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Thursday, 3 March 1932

Mr BEASLEY (West Sydney) . -I move -

That paragraphb be omitted.

I contend that the Commonwealth Government has no right to impose upon a State employee duties that neither he nor the government to which he owes allegiance desires to carry out. An officer of a State Government is peculiarly bound to that Administration, and he has superannuation fund commitments and accrued benefits which should not be prejudiced by any conscientious objection that he may entertain about giving to the Commonwealth Government or its representatives information which he considers is the property only of the government to which he owes, allegiance. Para graph b seeks to introduce a conflicting authority, and, if approved, it would leave a conscientious State servant in a difficult position. I know that if I were such an officer I should regard the State Government as my employer, and implicitly obey its instructions. It would be improper if another government were granted authority to mulct, in penalties, and even commit to prison, any person who insisted upon being loyal to the administration that employed him. To put a State official in such a position would be wrong. In honorably discharging his duty to the State, he has a right to refuse to divulge to any authority information which he regards as the confidential property of his employer.

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