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Thursday, 13 May 1920

Mr TUDOR - Empty?

Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - Very nearly. I was saved, however, by the gentleman to whom I have referred knocking the end of the barrel in; and then there was a row! I owned thirty houses at the time, or a little subsequently, and not believing in landlordism, I made the tenants the owners, except in case of those in which I had only a life interest. I apportioned one-fourth of my income to help those not so well off as myself, and the proportion was frequently larger. If my parliamentary allowance were increased, it would enable me to extend more such help than I am able to do at the present time. I know that if I were to leave Parliament I could earn £1,000 a year or £1,500 a year, even at my advanced age, but I would rather be here at £200, or with only sufficient to buy bread and butter, and have the feeling that by my vote I could benefit the men, women, and children who >are to come after us. Believing in one man one billet, I gave up the practice of medicine many years ago except in the case of some old friends, who mistakingly think I am a born genius in the profession.

In the Public Service a man, so long as he has moderate abilities, and minds his p's and q's, has his remuneration increased by annual increments, without, as in our case, the necessity of appealing to constituents every three years. About forty-eight years ago some one, thinking that I had a fair seat in the saddle, tried to persuade me to join the mounted troopers ; and I often wonder what would have happened in that long interval, had I done so. Law-making should 'be a profession, and one of the most important in the community, for bad laws mean suffering to the majority. If the salary be raised to the figure proposed I should like it to be provided that no member be allowed to carry on a private business. If a member had a business he might be allowed to visit it as an auditor, but he should be called upon to devote the best of his abilities, indeed the whole of them, to making fair and proper laws. I further suggest that each member should be attached to a separate Department of the Government, so that he could be sent by the Minister in charge to- any part of Australia to inquire into grievances and so forth. Had there been such a plan in operation in the Federal Parliament, the

Minister for Home and Territories, for instance, might have selected myself from this side, and the honorable member for Denison (Mr. Laird Smith) from the other to make inquiries into the Northern Territory troubles with great advantage.

As to bribes, I do not know of any alleged case that can 'be proved; but if there were bribery it might be suppressed by making death the penalty, for no punishment can be too severe for a member of Parliament who so degrades his noble position and trust - a position which should be the highest in the land, seeing that it is the only one to which men are elected by the sovereign people. I make the further suggestion that a portion of the increased salary should be ear-marked to provide a retiring allowance for any man who ceased to 'be a member for health reasons or by force majeure - the people's vote. If a portion of the salary were paid into an insurance company, a large sum could be apportioned to the indi- vidual who, in his pursuit of helping the country as a law-maker, has had to retire through ill-health or from force majeure. If the increase is granted, I shall have the pleasure of being able to help those who have not been as well placed as I am. If I were worth £1,000,000, I would not leave my children much money, because, with few exceptions, I have never seen children who have been left much wealth who have grown up a credit to their country or to their families. Recognising that the State should have everything, I hope to see the day when it will be the heir to all property over a certain amount.

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