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Tuesday, 7 September 1920

Mr GROOM (Darling Downs) (Minister for Works and Railways) - This message deals onlywith the fixingof salary.That is the sole purpose of the recommendation .But, as regards the subject-matter of the proposed amendment, if it is intended to insert in the Bill anything dealing with an appropriation for salaries, that could not be done. Such an intention wouldentail the introduction of a distinct and separate message of appropriation. The object of this Bill is the appointment of an Arbitrator. The Bill is not intended to cover an appropriation out of Consolidated Revenue for purposes other than that for which it has been specifically introduced.

Mr Ryan - Then, I take it, the Bill may not be amended to provide for the variation of awards with the variation of the living wage?

Mr GROOM - Clearly, we cannot insert in this measure - as I have just indicated - anything for an appropriation out of Consolidated Revenue for purposes other than that covered by the subjectmatter of the message itself.

Mr Ryan - Then I am sorry that the Governor-General should have sent a message so narrow in its scope.

Mr GROOM - It could not have bear broader.

Mr Ryan - I know, of course, that it could not, for the reason that the Government did not advise the Governor-General to make it broader.

Mr GROOM - The honorable member knows that the scope of this measure is to provide for arbitration for the Public Service. It will be for the Arbitrator to fix the matter of salaries.

Mr.RYAN (West Sydney) [9.57].- I am. endeavouring to point out that, by reason of the fact that the Government have advised the Governor-General to despatch only a narrow message of this character, such action is likely to prevent Parliament from inserting an amendment which, otherwise, could be inserted in the direction I have indicated-.

Mr Maxwell - What kind of a message other than this does the honorable member suggest the Governor-General should have sent?

Mr RYAN - I have no objection whatever to indicating the kind of message whichI would have liked the GovernorGeneral to send. It would have been to the effect that it is. expedient to make an appropriation for the purpose already indicated in the message, and for other purposes connected with the making effective of awards, and of providing to allow the living wage at its declaration to apply to awards and agreements, and so on.

Mr Hector Lamond - But such an amendment should be a separate provision in the Bill itself, and not attached to a proposed appropriation for the fixing of the Arbitrator's salary.

Mr RYAN - It could not be inserted in the Bill unless the Governor-General recommended it.

Mr Groom - An appropriation for the payment of salaries to members of the Public Service is always contained in the Estimates, and that is the place to insert such a proposition as the honorable mem- ber now indicates.

Mr RYAN - Of course; but I desire to have such an amendment as I have indicated inserted in this measure. Will the Minister tell me, direct, whether he will oppose that being done?

Mr Groom - It cannot be done with a view to securing an appropriation for the payment of salaries to members of the Public Service.

Mr RYAN - Honorable members are aware of the nature of my proposed new clause. It does not imply an appropriation.

Mr Charlton - Of course, it is not an appropriation. The Minister knows that there is nothing which will prevent the honorable member from moving his amendment at the ordinary Committee stage. Why does he not say so ?

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - It is a purely machinery proposal.

Mr RYAN - I am merely trying now to avoid a situation which may arise later, when it may be suggested that my amendment is out of order.

Sir JOSEPH COOK (PARRAMATTA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Treasurer) - There is nothing in the amendment which proposes to appropriate money.

Mr RYAN - Then for the time being I shall let it go at that.

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