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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - The appointment of boys who were not at the war may not be discussed on an amendment which deals with the definition of " Returned Soldier."

Senator ELLIOTT - My point is that those boys are displacing maimed returned soldiers. Another definition relates to returned soldiers. I can show the Minister a letter from a man in Bendigo who has a shattered hand. He has been employed up to date to deliver letters, but writes to say that he has been displaced because' a position had to be found for a boy who is just turning eighteen. I put the case before the Public Service Commissioner, who replied that nothing could be done, because he was bound by theAct to find places for these boys. It is right that the Government should consider the future of the boys in their employmentas telegraph messengers, but where their claims conflict with - the claims of returned soldiers, particularlyof maimed men, the Public Service Commissioner should be given discretion to retain the services of the maimed returned men, and dispensewith those of the juniors.

Senator Russell - Will the honorable senator give me the particulars? I am sure that the Parliament and the Government, would not tolerate a crippled man being thrown out of work.

Senator de Largie - That has been done within this very building.

Senator ELLIOTT - The men for, whom I speak are temporary employees. The Commissioner feels himself bound to put them off to make room for boys as they attain the age of eighteen.

Senator Russell - I had a case the other day where a South African War veteran, who was in a job and had passed the examination at the top of the list was displaced, and two returned soldiers appointed in his stead. We cannot help these details of administration. While they are important to the man affected, we cannot help mistakes of this kind being made.

Senator ELLIOTT - When we reach the clause dealing with returned soldiers, I hope the Minister will consider the insertion of an amendment to prevent the recurrence of the trouble of which I am complaining. The Commissioner will tell the Minister the difficulty he finds himself in. The Commissioner was quite sympathetic, but said that he was helpless.

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