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Friday, 26 May 1939

Mr HARRISON (Wentworth) (PostmasterGeneral and Minister for Repatriation) . - I was interested in the remarks of the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Mahoney), concerning the disabilities suffered by Tasmania through what he terms the inability of the cable connecting it with the mainland to carry the load now put upon it. Although I do not question the accuracy of the information which the honorable member has had supplied to him, or which he has given to the House, I point out that it is different from the information in the department. However, I shall certainly take up the matter, and if the facts are as the honorable memberhas stated, shallbe the first to acknowledge them.

With respect to the remarks of the honorable member concerning repatriation, 1 need only say that I take second place to no man in this House in my sympathy with returned soldiers. The honorable member should know that the cases referred to me are in the last resort adjudicated upon by a tribunal which is far removed from political control and cannot be influenced by the Minister in charge of the department. That tribunal has on it representatives of returned soldiers' organizations, who consider the claims of returned soldiers, and give a ruling which is final. Therefore, the extravagant phrases used by the honorable member, in charging past and present Ministers with hard-heartedness, cut no ice. Any case referred to me will receive courteous consideration.

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