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Wednesday, 4 May 1932

Mr JAMES (Hunter) .- I cannot, understand the reasoning of honorable members who say that' State public servants should be compelled to obey the law of the Commonwealth in preference to the law of the State. The State finds the money to pay its servants, and it has a right to expect loyal co-operation from them. There can be no doubt that the object of this clause is to cause some kind of a breakaway in the State Public Service. The Government hopes that if one man breaks away others will follow him. If a man breaks away he will probably be called a loyalist. I should use a much simpler word to describe him ; I should call him a " scab ". I cannot see that State public servants who disobey the law of their State deserve any consideration whatever. It appears to me that this Government is doing its best to disintegrate the Australian Commonwealth.

The CHAIRMAN - Order ! The honorable member must confine his remarks to the clause.

Mr JAMES - I know that the provisions of a clause like this will be acceptable to State righters, for they know very well that if such provisions are enforced any spirit of unity that there may still be left in Australia will be broken.I believe that even with the experience that wehave had in the last few months it will be a quarter of a century before any one will dare to advocate unification from a public platform in this country.

The CHAIRMAN - The honorable member must deal with the clause or resume his seat.

Mr JAMES - In my opinion the application to the State Ptiblic Service of the principle behind this clause would be disastrous. The establishment of the Australian Commonwealth was agreed to by the people in the hope that it would lead to the abolition of State Governments. I am opposed to the clause, andI intend to call for a division upon it.

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