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Tuesday, 1 October 1935

Mr GEORGE LAWSON (BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND) . - I record my emphatic protest against the bill now before the House. Once again Queensland has been completely overlooked in the allocation of portfolios. During the regime of the present Government Queensland has been represented only by an Assistant Minister; first the honorable member for Moreton (Mr. Francis) and, secondly, by the honorable member for Maranoa (Mr. Hunter). It cannot be said that the first mentioned did not carry out his duties to the entire satisfaction of this Parliament, but, when the composite Ministry was formed, the honorable member was dumped in order to make way for a Country party Minister. The present Government is composed of nine full Ministers, and five Assistant Ministers. Victoria has three fully-paid Ministers and three Assistant Ministers; New South Wales, three full Ministers and one Assistant Minister; Tasmania, one full Minister; Western Australia, one full Minister; South Australia, one full Minister; and Queensland one Assistant Minister. Looking at this matter from another angle, Victoria, with approximately 1,500,000 people, is represented by three full and three Assistant Ministers, and New South Wales, with 2,500,000 people, is represented by three full Ministers and one Assistant Minister; but Queensland, with its population of 1,000,000 people, is represented by only one Assistant Minister. The present allocation of portfolios is an injustice to Queensland, and is not in keeping with the more equitable distribution carried out by the Labour Government. I intend to vote against this bill as a protest against the inequitable treatment meted out to the State of Queensland.

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