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Wednesday, 25 November 1931


Mr LYONS (Wilmot) .- I am afraid that the discussion that has taken place this afternoon will not be very edifying to the large number of electors who have como here to listen to it, or to the larger number throughout Australia, who arc awaiting the result. Having listened to the case that was advanced by the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley), and to the replies that were given by thu Prime Minister (Mr. Scullin), the Treasurer (Mr. Theodore), and another honorable member on the Government side, I believe . that a case has been made out which shows that, to say the least, this business has been badly managed. The endeavour of the Government to assist in the relief of the unemployed, and to encourage private employers to increase employment during the Christmas season, is most commendable, but, unfortunately, Ministers have adopted wrong methods in making this money available, and that has resulted in some honorable members being placed in a. more favorable position than others. It has been made clear by the honorable member for West Sydney that certain honorable members, through receiving early advice as to the intention of the Government, had already submitted lists of names before the proposals of the Government, were known to the public, or to other honorable members.


Mr C RILEY (COOK, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I give that an emphatic denial.


Mr LYONS - The honorable member for West Sydney gave it as a fact that between the 30th October, when he sought information from the Government, and the 5th November, when Senator Dooley made a statement oh the subject, lists of names of men seeking employment were lodged with the authorities, and the hon- orable member claims that the existence of those lists resulted in the principal lists being closed very quickly.


Mr Scullin - Could not that have taken place as a result of the announcement that was made by the Treasurer to the effect that this money was available to relieve unemployment?


Mr LYONS - If the right course had been followed, none of this trouble would have arisen. Because of the ill-considered action of the Government, there has been a conflict of opinion between honorable members, and an endeavour on the part of some to obtain a political advantage over others. That is not an edifying spectacle. It has had the effect of making distinctions even among the unfortunate unemployed themselves, who are now ranged into two camps, each fighting for jobs through a particular political faction.


Mr Theodore - Here is a new apologist for Mr. Lang.







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