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Tuesday, 28 June 1904

Mr CHANTER (RIVERINA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is the Prime Minister aware that anomalies exist in respect to the granting of living allowances to some officers in Riverina and the denying of them to others? The conditions of life in Hay and Deniliquin, for instance, are practically the same, yet living allowances are granted to officers in one town and not to officers in. the other. I ask the honorable gentleman to cause inquiries to be made to see whether these necessary allowances cannot be given to all officers stationed within a similar area.

Mr WATSON -It is impossible for me or for the Minister in charge of the Departs ment to be aware of the reasons which actuated the Commissioner in arriving at his decisions. The officers concerned have under the Act the right to appeal, and I imagine that if their case is as stated they will exercise that right. I shall be prepared to answer any question of which notice is given on the business-paper in time to enable me to obtain the information asked for.

Mr JOHNSON - I desire to ask the Prime Minister whether he will agree to set apart a time for the examination and discussion of the classification scheme ' recently submitted to the House. Many grave injustices have been inflicted, regarding which I have a mass of information to lay before honorable members.

Mr WATSON - The honorable member must see that the machinery of the Act itself allows of any anomalies being corrected in a proper way. The offioers have the opportunity to appeal and surely it is ordy to be expected that they should exhaust the machinery which the Act ' itself provides before taking up the time of Parliament. If any number of honorable members desire to discuss the policy embodied in the scheme, I shall be quite willing to facilitate a discussion upon any motion which may be tabled with that object in view. But I ask honorable members not to precipitate a discussion, and take up the time of Parliament in debating whether individual members of the service have been properly treated.

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