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Thursday, 29 April 1915

Senator LONG (Tasmania) . - Ou Friday last I dealt with the question of the promotion of Lieutenant Payne to the position of captain on the Administrative and Instructional Staff, and his appointment to take charge of the concentration camp at Claremont, Tasmania. Having to leave for Tasmania at 3 o'clock, I was not able to finish my remarks, and requested the Minister to forego his reply until I had done so. The Minister could not see his way clear to do this, and in my absence, as he was perfectly entitled to do, dealt with the arguments I had advanced regarding what I believed to be an injustice to the members of the Administrative and Instructional Staff. He also went out of his way to make a statement which is absolutely contrary to fact. He said I had threatened to make it uncomfortable for him during the present session - a statement that is as untrue as it is unworthy of the Minister. The only proof I can offer in support of my present contention is the history of my relations with the Minister during the past four years. I guarantee that if he cares to do me justice he will say that I have been one of his most loyal supporters and staunchest followers during the time that I have occupied a position in the Senate.

Senator Pearce - Hear, hear; and I have never said anything different.

Senator LONG - The Minister said something quite different on Friday, which I say, without hesitation or qualification, was not true.

Senator Pearce - I ask you, sir, if the honorable senator is in order in saying that a statement made by me was not true.

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