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Friday, 30 April 1920

Mr POYNTON (Grey) (Assistant Minister) . - It is the intention of the Government to ask the House not to insist upon this amendment. The Senate objects to it for the same reasons as I urged when the amendment was moved, namely, that the reduction of the period from five to three years would limit the scope of selection. Honorable members will recollect that I most reluctantly allowed the amendment to be made. The commissionerships will be very important positions, and in filling them we should have the widest possible selection in order that we may get the most capable men.

Mr JAMES PAGE (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - Does not the same argument apply to members of Parliament, who are elected only for three years ?

Mr POYNTON - Not to the same extent. No three men in this House have the disposal of the same amount of money as will pass through the hands of. the three Commissioners.

Mr JAMES PAGE (MARANOA, QUEENSLAND) - We vote millions of pounds annually.

Mr POYNTON - That responsibility is shared by the whole seventy-five members, but there will be only three Commissioners, and it would be a mistake to limit the field of selection by shortening the period of appointment. I therefore move -

That the amendment be not insisted on.

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