Immigration LIABILITY OF MASTER, OWNERS ETC OF VESSELS IN WHICH PROHIBITED IMMIGRANT ARRIVES TO REPATRIATE IMMIGRANT AND MEET COSTS OF DETENTION: SALE OF SHIPPING LINE: WHETHER NEW OWNERS LIABLE TO MEET COSTS INCURRED PRIOR TO PURCHASE: SALE OF AUSTRALIAN COMMONWEALTH SHIPPING LINE: LIABILITY OF COMMONWEALTH SHIPPING BOARD
IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION ACT 1901 s 13A
The Secretary, Department of Home and Territories, has forwarded the following memorandum to me for advice:
With regard to section 13A, sub-section (1) of the abovementioned Act, which reads as follows:
13A(1) The master, owners, agents, or charterers of a vessel in which a prohibited immigrant, or a person who under section three or section five of this Act becomes a prohibited immigrant, or a person whose deportation has been ordered by the Minister in pursuance of section eight A, eight AA or eight AB of this Act, comes to the Commonwealth shall, on being required in writing by any Collector of Customs so to do, without charge to the Commonwealth, provide a passage for the prohibited immigrant or person to the place whence he came, and shall also be liable to pay to the Commonwealth for the State a fair sum to recoup the State for the cost of keeping and maintaining the prohibited immigrant or person while awaiting his deportation from Australia …
Will you kindly favour me with early advice as to whether, in view of the recent change of ownership of the steamers of the Australian Commonwealth Line, the present owners will be liable under the section quoted to provide passage out of Australia in the case of persons who arrived in Australia by vessels of that Line prior to the change of ownership and whose deportation from the Commonwealth has been ordered by the Minister in pursuance of the Act since the change was effected.
Subsection (1) of section 13A of the Immigration Act 1901–1925 applies to the master, owners, agents or charterers of vessels in which any prohibited immigrant arrives in the Commonwealth.
Subsections (2) and (3) of the section apply to the master, etc., of any vessel.
In the event of the Australian Commonwealth Shipping Line having conveyed a prohibited immigrant to the Commonwealth before the date of the sale, the Commonwealth Shipping Board is, in my opinion, liable under section 13A(1) of the Act to provide a passage for a prohibited immigrant if it was the owner of the vessel in which the prohibited immigrant came to Australia.
The Line having been sold it is possible that the contract of sale contains provisions under which the purchaser assumes all liabilities of the Board under Commonwealth legislation. In the absence of such provision, the Commonwealth Shipping Board would remain liable to provide a passage.
[Vol. 23, p. 821]