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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

Senator DUNCAN (New South Wales) . - I am not in favour of the amendment moved by Senator Thomas, and I trust the clause will stand as printed, because it will be the means of providing a continuity of policy. We have ascertained-, even during the course of this debate, that it is a great advantage to have in the Senate honorable senators'" who have been closely in touch with administrative- work, more particularly in connexion with the Public Service. Senator Thomas is able to speak with authority on certain phases of administration in the Commonwealth Public Service, because he was for some time the Minister' controlling an important Department. The clause has been drafted in its present form to insure that there shall always be one member of the Board of Management who will be conversant, not only with what is happening at the time, but with what previously has been the policy of the Board. Sub-clause 3 of clause 9 provides' that the Commissioners shall in the first place be appointed for varying periods to insure that all members of the Board shall not retire at the same time. In the event of a* member being appointed when a vacancy occurs, the appointment shall be for a term of five years.

Senator Russell - The idea is not to allow -the three members to retire at once.

Senator DUNCAN - It would be unwise to allow that to occur, because it would interfere with the continuity of policy, and; possibly, result in a certain amount of chaos. I am pleased to see that the Government propose, other things being equal, to give preference to exsoldiers and sailors, and in making appointments to the Board, I trust the Government will consider the claims of returned soldiers and sailors who may be eligible, and who may seek appointment.

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