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Friday, 23 April 1915

Senator SHANNON (South. Australia) . - Whilst Senator do Largie is entitled to credit for his action in bringing this case under our notice, I feel sure that this discussion will result in some good. In moving the second reading of this Bill, I understood the Minister to say that provision had already been made under which any person serving with the colours could allocate his wages to anybody whom he selected to receive thom. But, in reply to an interjection drawn from him by Senator de Largie, I gathered that it also authorized him to deal with cases such as that which is now under review.

Senator Pearce - I think it will cover such cases.

Senator SHANNON - Then we may be opening a very wide door for abuse. In the case mentioned by Senator de Largie, the hands of the Minister have been effectually tied. Are we now going to enact legislation to untie his hands, ¬Ľnd thus allow him to violate a direction which has already been given by Major Mills? I ask the Minister to look into this phase of the question, because I recognise that Senator de Largie would be a law unto himself, and would, if he had the power so to do, pay that officer's wages to his wife.

Senator de Largie - The Minister has admitted that he has taken the law into his own hands, and I commend him for so doing. I have merely criticised his action in cases in which he has not adopted that course.

Senator SHANNON - It appears to me that the Minister's hands are tied by reason of the circumstance that Major Mills has made an allocation order. Now the question arises, " Are we going to empower the Minister to override such an order?" I hope that, in his reply, the Minister will enlighten us on that point.

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