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Wednesday, 28 July 1920


Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) . - I move -

That after the word " determines," line 2, the following words be inserted: - "but such salary shall not be more than £1,000 per annum."

The head of a Government Department should not receive a higher salary than a member of Parliament, as he has not to go before his constituents from time to time. If there is a genuine desire to benefit and protect the country, this or any other Government can bring in a special Bill to provide for the payment of any salary they please, just as they did in the case of the late Chief Justice of Australia, Sir Samuel Griffith, when the late Treasurer (Mr. Watt) submitted a measure for the payment of a pension of £5 a day to that gentleman. In the same way the sum of £4,500 was voted to Lady Bridges. Let us consider the salaries paid to some of the greatest persons mentioned in the world's history. Pasteur was receiving £200 a year when he made his great discovery, and when he was offered £25,000 to go from Paris to Italy he refused because, he said, other men could do the work. Dr. Koch was receiving £150 a year when he made his great discovery, and Rontgen was inreceipt of £200 a year when he became famous. One of the few men England regretted losing was Dr. Gresswell, who, as Chairman of the Board of Health in this State, was receiving a salary of £1,000; but he would not part with the honour of being at the head of that great Department for five times the salary.


Mr Hughes - What year was that?


Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - In 1889.


Mr Hughes - £1,000 per annum then is equal to about £200 now.


Dr MALONEY (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - More than that. We could, as I have said, by special Acts decide what salary should be paid, and I hope the Government will be prepared to accept my amendment. Every one who has studied scientific research will admit that it is not the highly-paid men at the top of the tree who make discoveries, but the younger men-, directed by the elder brain, who achieve success. Mr. William Thomson, afterwards Lord Kelvin, after thirty years' work, said he knew no more about electricity than when he first commenced its study. If we have a great man let us pay him what Parliament thinks is a proper salary. Good men should be rewarded according to their worth.

Amendment negatived.







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