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Tuesday, 4 May 1920

Mr RILEY (South Sydney) .- I wish to move as an amendment the suggestion made by the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell), so that the views of the three parties in this House in connexion with this matter may be met, and the Government be given an opportunity to reach finality in connexion with the question.

Mr RILEY - Irefer to the suggestion made by the (honorable member for Fawkner that a member from the Government party, another from the Country party, and a third from the Opposition should confer with the Minister for Repatriation (Senator Millen) and report to this House some .scheme of co-operation for the assistance of returned soldiers.

Mr Mathews - The returned soldiers on the other side do not wish to assist them, so what is the use of our worrying about it?

Mr MARR (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - The honorable member is only assisting now that .the war is over.

Mr Tudor - That happens to be an absolute misstatement.

Mr Gabb - The honorable member for Parkes (Mr. Mara-) did all right out of the war.

Mr Kerby - So did the honorable member for Angas (Mr. Gabb). He gained his seat out of it.

Mr RILEY - I must appeal to the Chair for protection against these interjections. I was much impressed by the remarks of the honorable member for Fawkner. It appears to me that he suggested a fair compromise to overcome the difficulty in which we find ourselves. A number of our members are travelling to-night in the train, and. will be here to-morrow, and it is clear that the Committee is very nearly equally divided on this question. We are all anxious to do the best we can for the returned soldiers. The amendment I wish to move is not my own, but. is, as I have said, the suggestion of the honorable member for Fawkner, that a member of each party in this House should consult with the Minister for Repatriation and frame a clause for insertion in this Bill to assist in the repatriation of returned soldiers under the co-operative system which would meet with the approval of honorable members generally. Will the honorable member for Fawkner (Mr. Maxwell) stand up to such a proposal, because I have no desire to steal his thunder ? If he is prepared to carry out the intention which he has already expressed, I 3hall not move in that direction. His suggestion, I think, is a fair one, and one which the Government should accept.

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