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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - I have listened to the arguments submitted by Senator Payne, and I notice that a similar proposal is contained in the leaflet just now being circulated by the Public Service organizations, after what appears to be considerable delay. The Bill was read a first time on the 13 th April. An amendment of this character, if adopted, might have a far-reaching effect. Although it might redress grievances in some instances, such as those cited by Senator Payne, it might cause mischief) in other directions. When Senator Payne introduced this matter, the VicePresident of the Executive Council asked where the word " pay " was to be found in the Bill, and Senator Elliott said that it was in clause 61, which reads -

An order for the attachment of the salary, wages or - pay of any officer or employee in the" Commonwealth, Territorial or Provisional Service may be made by any Court of competent jurisdiction.

In that case it would mean that the salary, pay, or wages of a public servant might be garnisheed? I do not think that all these allowances could be dealt with in that way now, but at this juncture I hesitate to express an opinion on the point.

Senator Payne - It also appears in clause 68.

Senator KEATING - The word "

Senator Senior - They are at present.

Senator KEATING - I am not sure of that. There would be no doubt about it if we were to accept this amendment.

Senator Paynepointed out that it was not fair to compute the retiring allowance upon the nominal salary without taking into consideration the cost of living allowance or the bonus in respect of children. Senator Glasgow has suggested to me one difficulty in connexion with this proposal. One man might retire at a time when the cost of living was very highland the computation, in his case, would give him a considerable amount as retiring allowance. Another man of the same grade in the Public Service, and receiving the same salary, might retire at a time when the cost of living was comparatively low. The computation, in his case, would be proportionately reduced, and so two men equally entitled to participate in gratuity or retiring allowance might be very unequally treated. This is a matter which should not be dealt with hastily. I am not at present disposed to support the amendment, but I might consider it acceptable if, later, the Bill is so framed as to prevent injustice arising under it, and adequate reasons are advanced in support of it. I suggest that the proper time to deal with the matter is when we come to consider clauses dealing with retiring allowances and gratuities.

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