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Tuesday, 19 December 1905

Mr MALONEY (Melbourne) - When the honorable gentleman consulted the AttorneyGeneral I .was reminded of that famous character in fiction who was " sly, devilish sly." I was certainly deceived, for I thought that we should obtain fair play for all deserving cases.

Mr Ewing - Our undertaking should be sufficient. We are prepared to. keep our word.

Mr MALONEY - As I understand the suggested scheme, no change is made in payment, and I think that, as far as the Government offer is concerned, it is nonsense. It would be far better to have a straight-out division on the amendment proposed by the honorable member for Moreton.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Does the honorable member think that the twenty-six or twenty-seven honorable members now present would allow the Minister to completely ignore his undertaking ?

Mr MALONEY - The honorable and learned member should be the last to object since he pointed out the way in which we were being deceived.

Mr BRUCE SMITH (PARKES, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But I have enabled the honorable member to obtain from the Minister an undertaking that will be recorded in Hansard.

Mr MALONEY - I would ask the Minister whether he is prepared to agree that the Minister of Defence shall, within three months, appoint a Board of Inquiry, of which a member of the Parliament shall be a member, to inquire into, and report upon all claims for compensation for injuries to members of the Defence Forces ?

Mr Kennedy - I draw attention to the absence of a quorum. [Quorum formed.']

Mr Liddell - The honorable member's proposal would not cover the case of men who contracted diseases whilst on service.

Mr MALONEY - I am prepared to agree that the Board should also deal with such cases. Is the Minister ready to give an undertaking on the lines I have indicated? That would include cases of injuries received or sickness caused while on duty.

Mr Ewing - What is the difference between the two?

Mr MALONEY - On the undertaking offered by the Minister, the course adopted would be fairly right, but if that which I propose were followed, it would be perfectly right. If he cannot accept my proposal,. I shall have to move it at the proper time. Would the Minister be prepared to agree to an amendment providing that out of the total sum of $1 , 000 for

Which this Bill provides, ^500 shall be divided amongst the two officers named, leaving the remaining ^500 to be devoted to other deserving cases.

Mr Ewing - We would provide for deserving without interfering with the compensation proposed in this Bill.

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