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Wednesday, 2 November 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) . - In this case the persons eligible are limited to the fourth class, because, as a rule, it is not intended to cover officers. Some officers continue in the Service to fairly old age, if they are good men, but the ordinary working men in the Navy have one stretch of service, and some of them do not renew it. It is difficult to get men for the Naval Service in Australia. They can join up to the age of fifty years, but the average working man cannot be persuaded to begin re-educating himself at that age, and it is not necessary to have an education test, because there are many occupations for which ex-naval men are suitable, particularly at quarantine stations. I intend to ask the Committee to insert " Health Department." A man who can manage a boat is useful. There is a good deal of this work in connexion with lights and harbors, and we ought to give preference to men who have worked in the Navy. We are not contemplating making special provision for officers discharged from the Navy to be given positions in the Public Service, but we have in mind other men who are turned adrift at a comparatively early age.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Then we might make the clause terminate with the words " any office in the fourth division."

Senator RUSSELL - We might want men for repairing or caulking boats; but the honorable senator thinks the operation of the clause is too limited.

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