An instance of how the Stevens Government evades its moral obligations was brought under notice yesterday at the annual conference of the Institute of Inspectors of Stock when a motion was carried unanimously to wait upon the Minister for Agriculture, Mr. Main, to urge that plain justice be done to the relatives of a man named Weir, of Deniliquin, an inspector under the department, who died after 25 years' service.
It was disclosed that the late Mr. Weir became entitled to long-service leave of a monetary value of £324. The department allowed the Pastures Protection Board to pay half of the amount to the mother and sister of the deceased officer, but because there was no provision in the Stock Inspectors' Award that the equivalent money value of the leave be paid on death, but only provided for payment on termination of services or retirement, the department has refused to pay its half.
It was explained that the Government shelters behind the strict letter of the award and says that the Auditor-General would not pass such a payment, as is morally due.
One delegate, who moved that a deputation be sent to see either the Premier or the Minister, said it seemed to him that the Government heads who had already been approached on the matter, including Mr. Stevens and Mr. Spooner, had the "accountant mind" and would naturally support the Auditor-General.
"Surely," he added, "the Government must see the moral justice of the claim without sheltering behind technicalities."