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Tuesday, 4 May 1920

Mr FLEMING (Robertson) . - I do not suppose there is one honorable member who would not like to see this scheme stretched as far as possible. Every one will agree that honorable members on this side have been doing as much as has any one else to help the returned soldiers. We have as much sympathy for the man who threw down his pick and shovel, and went to the war, as we have for any other soldier. Many of that type were amongst the best men who went to the war. Quite a number, by their own ability and hard work, raised themselves from the ranks to high positions in the Army. Others, however, failed, and will continue to fail. Every honorable member is agreed that the present Minister for Repatriation! (Senator Millen) is an excellent man for the job. He is a man of wide views and broad sympathies, and of firmness and courage, and he understands the repatriation question. The Government are taunted first with having accepted this amendment, and now with opposing it, but it has been submitted to the Minister for Repatriation, who has declared that it cannot be accepted without a risk of direct failure. Now honorable members are proposing a vote of censure upon the Minister whom everybody applauded, and who is conceded to be the best man for the job. He has told us what should be done, and I think we should respect his advice. We should show our trust in the Minister. We admit that he is qualified for the job; yet it is proposed that we should turn him down, and act in our own way regardless of what ruin may follow. Had the Minister accepted the amendment, there would have been no question as to its wisdom. We do not understand therepatriation problem as he does, and, for that reason, I cannot support the amendment.

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