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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

Senator EARLE (Tasmania) .- - I suggest that progress be reported.

Senator Russell - Further delay? This measure is seventeen years old.

Senator EARLE - Yes, but honorable senators have had placed before them 139 amendments, coming from the Government at the last hour. Although. I have looked through these amendments, and perceive that they are largely formal and should require very little consideration, there is this additional factor : Honorable senators have received a pamphlet from the High Council of Commonwealth Public Service organizations. This body appears to have been very slow in setting forth its case with respect to the Bill, and if its proposed amendments dealt only with the Bill as originally introduced, I would be inclined to take little notice of them, for the reason that they should have been in our hands before now. But 'if - as is highly payable - the proposed alterations of the Council -are affected by some of the 139 amendments of the Government, the position becomes complicated. The Council represents the following associations : -

Commonwealth Public Service Clerical Association, Commonwealth Postmasters Association, Post and Telegraph Association, Postal Linemen's Union, Australian Letter Carriers Association, General Division Telephone Officers Association, Postal Sorters Union, General Division Officers Union (Trade and Customs Department), Postal Electricians Union, Commonwealth Artisans Association, Line Inspectors Association.

The list embraces the whole of the Public Service, and the Council has sent along 11 pages of closely printed matter concerning the provisions of this Bill. I am sure the Government and honorable senators desire to make the measure as acceptable as possible to the Government and the public servants. We all desire contentment in the Public Service, and it is, I am sure, our wish that we should have a measure that meets with the approval of those who have to work under it, as otherwise we are not likely to secure a maximum of efficiency. It appears that these organizations have been rather tardy in submitting their suggestions.

Senator Payne - But this is only the first instalment.

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