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Thursday, 8 December 1960


Mr POLLARD (Lalor) .- I am threatened, Mr. Deputy Speaker, by a remark make by the Attorney-General (Sir Garfield Barwick), who is a potential Chief Justice of Australia. I am paying him a compliment by admitting that he has the ability to occupy the position. It is well known that appointments to the High Court have in the past been political. Sir John Latham went to the High Court after having sat at this ministerial table, both on this side and in the very seat that the AttorneyGeneral occupies to-night. The AttorneyGeneral told me that I shall have to be right on the ball.


Sir Garfield Barwick - I said " on the wicket ".


Mr POLLARD - Well, on the wicket. Same thing, but a little different. That means I am going to be intimidated, and he is endeavouring to intimidate you, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I do not think that is fair. First, may I say that I think it is unfortunate that at this particular time the Government should bring forward a proposal to increase the salary of the Chief Justice by £2,000 a year, and the salaries of his colleagues by similar amounts - including the salaries of judges of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration

Commission. After all, we have been listening, in this Parliament, for some considerable time to the details of measures designed to rectify Australia's rather difficult economic position. We are in the presence of Ministers of the Crown who only a few months ago sent their advocates into the Commonwealth Arbitration Court to state before Their Honours, who are now to be awarded an increase in their salaries, the reasons why the basic wage should not be increased for the ordinary worker. I say that it is somewhat unfortunate that, having been confronted some months ago with the situation that the country could not afford increased wages for the workers, we are immediately afterwards confronted with a proposal for Their Honours to be awarded salary increases. An increase was refused the worker who is trying to keep his wife and family on a limited income. We have before us a bill to increase judges' salaries by £2,000 a year. One honorable member has said that he does not think that judges would ask for an increase. I do not know what they did, but I do know that a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria used his own court to advance his claims for an increase in salary. I suppose that judges in other courts, not necessarily adopting the same means as that gentleman did, have seen the Attorney-General and, perhaps, the Prime Minister (Mr. Menzies) and have suggested that there should be some increase in judges' salaries.


Sir Garfield Barwick - That is a pretty bad remark.


Mr POLLARD - It is not a bad remark. Judges are no more insensitive to the hip pocket nerve than is any other member of the community.

Motion (by Sir Garfield Barwick) put -

That the honorable member for Lalor (Mr. Pollard) be not further heard.







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