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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

Senator RUSSELL (Victoria) (VicePresident of the Executive Council) . - I do not wish, to approach this question in a fighting spirit,., as I understand that we are all" desirous of creating the best possible machinery for the administration of

Commonwealth Departments. I have not been supplied with a list of the suggestions from Public Service organizations, but it appears that the representatives of these organizations are very slow in submitting their suggestions. Union leaders apparently are not men of the type we had in the early days, because I havenot received a single letter in connexion with this Bill, and those interested appear to have interviewed every one but the Minister. A similar appeal was made for an adjournment two months ago, when there was a general request for senators to have time to peruse the measure. Senator Thomas has given notice of certain amendments, and I have introduced those which the Government favour. Many of those included in the printed schedule I have circulated are of a machinery character and have been prepared after consultation with the Acting Public Service Commissioner. New principles are nob involved, and one amendment to which exception was taken - which is quite inoffensive and of a machinery character - has been embodied in an Act seventeen years old. If there is a general desire to defer consideration of this clause I am prepared to accede to the wishes of honorable senators, because I desire the Bill to be clearly and intelligently discussed.

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