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Thursday, 13 May 1920

Mr MAXWELL (Fawkner) . - I regret exceedingly that I feel compelled to oppose this motion. My position can be put into a nutshell. I do not discuss the merits of the proposal, because I think that a great deal has been said by honorable members to justify an increase in the parliamentary allowance. But the case presents itself to me in this way. With a full knowledge of the facts, I offered my services to the country for £600 a year, and it would be a violation of the most elementary rules of honesty if, my offer having been accepted, I were, now that I am a member of the Parliament which has control of the country's finances, to put my hands into the Treasury, and draw a larger amount.

Mr Riley - You need not take it.

Mr MAXWELL - I should not take it, even if it were provided.

Mr Blakeley - Is it not a fact that your income from legal practice is probably double what you get as a member of Parliament?

Mr MAXWELL - I shall answer the question as I answered a similar question when contesting the Fawkner seat. I said that, in the first year of my practice at the Bar, I made ninety guineas, and that last year I made - considerably more. From my point of view, it is almost indecent for members to discuss their private affairs here as some of them have done. This is a question' of contract. Did. any member who is now objecting to the smallness of his allowance suggest, when from the public platform he solicited the suffrages of his constituents, that the remuneration was not sufficient ?

Several Honorable Members. - Yes.

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