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Wednesday, 29 November 1905

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) - Does the Minister of Defence mean to tell the Committee that under the Public Service Act the Commissioner had power to enforce that examination ?

Senator Playford - I did not inquire whether he had the power or not; I only know that he did it.

Senator CLEMONS - I think that the matter is worth inquiring into by the Minister. I can understand that, when the Commissioner had to select one out of eighty-four applicants he thought that this would be a fair way out of the difficulty, but it is not one of which we can approve for a moment.

Senator Dobson - No man can enter the Public Service now without (passing an examination.

Senator CLEMONS - I think it is a monstrous thing that such an examination should be held .

Senator Playford - My officer does not know what the Act provides.

Senator CROFT(Western Australia),I think that some step should be taken to refund the fee of 7s. 6d. to the eightythree applicants who were turned away. It is a scandalous thing, I think, that the money was collected.

Senator PLAYFORD(South Australia - Minister of Defence). - The applicants had to payafeeof7s6d., whichwas handed over to the Public Service Commissioner, and withwhich the military authorities had nothing to do. I do not know, but I should imagine that it would be returned to all but the successful applicant.

Senator Pearce - It was not.

Senator PLAYFORD - It will be very unfair if it is not returned.

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