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Friday, 25 November 1938

Mr ROSEVEAR - If several works arc being undertaken through the Commonwealth Works Department, why is it that the responsible officers of the department in Sydney know nothing about them, and say that they have employed no men since last June?

Mr THORBY - It is not correct to say that the officers of the Commonwealth Works Department do not know what is going on, because they are preparing schedules of the works and giving preference to jobs which will provide employment for unskilled labour. Officers in the various States are ascertaining what works can be started before Christmas.

Mr Rosevear - Why is it that your officers say that no men have been employed since last June?

Mr THORBY - That is incorrect.

Mr BEASLEY - It would clear the matter up if the Minister would, at the week-end, confer with the employment officer of his department in Sydney and inform the House next week as to how many men have been employed through that officer on Commonwealth works since June.

Mr THORBY - I shall see if it is possible to supply the figures.

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