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Wednesday, 8 August 1906
Page: 2520

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - I do not know what the honorable member contemplates in his Bill.

Sir John Forrest - He can only take theBill on a Thursday.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Is it not remarkable that the Government consent to a private member bringing in a Bill to amend the Public Service Act?

Sir John Forrest - This is really only a motion to get the Bill printed.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - A proposal of this kind is essentially Government , business. One wonders where our governmental responsibility has gone to when Ministers permit a private member to bring in a Bill to amend an Act relating to the Public Service. Surely the Government ought to take such a measure under their own control, and not allow a private member, however estimable he may be, to introduce it on a Government right.

Sir John Forrest - We have not yet seen the Bill.

Mr Wilks - Then the Government ought to resist the measure.

Mr Isaacs - Surely a private member has the right to introduce legislation?

Mr.Bamford. - No doubt the Public Service Act requires amendment, and if the Government will not introduce the legislation, somebody must.

Mr JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I would give a private member the right to do everything that is proper, but I am pointing out that the introduction of this Bill by the honorable member for Canobolas is improper. The introduction of measures of this kind is one of the most vital functions of the Federal Government. We have passed an Act guaranteeing the independence of the Public Service Commissioner, and I should like to know whether the Government have any idea of what the proposals in this Bill are. I should have thought that the least an honorable member in charge of such a measure should' do, would be to acquaint the Government with his intentions. For all I know, the honorable member for Canobolas may have done so ; but it is an unheard of thing, in my recollection, to permit a private member to submit a motion of this character in Government time.

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