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Thursday, 28 April 1932

Mr LANE (Barton) .- I hope that the committee will accept the Government's proposal, although from a standpoint, of expense, it does not matter very much whether an alternative, which has been suggested, is adopted. A chair- man at £500 per annum, a vice-chairman at £400 per annum, three commissioners at £300 each per annum, and a general manager at £3,000 per annum will cost approximately £5,000. A full-time chairman at , £3,000, and two commissioners at £1,500 and £1,000 respectively would cost little more. Some honorable members seem to entertain the idea that, before we pass the salary clause, the Government should announce the identity of the men it is proposed to appoint to the commission. Such an idea is absurd. The Government alone should be responsible for the selection of these men. If it makes a mistake, that is its responsibility, and it will have to answer to Parliament and to the public. So varied and lofty are the qualifications which some honorable members seem to think are necessary to qualify men for appointment to this commission, that the only hope of satisfying them, I should imagine, would he for the angel Gabriel to come down from heaven to take the job. The real question which we are called upon to decide is whether we should appoint part-time members to the commission, or full-time men at commensurate salaries. I disagree with the statements of some honorable members that the chairmen of companies usually appear at their offices only once a week. There may be some chairmen like that; but I know personally of some who attend their offices every morning to consult with the general manager. Members of the Country party must also know that the chairman of one of their insurance companies attends his office every morning. It would be a waste of money to appoint to a commission men who would give only a portion of their time to the work, as suggested by the honorable member for New England (Mr. Thompson). I suggest that we should appoint a chairman at £3,000, a vice-chairman at £1,500 a year, and another member at £1,000 a year.

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