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Wednesday, 5 November 1913

Senator GARDINER - I understand that what the Select Committee is inquiring into is the reason why he was discharged immediately there was a change of Government. There is reason to suspect that he was removed from his office because the present Ministry desired to appoint one of their own friends in his place. Here is another letter, which is worth placing on record -

Judges' Chambers, Supreme Court,

Melbourne, 20th July, 1903.

Dear Mr. Chinn,

I send you herewith a testimonial, which I hope is such as you desire, and will prove in every way satisfactory. (Sgd.) John Madden.

The testimonial reads -

Mr. HenryChinn, civil engineer, has been personally known to me for manyyears in Melbourne as a gentleman of high integrity and good professional standing.

His ability as an engineer and surveyor is undoubted, and his large experience in that direction thoroughly qualifies him to hold the position of engineer, for which he is an applicant.

He is also of good address, and well informed of business ways, and is held in high esteem by those who have been associated with him.

The author of that testimonial is still living. He can give evidence as to whether it is bonâ fide. If we are going to inquire into the qualifications of Mr. Chinn, Sir John Madden should be called to give evidence as to whether he gave that testimonial. If Senator Oakes had only known of the existence of these testimonials, he would never have submitted this motion. He would never have stood on the public platform and endeavoured to rob Mr. Chinn, not only of his professional reputation, but of his character. The last election campaign was nothing but a campaign of slander. The trouble with Mr. Chinn apparently marks the beginning of the system of " spoils to the victor." The appointees of one Government are evidently going to be removed immediately another Government take their place. When Mr. Chinn's qualifications were inquired into by a Judge of the Supreme Court, in spite of all the skill and ability which money could purchase to prove something against him, his opponents had to , be satisfied with the verdict that there was no evidence to show that these testimonials had not been given. Upon four out of the six charges preferred against him, judgment was given in favour of Mr. Chinn. If, in face of these testimonials, Senator Oakes persists in asking for an extended inquiry, it can only be for the purpose of prolonging the proceedings of the Select Committee. It can only be because my honorable friends opposite fear that if the Committee's report is forthcoming, it will damage the party which has removed Mr. Chinn from the Public Service on the flimsy ground that he was appointed by a Labour Government. If Senator Oakes has not been misled by his press and party, the straightforward plan for him to adopt is to withdraw the motion. To give effect to it will mean the expenditure of thousands of pounds.

Senator de Largie - He is nob game to move for that expenditure.

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