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Wednesday, 2 November 1921

Senator DE LARGIE (Western Australia) . - Upon reading clause 38 I gained the impression that there was a very serious omission, inasmuch as it provides for preference to members of the Naval Forces only. I agree, to a great extent, with the arguments of Senator Thomas. There should be provision for returned soldiers also.

Senator Bolton - There is such provision.

Senator DE LARGIE - This clause, which specifically provides preference for sailors, does not mention soldiers. Rather than that there should be any looseness or vagueness upon this question the Government should be careful to specify the nature and scope of the preference. Unfortunately, the ; policy , of preference to returned soldiers has proved a farce in many directions. So far as Commonwealth parliamentary officers are concerned, for example, preference has been afforded only in respect of the General Division. Are not the bettereducated men who were members of the Australian Imperial Force just as much entitled to enter the Public Service as those who -can qualify only for the General Division?

Senator Reid - The intention of the amendment is to open all the Departments.

Senator DE LARGIE - But not all the divisions.

Senator Reid - All, up to the fourth.

Senator DE LARGIE - That is not so. In clause 79 there is provision for preference to returned soldiers.

Senator Elliott - With the qualification of their passing an examination.

Senator DE LARGIE - That is so. If clause 38 were the only one in the Bill wherein the subject of preference was dealt with, I would be against the measure altogether.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - This clause does not even specify returned sailors.

Senator DE LARGIE - Do not those who are serving in the Permanent Naval Forces include returned sailors? The Committee will be well advised to accept the proposal of the Minister to postpone further consideration of the clause.

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