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Wednesday, 9 November 1910
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Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I hope the amendment will not be carried. The object of inserting the five years' term in this clause is for the purpose of enabling us to secure the services of the best man possible for the position of Administrator. It is true that the Lieutenant-Governor, of Papua is appointed during the Governor-General's pleasure; hut does not Senator St. Ledger know that the term "during pleasure" invariably indicates a permanent appointment? The appointment in Papua may continue for ten, fifteen, or twenty years. There is no analogy between the two positions. The importance of giving a Constitution to the Northern Territory has been kept in view by the Government. Had it not been that the present session was so far advanced, the Constitution might have been adopted this year. We hope, however, to deal with the question next session. As far as relates to the disfranchisement of the electors resident in the Northern Territory, I may point out that there is no probability of an election taking place during the next twelve months. Even if there were an election, and there were a Constitution for the Territory, the residents would not have any vote for a representative, either in the Parliament of South Australia or in the Commonwealth Parliament. Under any Constitution which we grant, the residents will be in the same position as those in Papua. They will have an Executive Council composed of the Executive 'officers and a certain number of persons elected by the residents. That, I assume, is what will really happen. I do not think that it would be wise to amend the clause as proposed, in view of the importance of endeavouring to get a good man to administer the Territory. There is no doubt that the Constitution will be passed during the life of this Parliament. In the meantime, the administration will proceed, and it is possible that when the Constitution is granted, the Administrator will be appointed Lieutenant-Governor, as in Papua. Seeing that this is a temporary Bill, and that the Government are endeavouring to do their best for the Northern Territory, I hope that the clause will be passed as it stands. At any rate, if we do not give the Administrator some security of tenure, we cannot hope to get a good man.

Senator Walker - Can the Minister give us a general idea as to what the emoluments of the Administrator will be?

Senator McGREGOR - That has not teen decided yet.

Amendment negatived.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 5 agreed to.

Clause 6 (Application of Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act 1904- 1910).

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