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Wednesday, 25 November 1931

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member for Calare (Mr. Gibbons) has not proceeded far enough to enable me to determine whether his remarks are actually out of order.

Mr GIBBONS - Mr. Graves,who is secretary of the Lang group, receives £10 a week. Miss Graves, his sister, receives £5 a week as dole inspector. Miss Graves, his daughter, is employed in Mr. Graves' office, at £4 a week. Another daughter, who is employed in the Child Endowment Department, receives £5 a week. Another daughter receives £3 10s. a week.

Mr SPEAKER - I draw the attention of the honorable member to the fact that the motion before the Chair involves the adjournment of the House and relates to the methods adopted by the Government in the selection of men to be employed in connexion with the recent federal grant for the relief of unemployed. The honorable member must confine his remarks to matters that are relevant to the motion.

Mr GIBBONS - I was pointing out that a section of people in Sydney have been making political appointments, and that their actions have been interfered with by the officers of the Commonwealth Works Department, who have adopted a rational and proper system of allocating employment. I am showing that one family alone, because of political appointments, is receiving £27 10s. a week. Then in connexion with another family-

Mr Eldridge - On a point of order, I submit that the honorable member for Calare is introducing into the discussion matter which is quite foreign to the motion before the Chair.

Mr SPEAKER - I cannot permit the honorable member for Calare to proceed further on those lines, and I ask him to confine, his remarks to the motion before the Chair.

Mr GIBBONS - I am justifying the system which was adopted by the officers of the Commonwealth Works Department. This work has now been distributed among a larger number of families. I. now wish to refer to the family of Jock Garden.

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member must not try the patience of the Chair too far. I have given him reasonable latitude, but so far he has not, to my satisfaction, connected his remarks with the subject before the Chair.

Mr GIBBONS - The statement that Government supporters were given a privilege as against other members of this House is absolutely untrue. As soon as I knew that a certain sum of money was available for unemployment relief, I endeavoured to have as much of it as possible expended in my electorate. Other honorable members have taken similar action. The statement that members of the Cabinet and other Government supporters have received an advantage through being able to place certain of their electors in positions, is absolutely untrue, and cannot be substantiated by evidence.

Mr SPEAKER - The honorable member has been in the House sufficiently long to know that his expression that a certain statement is untrue, is unparliamentary.

Mr GIBBONS - I withdraw it, and say that the statement cannot be substantiated by facts. There is no evidence that the officers of the Commonwealth Works Department have given consideration to the political opinions of persons applying for employment, and it is altogether wrong to allege that they were in any way influenced by political representations. This charge, summed up, is simply a charge against responsible officers of the department.

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