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Thursday, 13 May 1920

Mr HECTOR LAMOND (Illawarra) . - The honorable member has given a new interpretation of direct action. I have not heard that any one has refused to come to this House to " do the job " unless his pay is raised. The proposition that honorable members should be more adequately paid than has been the case in the past is based on the same ground on which every section of workers in the community has secured the advances which have been given to them during the time the present salary of honorable members has been running in Australia. There is no considerable section of the community but has had an advance in some sort of ratio to the increased cost of living. Many people outside imagine that the position of a member of Parliament is a very remunerative one, but my experience is that it is worse paid than any position I occupied before I came here, and I think that has been the experience of most of us who have given up other work to take up the duties of a member of Parliament. The position of those who represent distant States has already been set out by honorable members who preceded me, and it is hardly necessary to elaborate the arguments put forward by the honorable member for Herbert (Mr. Bamford), but I am unwilling to give a silent vote. I have always said that there should be proper payment of members of Parliament. The country will get service from its representatives according to the amount paid to them. I believe that employers generally get service according to the amount they pay for it. It is almost impossible for an honorable member, upon the remuneration he gets to-day, to give the time he ought to devote to the work of Parliament and to procure the facilities that he ought to possess, seeing that his vote controls the destinies of the people of the* Commonwealth.

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