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Friday, 24 August 1923

Dr EARLE PAGE (Cowper) (Treasurer) (3:40 AM) . - I regret that the Government cannot accept the amendment of the Leader of the Opposition. I have discussed' this matter fully with the officers of the Taxation Department and of my own Department, with public "servants and ex-public servants as well, and they all agree that it would not be fair to pay compensation to the men in , question.

Mr-C. Riley. - That is most ungenerous on the part of the Department, because a number of returned soldiers are affected.

Dr EARLE PAGE - I would like to put on record in Hansard that I was very pleased with the close consideration and sympathy that was shown by the heads of the Department in this matter, and it ill.becomes any honorable member to cast a reflection upon them. The utmost circumspection has been exercised to try to prevent any hardship accruing to the taxation officers in any way. In my own Department the secretary has cudgeled his brains to find employment for temporary men. These men have accepted other jobs on their own responsibility, and with their eyes open.

Mr Charlton - That is as ungenerous as the statement complained of by the Treasurer.

Dr EARLE PAGE - Honorable members' have stated that discrimination should be shown in some cases. The honorable member for Batman instanced the case of a married man. I' know one case in which a man obtained a better job, and- would any honorable member suggest that he should receive compensation? It is absolutely impossible to discriminate between these men, and, therefore, the Government cannot accept the amendment.

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