Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 2 December 1936

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) . - Having listened with much interest to the speeches of those honorable senators who served in the war areas during the Great War, I rise mainly to pay a tribute to the work of the Repatriation Commission. I have been astounded, and, at times, grieved, to hear the commission and its staff unjustly criticized. My duties as a senator frequently take me to the offices of the Repatriation Commission, and I say unhesitatingly that I have never yet found there anything but the deepest sympathy with returned soldiers, and the keenest desire to do everything possible for them, within the limits of the law.

Senator Collings - I agree with that statement.

Senator PAYNE - Time after time I have had to cross swords with those of my constituents who have complained of unjust treatment by the Repatriation Commission. I could give instances to show the practical sympathy of the Repatriation Commission with soldier applicants, but I shall not weary the Senate by relating them now. I content myself with corroborating Senator Sampson's remarks in this respect. I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the painstaking methods adopted by the officers of the commission in dealing with cases which come before them. At times I have been shown evidence which has made it clear that reports circulated by unsuccessful applicants are without foundation. Naturally, not knowing the facts, the community in which a soldier, whose application has been rejected, lives, becomes somewhat, bitter against the commission. I am glad that the bill has been introduced, for I regard it as another step forward in our repatriation legislation.

I support the appeal of Senator Sampson and other honorable senators that the members of the staff of the Repatriation Commission be given the same superannuation and furlough rights as are now enjoyed by other members of the Public Service. If ever men were entitled to be regarded as public servants in the true sense of the word, these men are so entitled.

Suggest corrections