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Friday, 24 August 1923

Dr EARLE PAGE (Cowper) (Treasurer) (2:39 AM) . - The Government have carefully considered the date from which . this compensation should apply, and it has come to the conclusion that it cannot be made retrospective to the date suggested by the honorable member. Ever since the amalgamation of Taxation Departments has been mooted, an intimation has been given that compensation would be payable to retrenched officers, and considerable doubt existed almost to the end of

June whether the negotiations would yield any result. On the 4th July I presented to the House a statement of the finances for the preceding year, and I mentioned that an amount of £200,000 was being allotted from the surplus for the purpose of compensating retrenched officers. It was, therefore, plain to the members of the Service that if they awaited' developments they would participate in the compensation. It is practically impossible to determine why members of the Service retired during the preceding months. Some men may have resigned solely because better jobs were offered to them, and as they would have left the Service in any case, they are not entitled to compensation. To make the compensation retrospective three months is out of the question, and I ask the Committee to negative the amendment.

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