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Tuesday, 1 October 1935


Mr CURTIN (Fremantle) .- I do not desire to say much in amplifica tion of what I said earlier on this subject, but the explanation given by the honorable member for Barker (Mr. Archie Cameron) does not square with that given by the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. 'White) before the dinner adjournment. The view of the Opposition is that after the passage of this bill the amount of money by which full Ministers will be out of pocket through the addition of assistant Ministers to the Cabinet will be less than formerly. That will be equivalent to an increase of the allowance to full Ministers. At present deductions are made from a pool of the salaries of nine Ministers for the payment of five Assistant Ministers; and in future the deductions will be made from a pool of the salaries of ten Ministers for the payment of four Assistant Ministers.


Mr White - We could make the number of Assistant Ministers two.


Mr CURTIN - I concede that; but the reason advanced for the passage of this bill is the promotion of the Assistant Treasurer to Treasurer. The Opposition considers, therefore, that the only increase necessary in the sum already voted for the payment of ministerial allowances should be the difference between the present salary of the Assistant Treasurer and that of a Minister with full cabinet rank. It cannot be denied that, by the appointment of another Minister of full rank, the present Ministers will reap the benefit of increased allowances. I see no reason to reward the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. White) for the exceptional services rendered by the Assistant Treasurer (Mr. Casey).







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