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Friday, 16 August 1912

Senator CLEMONS (Tasmania) . - I think that the Minister ought to recognise that, as soon as this Bill becomes law, he will be in the position of having a recommendation sent to him by the Military Board, of which he has previously approved.

Senator Pearce - Not of which I have previously approved.

Senator CLEMONS - The Minister stated that he was prepared to approve of it.

Senator Pearce - I would have approved it.

Senator CLEMONS - As soon as this Bill becomes law, the Minister will have a recommendation sent to him By the Military Board - a recommendation which he was prepared to approve. It will be extremely difficult for him to convince himself that he ought to wait until an examination has been held in order that somebody else may have an opportunity of becoming a competitor. Why should he do so? I cannot discover any reason in the world why he should. He is armed on all sides. If he makes the appointment, I venture to say that he will occupy a perfectly invulnerable position. I should be the first to resist any attack which was afterwards made upon him on the ground that he did not wait for an examination to be held months hence in order that somebody else might become a competitor. I had intended to ask him a question, but I will not do so, because if I did, I recognise that be would be justified in refusing to reply to it. I think that the Minister has abundant warrant for saying, " I will make no promise of any sort." I merely wish to say that, directly we validate this proposed appointment, I hope he will make it.

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