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Trouble on the Koombana


The Vessel Hung Up

Serions trouble bas occurred on board the s.s. Koombana, belonging to the Adelaide Steamship Company, Ltd., which is the subsidised mail boat for the Nor'-West ports, . and yesterday, it assumed such dimen- sions that instead of the Koombana leaving for the Nor'-West last night her sailing has been postponed inde- finitely.

The trouble originated in the ship's bakehouse on the last trip down when the vessel was steaming between Sharks Bay and Geraldton. The chief steward, Frank William Johnson, entered the bakehouse, and it is alleged that be abused the baker, a young German named Ed- win Albrecht, and broke a loaf of ? bread, over him. Albrecht waited until the vessel got to Fremantle, w-h-en he summoned Johnson for us- ing abusive and insulting language I towards . him. . The case was heard

! at the. Fremantle Police Court on Friday, when B..M. Bowley dismis- sed .the. casa .and would not allow

[ either side. costs..

Throughout .the piece Albrecht has had the. sympathy of the crew of the Koombana, .and on Friday night

I a meeting.of .the Seamen's Union was

held, .at .the Trades. Hall, Freman- tle, when about 60 members of the union were .present, , including repre- sentatives from the crews of the Suva, the Kyarra, and the Kurnalpi,

! besides, the crew of the Koombana.

After discussion it was decided by a very large majority that the crew of the Koombana should not resume work until the chief steward was re- moved from the steamer, and this decision, was. -conveyed to Captain Allen, and .Mr. A. E. Lewis, acting manager of the Adelaide Steamship Company, the same night.

In consequence of this action of the crew the -agents of the Koom- bana yesterday decided they had no alternative -but to delay the depar- ture of the steamer, and during the day -16 firemen were paid off. The men were on duty and did not dis- play the slightest concern over their domiesaL Subsequently a wire was received at Fremantle from Mr.

Cooper, the general secretary of the Firemen and Seamen's Union, who is in Sydney, advising the men to work on, as their action would seri- ously jeopardise the case at present before the Arbitration Court in the Eastern States.

During the day Mr. Lewis notified the postal authorities, with whom the company holds the contract for the carriage of the mails between Fremantle and the Nor'-West. that owing to the action of the crew of the ship the contract would have to be suspended for th« time being. The sailing of the vessel has been post- poned indefinitely.

Albrecht called at "The Sunday Times" office yesterday afternoon to complain of his treatment in the Po- lice Court case at Fremantle on the previous day. He raid thal if he had j struck thc chiof steward he would ! probably have got sis tnotsths on the I arrival of tie vessel at Fréta actle, j but because he restrained himself j and behaved in a law-abiding manner

the magistrate dismissed the case

f and refused to grant brm costs. Tîiat, ! he said, was not justice, which he as j a naturalised Australien und a mem ; ber of the Bakers' rnion at Fre- mantle had a right tc.expect. He

j had thrown up to his position or. the

; ship and would not Rgs.'n work la

j her even if he had to starve in conse J qcence.