Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Friday, 18 March 1904

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I desire to ask the Prime Minister if he can announce the intentions of the Government in regard to the Easter holidays, so that those honorable members who wish to visit the Federal Capital sites, and those honorable members who have seen the sites and do not wish to see them again, may be in a position to make their arrangements. A suggestion has been made in the interests of those honorable members whose homes are distant, that it might be better for the Easter adjournment to begin at the end' of next week. I am quite sure that honorable members whose homes -are nearer would be only too glad that their fellow-members should be convenienced in that way. I also desire to ask the Prime Minister if, after his second-reading speech on the Conciliation and Arbitration Bill, he intends to allow that interval before the resumption of the debate which is usually allowed in the case of an important measure?

Mr Watson - We do not need so long an interval in the case of a Bill which has been re-introduced.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I would remind my honorable friend that we have a great many new members in the House. I think that a reasonable interval should be allowed, in order to enable honorable members to look properly into the measure, and to consider the arguments of the Prime Minister.

Mr.- MAHON(Coolgardie).- I wish to. draw the attention of the Government to the fact that the public servants in Western Australia are being deprived of their annual leave, in rather an unfair fashion. It appears, from the representations made to me, that when an officer is unable, in any one year, to secure his leave - a fortnight or three weeks, as the case may be-r-through the failure of the Department to have an adequate relieving staff, that leave which is supposed to accumulate is lost to the officer, in subsequent years. If the Department will not take precautions to see that an officer at a remote station is relieved during the year and given his ordinary holiday, he should not suffer for its neglect. That seems a reasonable proposition. But I am given to understand that officers engaged as telegraph operators - an employment which makes a considerable demand on the nervous system of some men - for as long a period as five or six years, without getting their ordinary, holiday, and that when they apply they are told - " Oh, yes ; we will let you go as soon as we can make arrangements to relieve you." The arrangements to relieve are not made, and the men go on from year to year without getting any opportunity for relaxation. There are other matters in connexion with the Public Service to which I should like to draw attention, showing that friendless officers in the interior of Australia appear to be fair game for the tyranny of departmental heads. By. every mail I get complaints from these men about the unfair way in which the Public Service Regulations are interpreted in their regard. I have brought this matter before the Postmaster-General, but very little satisfaction can ever be obtained.

Mr O'malley - The. late, or the present Minister?

Suggest corrections