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Friday, 30 April 1920


Mr FRANCIS (Henty) .- It is well known to honorable members that when this Bill was under consideration in

Committee before, I voted for an amendment providing that the Pensions Department should not be transferred to the control of the Repatriation Commission. I wish to be consistent; but, unused to the procedure of Parliament, I am somewhat confused as to the effect of the amendment now before the Committee. I believe that the administration of the Pensions Department should be left where it is, and the Repatriation Commission should be confined to the administration of matters connected solely with repatriation. Whether the word " months " is substituted for the word "years" or not, I cannot see that the result would be to in any way alter the provision with respect to the administration of the Pensions Department included in the Bill. If the amendment is intended to secure the abolition of the Repatriation Commission, that is quite a different matter.


Mr McWilliams - That is the object of the amendment.


Mr FRANCIS - Then the question of the. transfer of the Pensions Department to the Repatriation Commission does not arise under the amendment, which is intended practically to prevent the appointment of the Commission.


Mr Ryan - The administration of the Pensions Department comes into the matter, as well as a number of other things.


Mr FRANCIS - I take it that if the Commission is not to be appointed, there will practically be no Repatriation Bill. I should like to be advised by some older parliamentarian present as to the effect of voting for the amendment.


Mr Poynton - We could not have a Commission, the members of which had to be appointed every three months.


Mr FRANCIS - I wish to understand whether, in voting for the amendment, we shall be voting to prevent the transfer of the Pensions Department to the control of the Repatriation Commission, or to prevent the appointment of any Repatriation Commission at all. If the honorable member for Franklin will, answer that question, I shall better know how to cast my vote.


Mr Maxwell - The intention of the amendment is, without a doubt, to prevent the appointment of the Repatriation Commission.


Mr FRANCIS - And has nothing to dc with the control of the Pensions Department?


Mr Story - The honorable member for Franklin says the intention is to destroy the Repatriation Commission.







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