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Thursday, 11 May 1939

Mr Pollard d asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   How many additional employees have been engaged during the last twelve months at the following defence works: - (a) Ordnance Factory, Maribyrnong; (b) Gordon-street Ammunition Works, Footscray; (c) Explosives Factory, Maribyrnong; and (d) all other defence works in Victoria?

2.   How many of these additional employees are (a) permanent employees, and (b) temporary employees?

3.   How many are (a) artisans, (b) skilled labourers, (c) labourers, and (d) clerical workers ?

4.   Who is the selecting authority?

5.   What system was used in selecting the above employees?

6.   What proportion of the additional employees were, at the time of being called for employment, resident outside the Melbourne metropolitan area?

7.   Are employees for the above works drawn exclusively from a register kept by the Public Service Inspector? If not, why not?

8.   How many men are at present on the register with the selecting authority awaiting a possible call?

Mr. STREET.- The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows : - 1. (a) 447, (b)892, (c) 432 and (d) 269. The figures supplied in respect of (d) relate to other Munitions Supply Board establishments or activities such as the clothing factory, munitions supply laboratories and inspection staff. It is assumed that this is the information required by the honorable member. 2. (a) 41, (b) 1,999.

3.   The information requested by the honorable member is not readily available and to . prepare a classification covering more than 2.000 employees would take a considerable amount of time and clerical labour.

4.   The regulations provide that the manager shall be responsible for all matters connected with factory operations, and that includes responsibility for the engagement of operative . employees. Clerical employees are engaged in accordance with the ordinary Public. Service practice through the Public Service Inspector's Register.

5.   Artisans and labourers are selected from the register of applicants at each munitions establishment. The candidates are interviewed and, having regard to the preference to returned soldiers, the most suitable is engaged.

6.   As in the case of (3), this information is not readily available but, generally speaking, the proportion would be small. In filling vacancies the register indicates the particular type of applicant registered and those possessing the requisite qualifications. If an applicant from the country possesses the desired qualifications, he is sent for and interviewed. The great majority of the applicants on the register, however, possess no special qualifications, and in these cases itis not customary to put country applicants to the expense of coming to Melbourne for an interview in relation to casual employment. 7.See answer to No. 4.

8.   The total registered at all munitions establishments in Victoria is, approximately, 29,000. Some duplication occurs as candidates in many cases are registered at more than one establishment. retirement of Naval Officer.

Mr Beasley asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

Is it a fact that the Senior Captain of the Royal Australian Navy is being retired although under the retiring age, and that two Royal Navy captains are being brought out for positions which the Australian officer could fill more efficiently because of his knowledge of Australians and his greater experience ?

Mr Street t. - The captain referred to is a retired officer of the Royal Navy who has rendered long and honorable service in the Royal Australian Navy. He is being retired under the regulation which allows the retirement of an officer when he cannot conveniently and suitably be employed. His term in his present appointment, which is normally two years, has already been extended to three years.

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