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Friday, 8 July 1921

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) .Will the Minister (Senator Russell) explain sub-clause 1?

Senator Russell - Officers in the Third Division are considered to be of a higher standard titan those classified in the Fourth Division; moreis required of them educationally. The Fourth Division largely embraces tradesmen, who are possessed of manualskill rather than of considerable educational qualifications. It is necessary, therefore, to conduct separate examinations.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) -In Mr. McLachlan's report there is a suggestion that certain alterations should be made in our Public Service legislation, and those proposed amendments I consider admirable. At present, persons who enter the clerical division must do so at the age of not less than sixteen. Mr. McLachlan suggests that opportunity should be provided for youths who are older, who have had longer school experience, and have undergone higher public examinations, to enter at a status and salary in keeping with those qualifications, rather than at the minimum in respect of a newcomer aged sixteen.

Senator Russell - There is already provision for that in the Bill. - If a youth remains at school and passes higher examinations than are ordinarily expected of him he receives consideration over and above that given to another lad upon entering at sixteen.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I referred to this matter . in my second-reading remarks' and was given to understand that the proposal would be adopted by way of a regulation.

Senator Russell - The Government are not averse from the proposition ; and, should -there be no . specific provision in the Bill, I shall undertake that the omission be remedied.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The Board will be given considerable- power - and rightly so - to make regulations.- It may make them with respect to entrance to the Service.

Senator Russell - Special provision iri the direction indicated will be made' in the . syllabus' of examinations. For example, candidates who have passed the higher standards will not be automatically placed on the same basis as those who have not done so.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) -I understand that this provision means that if a young man who has passed, a higher examination than that for the Fourth Division, enters the Service, he will be obliged to. start at the minimum salary?

Senator Russell - If the honorable senator will refrain . from discussing the matter now, I promise to make a definite statement upon it before . the Bill goes through this Chamber,

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The VicePresident of the Executive Council knows the point at which I am aiming?

Senator Russell - Yes. The honorable senator's contention is that the boy who remains' at school for . a couple of years after he has reached the age of sixteen years ought to be able to command a better wage!

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - 'Undoubtedly it is better that we should have in our Public Service youths of seventeen or eighteen' years of age, who have had the benefit of additional education. However, as the honorable gentleman has promised to make a full statement upon the matter, I shall say no more.

Sub-clause 8 verbally amended.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 34 -

(1)   Any mole person who has successfully passed any prescribed examination for admission to the Commonwealth Service, and who on the thirteenth day- of September, One thousand nine honored and fifteen, was eligible for appointment to the CommonwealthService, shall continue to be so eligible until nine months after the declaration of Peace.

(2)   This section applies to any examination, for admission to the Commonwealth Service, for which the maximum age. fixed for candidates at the date of examination exceeded sixteen years.

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