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Wednesday, 13 December 1911

Senator ST LEDGER (Queensland) . - In connexion with the vote of £1,000 for Quarantine, I wish to take advantage of the opportunity of calling attention to the answer given to me by the VicePresident of the Executive Council when we were dealing with the first reading of this Bill. I drew attention to the position of the medical officers charged with the administration of Federal Quarantine in Queensland. The answer I got from the Minister was, " If they do not like it, they can lump it."

Senator Henderson - Or words to that effect.

Senator ST LEDGER - I think that that was the absolute sense of the words used. I ask honorable senators to contrast the unsatisfactory character of that answer, given concerning a number of professional men who are charged with highly responsible duties, with the humility, the lengthy explanations, and the courtesy extended by the Minister to requests from the other side of the Chamber. Contrast the insolence of the Minister, as I may almost call it, in regard to these professional men, with the deference shown by him when requests are made from time to time regarding other members of the Public Service. It is open for me to move a request for the reduction of this item by £1, but I shall not do so at this stage. I should be doing less than my duty, however, if I were to allow such an answer to pass with out directing attention to its almost insolent character.

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