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Thursday, 17 November 1938


Mr BARNARD (Bass) .- I had not intended to take any further part in the debate of this -measure, but the Treasurer (Mr. Casey) has indicated that, even with the increased amount to be made available, the salaries paid to Ministers of the Crown in Great Britain and in other parts of the British Empire will still be greater than those paid to Ministers in Australia. There would not be so much opposition to this particular clause if the same conditions obtained in Australia as obtain in Great Britain. The salaries paid to Ministers of the Crown in Great Britain are very much higher, admittedly, but we have to take into consideration the fact that they cease to occupy other public positions immediately they join the Cabinet. That is not the case in Australia. It has been pointed out that Ministers in this country hold quite a lot of other important positions, from which they draw additional remuneration. Recently, a Minister resigned from the Commonwealth Cabinet because his public duties conflicted with the positions he holds outside of this Parliament. The statement that the Prime Minister made a few days ago clarified the position to some degree, but it did not satisfy the Opposition. The plain fact is that some Ministers are still holding outside positions, for which they are drawing emoluments.We contend that Ministers should devote the whole of their time to their parliamentary and ministerial duties, as do the Ministers in the Government of the United Kingdom. We have been told that provision is made for three Whips. The Opposition Whip is not included. I ask who the third Whip is?


Mr Archie Cameron - There is the Whip of the United Australia party and of the Country party in this House, and the Government Whip in the Senate.


Mr BARNARD - I thank the PostmasterGeneral for his explanation. The remarks made a few moments ago by the honorable member for the Northern Territory (Mr. Blain) were anything but lucid. I remind him that because a man is elected to Parliament and subsequently to ministerial office he does not necessarily become a professional politician-.


Mr Blain - The honorable member knows that what I said is right.


Mr BARNARD - I know nothing of the kind. Persons elected to this Par liament should give the whole of their time to their parliamentary duties, but that does not necessarily mean that they become professional politicians. Election to Parliament involves some disadvantages, but individuals who stand for election should be prepared to meet the new circumstances in which they find themselves.


Mr Blain - They are often thrown to the wolves, and the honorable member knows it.


Mr BARNARD - If that is one of the risks it should be taken with good grace. Persons elected to Parliament should have their eyes open to all the possibilities that await them. I shall vote against the clause. [Quorum formed.]







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