of the facts?
– I will. I presume that applications for the position in the Taxation branch will not close for some little time; and I hope that the Treasurer will see that the advertisement is withdrawn, and applications invited, in the first place, from persons within the Service.
.- On several occasions I have endeavoured, by means of questions addressed to Ministers to obtain information on matters of public importance, but have received most unsatisfactory replies. If the information is denied me, I shall have to take whatever course the rules of the House permit.
– But the honorable member asks me such awkward questions.
– Two of the replies of which I complain were supplied by the righ t honorable gentleman. I do not blame him, but I think that the permanent head of the Department, who is responsible for the answers to questions on notice, should recognise that, in addressing to Ministers questions ofpublic importance, an honorable member believes that he is doing his duty to those who send him here.
– Might I suggest to my honorable friend Dr. Maloney that, instead of grumbling in the House, he should see me in regard to the answer given to any question with which he disagrees.
– There is something in that suggestion, hut the right honorable gentleman is not the worst offender.
– So much for that matter. As to the complaint made by the Leader of the Opposition (Mr. Tudor), I know nothing of the advertisement to which he refers ;but we certainly require a lot of competent men in the Taxation Department. I may tell the honorable member that I gave authority the other day for something like thirty appointments. The investigation work to which he refers is not being done, and, because of that, We are losing hundreds of thousands of pounds. I shall be glad to look into the case to which the honorable member refers. He knows, however, that the Act makes the Commissioner of Taxation in all matters of administration independent of the Ministerial head of his Department.
– Has the Commissioner for Taxation the right to make an appointment in a case like that to which the Leader of the Opposition has referred ?
– Subject to the Public Service Commissioner, who governs all such appointments. If the Commissioner for Taxation has invited applications from outside I apprehend that he has obtained from the Public Service Commissioner permission to do so.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
House adjourned at 3.57p.m.
Cite as: Australia, House of Representatives, Debates, 1 October 1920, viewed 22 October 2017, <http://historichansard.net/hofreps/1920/19201001_reps_8_93/>.