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Friday, 24 August 1923

Mr BRENNAN (Batman) (2:49 AM) , - I support the view put by the honorable member for Yarra (Mr. Scullin). I do not know how many persons will be affected, but to my knowledge quite a number of men have left the Department because of the uncertainty of their positions. I know of one employee who left who would have had twenty years' service in another twelve months, and so would have qualified for six months' furlough. Such a man must have retired because of the disturbed conditions arising out of these new arrangements. Why should he be arbitrarily cut out of the scheme of compensation?

Mr Maxwell - Does the honorable member for Batman know that that was the reason for his retirement?"

Mr BRENNAN - It was. I urge that compensation should be paid in those cases where it can he shown that the reason for , retirement, was uncertainty about the future. . I realize that a man may retire for any one of many reasons, but, as a rule, one does not find senior officers, with a record of seventeen or eighteen years' service, retiring in a casual way. Usually they have a very good reason. A prudent man must look ahead, and take time by the forelock. He must provide for emergencies. I am sure the number of cases affected by the amendment is not great. It seems a pity that men who have been good servants to the Commonwealth Government should be arbitrarily excluded from the compensation conditions of this Bill, which are not too liberal.

Mr Prowse - It is not a bad Bill.

Mr BRENNAN - It could be improved a good deal. But, in any case, I do not think the honorable member for Forrest (Mr. Prowse) would be a party to doing an injustice to any individual. I trust that the Treasurer will reconsider his attitude.

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