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Wednesday, 2 November 1921

Senator REID (Queensland) . - Senator Thomas has taken up the attitude that the Navy does not present many attractions to young Australians nowadays. The amendment amounts to an attempt to let those who have joined the Naval Forces, and those who may join them in the future, know that, after their full terms have expired, all the divisions of the Public Service will be open to them, subject to their applications receiving the approval of tha Board.

Senator Russell - All divisions will, not be open to them. I can see a possibility that the clause, if passed, may bring in preference to members of every trade union organization in Australia.

Senator REID - If a member of any mechanical trade union has joined the Navy, and is able to follow an occupation in the fourth division of the Public Service, he should be granted a preference.

Senator Russell - Yes, preference for positions for which he is suitable. But what is the use of an ex -sailor as a bricklayer or a plumber? He might make a good painter.

Senator Bolton - I think the proposal contained in the clause is desirable. It will encourage recruiting for the Navy.

Senator REID - To that end the throwing open to ex-Navy men of positions in the fourth division of the Public Service would be desirable. I hope the Minister will re-arrange the clause so as to incorporate that idea. All the Bill proposes is that the ex-Navy man shall be eligible for appointment without a qualifying examination, and that is all the preference he will receive. It will rest with the Board to decide whether he is fit for the position.

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