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Thursday, 22 October 1931

Mr MARKS (Wentworth) .- As the honorable member for West Sydney (Mr. Beasley) has referred to the returned soldier aspect of this subject, and as the Minister himself referred to me in his remarks, I wish to state clearly what transpired yesterday. Early in the afternoon I asked the Minister whether he was aware that two returned men, of 61/2 years and 91/2 years service respectively, had been served with notices of practically instant dismissal from Garden Island, while three other men who were not returned soldiers and not permanent employees had been retained. If the facts are as indicated, the whole policy of preference to returned soldiers is involved, and the returned soldier organizations wish to make a test case of it. Subsequently, when I interviewed the Minister, and put the facts before him again, he showed that he is the type of man that I thought him to be by at once giving clear and decisive instructions that the notices were not to take effect for another week, so that he might have a full opportunity of looking into the whole subject. I was satisfied with that action, butI ask the Minister to ascertain who issues these orders. The position is grave, if such notices can be issued in opposition to the policy of the Government. That is an aspect of the subject which should be investigated.

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