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Thursday, 8 July 1915

Mr HANNAN (Fawkner) .- I desire to add my congratulations to those which have already been tendered to the honorable member for Bass on his appointment to the responsible position of Minister of Marine. From the very inception of the war I have recognised the great and responsible duties that have to be discharged by the Minister of Defence and the Assistant Minister, ana have considered that I could best assist them in the discharge of those duties by refraining from asking in this House questions such as are often put to them, and which I think' might well have been left unasked. A great deal has been said from time to time regarding the military camps, and their proper administration. I believe that if a census were taken It would be found that of those who have enlisted more have come 'from in aud around my electorate ' than f rom any other part of Victoria, or, indeed, Australia. I have had the pleasure of coming into contact almost daily with a number of these young men. I have met them in camp, but have not yet come in contact with one worth his salt as a man who has a word of complaint to utter regarding the conditions operating at Broadmeadows Camp. I have found each and every one of them perfectly satisfied.

The CHAIRMAN - I ask the honorable member not to discuss that question', since it is not now before the Chair.

Mr HANNAN - So much has been said regarding the administration of the military camps that I thought I should take chis opportunity to give credit where credit is due. A few evenings ago I suggested that an Amending War Pensions Bill should be introduced, and the Prime Minister promised that my proposal would receive consideration. As the result of the appointment of a Minister of Marine the Minister of Defence no doubt will now have the necessary time to attend to the matter. I understand that pressure of work has rendered it impossible, up to the present, for him to do so.

Mr Fisher - That Bill will be introduced next week.

Mr HANNAN - I am pleased to have that assurance. I received to-day from the secretary of one of the organizations of men engaged in seafaring occupations here a letter relating to the position of crews of transport vessels. In this letter my correspondent draws attention to the fact that the British Government, recognising the additional danger to which men are- exposed in manning vessels engaged in transport work, pay them not only a bonus over and above the ordinary rates-

The CHAIRMAN - I regret to have to interrupt the honorable member, but he is now discussing a ' matter which is not before the Chair.

Mr HANNAN - The whole question of transport, I understand, will come directly under the control of the Minister for whose appointment the Bill provides.

The CHAIRMAN - There is nothing in the motion to that effect. The honorable member will have an opportunity later on to discuss the particular question to which he has referred.

Mr HANNAN - The possibilities are that the control of transports will come directly under the new Minister. If it does, I hope that he will give this matter his sympathetic consideration.

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