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Wednesday, 17 July 1946

Mr SPENDER (WARRINGAH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Section 27 of the Re-establishment and Employment Act provides for preference in employment for ex-service men and women, but subsection 5 states that nothing in the section shall apply in relation to the engagement for employment- by an employer of a person who is already employed by him. I ask the Minister for Post-war Reconstruction whether it is a fact that before positions in the Public Service are advertised in the press, people have already been temporarily appointed to them so that when the matter of a permanent appointment arises, the' act can be evaded or avoided by the person already temporarily engaged and employed by the Government in that position? In particular, I ask the Minister to inquire into certain positions advertised by the Department of Commerce and Agriculture for Trade Commissioners overseas. Were the provisions of the act avoided in the manner that I have described when the Government made those appointments? Will the honorable gentleman also inquire into appointments in the Department of External Affairs, and, indeed, in other Commonwealth departments, for the purpose of ensuring that the intentions of the act shall be observed?

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