["The Koombana's Firemen", The West Australian, Tuesday 21 November 1911, page 7]



Yesterday Mr. McShearer, the representative at Fremantle of the Seamen's Union, received the following telegram from Mr. Cooper, the general secretary of the Union in the Eastern States:--

"The following wire has been sent to the Adelaide Council: It has been decided that the Koombana should be manned, leaving the dispute re chief steward for investigation. Members' action at the present juncture is detrimental to the best interests of the Union. Special meeting cannot reverse decision of the executive. The Fremantle meetings are informal. The men who signed the agreement at Adelaide are liable either to suspension or expulsion from the Union."

During the day, Mr. McShearer brought the general secretary's communication under the notice of the men who came over by the Karoola to replace those who had left their work on the Koombana, and urged the men to man the ship's stokeholds. This they refused to do. Early last evening, however, Mr. McShearer notified the acting manager for the Adelaide S.S. Co., Ltd. (Mr. Lewis) that he anticipated an early settlement of the dispute. He had, he stated, spoken to a number of the firemen, all of whom had signified their willingness to join the Koombana. On receipt of this intimation Mr. Lewis made arrangements to have the men signed on at 7 o'clock this morning, and providing no further hitch occurs, the Koombana should take her departure for the Nor'-West at an early date. Her time of departure will be announced to-morrow. It is understood that the men have decided to waive their objection to the chief steward remaining on the vessel and leave the matter to an independent investigation.