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Friday, 20 August 1920

Mr CHARLTON (Hunter) .- On the 14th July last the honorable member for East Sydney (Mr. West) brought under the notice of the then Minister for the Navy (Sir Joseph Cook) the fact that it was proposed to appoint an Imperial officer named B. G. Quick to the position of naval staff clerk. Sir Joseph Cook promised to withhold and reconsider the appointment in view of the Government's policy of giving preference to Australians. The present Minister for the Navy (Mr. Laird Smith), however, made the appointment. Two further appointments are contemplated, the first, that of Mr. A. O. Wheatley, to a permanent position as naval staff clerk, and the second, that of Mr. E. G. Buttonahaw, to the position of examiner of accounts andstores. On the 10th instant, the general secretary of the Commonwealth Clerical Association wrote to the Minister for the Navy, protesting against these proposed appointments, and I would like the assurance of the honorable gentleman that no further action will be taken in this matter until the representations of the association have been carefully considered. I may mention that the matter of these appointments is causing grave discontent in the Navy Department.

Mr Laird Smith - I shall be glad to look into the matter.

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