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Tuesday, 16 September 1958

Mr DRUMMOND (NEW ENGLAND, NEW SOUTH WALES) - By way of explanation of a question which I address> to the Minister for Labour and - National Service. I state that serious allegations have" been made to me concerning the treatment of unemployed persons on the track at one of the principal towns of my electorate in the north. Although this matter lies: within, the province of the States, I shall direct a question to the Minister concerning the federal aspect of the matter. Is it a fact that persons who become unemployed cannot obtain unemployment relief for a fortnight? Is it also a fact that if a person leaves his locality and1 goes on the track, looking for work, before that fortnight is over, he has no documentary evidence that he Has been registered as unemployed?' fs it also a- fact that if the person goes to another locality, looking for work, he cannot register for a fortnight and therefore becomes subject to action by the police, Who might be inclined to be harsh on the ground' that he is infringing the vagrancy laws? If these are facts, would it not be possible to have a person registered as unemployed and a document issued to him to that effect so that when he arrives in a new locality he might be able to obtain, unemployment relief SInCe, apparently, it is impossible for such people to remain for a fortnight in a locality without being subject to the action that I have described and concerning which, although I have no proof, allegations have been made to- me by a number of responsible persons?

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