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Friday, 29 April 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) , The Leader of the Opposition (Senator Gardiner ) has completely ignored the explanation given by the Minister regarding this clause. Instead of the officer to whom he referred being penalized, he will be protected by this clause. The supposititious case put forward by Senator Gardiner about the captain who was retained in Australia in order that he might prepare the men about to proceed to the Front sounded all right for the moment. But the Minister has since explained that an officer of similar rank might have been in charge of troops upon a transport, and that, under existing conditions, he enjoys a considerable advantage over the officer to whom Senator Gardiner referred. The clause will remove that injustice.

Senator Pearce - If an officer who went overseas had active service, he will have preference over an officer of equal rank who did not see active service in the matter , of promotion.

Senator PAYNE - Yes. Senator Gardiner might just as well argue that every man who volunteered for service abroad and was rejected is equally entitled to a preference. Surely it is reasonable that v/e should continue the policy of recognising actual service upon the field of battle, by giving a preference, other things being equal, to those who have incurred all of the risks of war. * It is perfectly clear that the object of the clause is not to inflict injustice upon the officers who remained in Australia, but to remove an injustice by placing them upon the same footing eis officers who were engaged upon transports during the war.

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