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Friday, 18 September 1936


Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Postmaster-General) . - in reply- Apparently the Leader of the Opposition (Senator Collings) senses something sinister in the proposed amendment of section 42, which reads -

If the board is satisfied that it is desirable in the interests of the Commonwealth that the appointment be made, the board may appoint without examination or probation any officer of the territorial service or the Commonwealth railways service to any office in the Commonwealth service.


Senator Collings - If the board is satisfied that there is no one else in the Service with the requisite qualifications.


Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - All that is being done is to add certain words to that section to empower the board to deal in the same way with members of the police force of the Territory for the Seat of Government.


Senator Collings - Who is awaiting appointment ?


Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I am assured by the responsible officers that no particular appointments are proposed. The whole responsibility rests upon the Public Service Board, and the amendment is merely to enlarge the scope of the section so that members of the police force of the Territory for the Seat of Government may be placed in exactly the same position as any officer of the Territorial Service or of the Commonwealth railway service. In moving the second reading of this bill, the Leader of the Senate (Senator Pearce) said -

The clause will merely confer eligibility on members of the police force of the Federal Capital Territory for appointment to the Commonwealth service, but before any such appointment is actually made it will be necessary for the Public Service Board to satisfy itself that it is desirable in the interests of the Commonwealth that the appointment should be made.

I remind Senator Allan MacDonald that during the depression our predecessors had to dispense with the services of many temporary employees, principally from the Postmaster-General's Department ; they included a number of returned soldiers. Some very sad cases were brought under our notice, particularly of men who had discharged their duties satisfactorily over a long period. Strong representations were made on their behalf in an endeavour to get them back into the Service, but when I brought the matter under the notice of the Public Service Board I was informed that until the law was amended, as is now proposed in clause 11, it was prevented from recommending appointments.


Senator Arkins - This amendment is to overcome that difficulty.


Senator A J McLACHLAN (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - That is what it is designed for.


Senator ALLAN MACDONALD (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Why not delete the proviso to clause 11?







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