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Tuesday, 6 December 1960

Mr CALWELL (Melbourne) (Leader of the Opposition) . - I am rather amazed at the speech that has just been made by the honorable member for Bowman (Mr. McColm). I do not know whether he is trying to square-off at the expense of the Government or to make his alley good with supporters of the Labour Party in the Bowman electorate by seeking to prove that he is a better defender of public servants than is any one else. During the committee stage of the debate on this bill he had ample opportunities to say all the things that he wanted to say and to vote with the Opposition when we divided on some of those issues, but he did not bother to do so. I do not think he was even in the chamber, or, if he were, he voted with the Government. Now that the motion has been proposed that the bill be read a third time, he has made his protests. He has pretended that he is the strongest defender in this place of the Public Service, and that he knows more about it than does any one else. He has stated that he will provide the Government with a lot more information than any other honorable member has given it to date. The Parliament is sick and tired of that kind of humbug, and I hope that the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) will not be misled into believing that the honorable member for Bowman is a better authority on this matter than is any other honorable gentleman who has already contributed to the debate.

The debate has been rather prolonged and every honorable member who has spoken has done so in a sincere desire to protect the interests of a splendid Public Service and to do justice not only to public servants but also to the Public Service Board. We are justly proud of those who have led the board. Perhaps we have not understood precisely what the board was aiming at in the amendments that were proposed, but we have not misjudged its motives. We give the board credit for wishing to do the best for the service. I did not intend to speak at this stage, but the mealy-mouthed speech of the honorable member for Bowman inspired me to join issue with him.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a third time.

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