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Thursday, 3 November 1910

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - The Vice-President of the Executive Council has described these amendments as being merely of a formal char- acter. Butthere seems to be something more than a mere formality involved in the amendment which is now under consideration. The object of the clause is to insure that those officers who are now administering the public affairs of the Northern Territory shall be transferred to the Commonwealth, and that they shall not suffer any loss thereby. But if we adopt the amendment they will be very uncertain as to their future position. In such circumstances they may or may not be transferred to the Commonwealth. Hitherto, when any public Department Has been transferred from a State to the Commonwealth the practice has been to give to the officers of that Department an assurance that they would not suffer by reason of such transfer.

Senator Rae - Suppose that some nf these officers do not wish to be transferred ?

Senator MILLEN - There is a simple way of meeting such cases. If we adopt the amendment which is now proposed, the Commonwealth may or may not take over these officers. If it does not take t hem over their occupation will be gone. I feel that they ought to receive the same assurance which has hitherto been given to every other officer of a Department which has been transferred to the Commonwealth - an assurance that their positions will not be jeopardized by reason of the transfer.

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