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Wednesday, 30 June 1937

Senator Sir GEORGE PEARCE (Western Australia) (Minister for External Affairs) [2.20]. - I cannot speak definitely on the matter, but my impression is that no restorations were made. The position of those officers, however, was somewhat different from that of public servants; the latter suffered a percentage reduction of salaries, whereas the military officers involved were stood off and received no pay during the period in which they did not work. In those circumstances the only restoration that could be made would be to pay these men for the period during which they were not working. Representations on the subject were made when I was Minister for Defence, and one of the objections raised by the department to this proposal was that at the time the officers were stood off they were informed that they were free to take other work during their idle periods. That, of course, was rather an empty offer, because work of any kind was scarce at that time. I shall have enquiries made in regard to this matter, and later supply the information asked for by the honorable senator.

Proposed vote agreed to.

Proposed votes- Department of Trade and Customs, £99,970; Department of Health, £20,880; Department of Commerce, £71,420; Miscellaneous services, £104,710.; and War Services, £171,030- agreed to.

Part II. - Business Undertakings.

Proposed vole.Commonwealth Railways, £81,700.

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