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Thursday, 31 May 1928


Mr FOSTER (Wakefield) .- I do not believe in creating a bad precedent, as we' should do if we inserted the proposed new clause in this bill; but I resent keenly the Government's treatment of the divisional returning officers. For weeks before and after an election they work night and day. The whole burden and responsibility of managing the elections in their divisions rests upon them. The divisional returning officer in my own division is one of the truest, most conscientious, and hard-working public officers I have ever known. After the last general election and the succeeding referendum he was worn out, and the doctor whom he consulted said that it was scandalous that the Government should have worked him to such a state of physical collapse. After the election the Government promised to give consideration to the remuneration of the electoral officers. Men who are engaged from year to year in producing and maintaining the cleanest electoral rolls to be found in any country are entitled to more generous treatment; they do a grand work and every honorable member is under a debt of obligation to them. I earnestly appeal to the Government to consider the position of these officers as promised, they having in two years twice appealed unsuccessfully to the Public Service Board. It is the duty of the Government to see that these officers receive a better reward for the valuable and conscientious service they render to the community.







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