As was anticipated, there was a lively discussion at the monthly meeting of the Bathurst P.P. Board held at the Bathurst Court House yesterday, when Mr. J. J. Sullivan moved that the resolution at the previous meeting granting permission to Mr. C. R. Brett, stock inspector, to accept the Government nomination on the Turon Rural Industries Board, which was recently appointed for the purpose of granting relief in the way of supplies of seed wheat, etc., to necessitous farmers.
Mr. Sullivan, in introducing his resolution, stated that the matter at the last meeting had not come on in the ordinary way. It should have been submitted to the meeting in the early stages, through the secretary. Instead, the application by Mr. Brett was kept back till the whole of the other business had been transacted and a number of the members had gone home. The reporters had also gone.
The Chairman (Mr. C. Boyd): Who's fault was that. The members had asked for special permission to go home early.
Mr. Sullivan: Nothing was mentioned about the application till after they had gone. It should have been mentioned.
Mr. Boyd: That was no fault of mine. Do you think that I would tolerate any kind of hole and corner business. You didn't object.
Mr. Sullivan: I objected strenuously. I wanted the matter to be left till there was a large attendance of directors. You knew that the motion would be brought forward.
Mr. Boyd: I only had an idea.
Mr. Sullivan: You were asked something about it.
Mr. Boyd: I had nothing definite.
Mr. Sullivan then charged Mr. Brett with having misrepresented the case. He said that Mr. Brett had given the meeting to understand that the Chief Inspector of Stock would have no objection to his accepting the position and that he had received a communication to this effect. He would like to see the communication dealing with the matter placed before the Board.
Mr. Brett presented the letter, which stated that it was the intention of getting civil servants as Government nominees and stating that the Agricultural Department would have no objection to his appointment.
Mr. Sullivan declared that that was not the impression that Mr. Brett had given the meeting. He had told them before that it was the Chief Stock Inspector that had intimated that he had no objection.
Mr. Brett rose to a point of order, declaring that he had not mentioned the Chief Inspector.
The Chairman: I agree with you.
Mr. Sullivan, continuing, advanced reasons why Mr. Brett should not continue to be a member of the Board. He considered that Mr. Brett already spent too much time in the office when he should be out inspecting the holdings. The farmers and settlers were paying big revenue in order that Mr. Brett should be at their service and instead he was doing an office boy's work at the office.
Mr. Boyd: I think that Mr. Brett should be able, by his knowledge of the district and the conditions of the different holders, to render them his best services as a member of the Board. The farmers will soon be wanting assistance.
Mr. Sullivan: I think he could do more good by doing the work for which he is employed. I thought it was strange that the Chief Inspector should have given him his approval in this case when he disapproved of his acceptance of the secretaryship of the Graziers' Association.
Mr. Boyd: I objected to that myself. That was an entirely different proposition.
Mr. Sullivan: What I object to is that every month we get the same old report: "Engaged in the office issuing permits; attending to brands and marks."
Mr. H. E. Brown: What has that got to do with the question?
Mr. Sullivan: It has everything to do with it.
Mr. Brown: We get the Inspector's report at the meeting every month and have always accepted it as satisfactory.
Mr. Sullivan: Mr. Brett ought to get out into the country.
Mr. Kerr: If he does you won't pay his expenses.
Mr. Sullivan was against developing his argument on the lines of the monthly report when he assured the members that he did not have a set on Mr. Brett.
Several members of the Board commenced to laugh.
Mr. Sullivan became highly indignant, and, glaring at Mr. Kerr, declared: "You are positively rude. It just shows your ignorance. I thought you had more manners than that. A man sitting here at the Board and laughing in face of what is going on."
As no member seconded the resolution it lapsed.