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Thursday, 3 November 1921

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap (TASMANIA) - That is a military matter. Does the honorable senator intend to connect his remarks with the clause under discussion ?

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes. The position that obtained in connexion with the Australian Imperial Force during the war is analogous to the present situation in the Public Service. There should be no water-tight compartments. "When a battalion went into battle and was deci-. mated, young officers were rapidly promoted to positions of command.

Senator Rowell - They were only appointed to take charge temporarily.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - The result was that a young man, who started as a lieutenant, might quickly become a general; while a lieutenant in another battalion might only rise to be a major or a lieutenant-colonel. The Health Department is a new one, and I venture to say that, in eighteen months or two years, there will probably be some young officers who will have risen so rapidly in that Department that they will be getting a good deal more salary than other officers who were originally on the same level as themselves. The present clause would have the effect of intensifying that inequality.

Senator Rowell - They could not take a. man from, say, the Post and Telegraph Department, and transfer him to the. Health Department, because scientific men will be required.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Clerks are' wanted in the Health Department.

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