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Thursday, 3 March 1904
Thursday, 3 March 1904

Mr. Speakertook the chair at 2.30 p.m., and read prayers.


Mr. SPEAKER.-I have to report that I have received a commission from His Excellency the Governor-General empowering me to administer the oath to honorable members who may present themselves to be sworn.


Mr. LONSDALEmade and subscribed the oath of allegiance as member for the electoral district of New England.


Mr. POYNTONasked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1. Does not section 84 of Chapter IV. of the Commonwealth Constitution, and also section 60 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act,Part 5, of 1902, preserve to transferred officers all accrued and accruing rights under State Acts.

2. By what authority has the Public Service Commissioner withheld payment of annual increments to salaries overĀ£160, due to South Australian transferred Federal officers.

3. Will the Government issue instructions that the increases provided for by the South Australian State Act of 1874, the right to which is preserved by the Commonwealth Constitution and Public Service Acts, and which increases are provided for on the Estimates for 1903-4, and authorized by Parliament, be paid without further delay to officers who have already been greatly inconvenienced by the non-payment.

Mr. DEAKIN.- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows : -

This matter is now receiving the attention of the Government, and I hope very shortly to be in a position to make a statement as to the course which will be followed.


Mr. BAMFORDasked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1. Whether, taking into consideration the fact that recruiting Polynesians for Queenslandhas ceased, and that consequently no labour vessels are now leaving Queensland for the South Sea Islands, thus creating a difficulty in the return of Islanders whose agreements have expired, the Government has made any arrangements for the return of these men.

2. If not, does the Government intend to adopt any measures insuring the return of South Sea islanders whose agreements have expired, and who desire to return to their homes.

Mr. DEAKIN.- The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows : -

The return of the Islanders is provided for by the Queensland Acts, which authorize their introduction. These Acts are administered 'by the Queensland Government, who control the fund from which the expenses of returning Islanders to their homes are defrayed. The Government has received no information of any difficulties having arisen in regard to providing means of conveyance.

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