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Wednesday, 6 July 1921

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) . - If the proposal of the Government in its present form is carried, and a Board of Commissioners is appointed, will that Board have power, as the board of directors of acompany would, toappoint under it, for purposes of efficient administration, a general manager or an officer corresponding to a general manager, to take on the general administration, while the Board dealt only with matters of policy, or appeals, or other questions of a general policy character? It has been pointed out that the Broken Hill Proprietary Company has a general manager. Above him there is a board of directors, but the directors do not individually take part in the detailsof management, although possibly certain directors take a special interest indifferent divisions of the company's activities.

Senator JOHN D MILLEN (TASMANIA) - Would not the Ministry represent the board of directors ?

Senator KEATING - The Ministry will represent a Board above the Board. Is there anything in the Bill to give the

PublicService Board power to appoint a general manager, or somebody corresponding to a general manager, as the board of directors of amining company can do?

SenatorRUSSELL (Victoria- VicePresident of the Executive Council) [9.36].- Under this Bill the head of a Department is practically the general manager of his branch of the business. Outside of a few limitations regarding matters of policy, which are reserved for Ministers, the members of the Board will have full control and authority to make suggestions, or to make improvements in the organization. I know no limitations on their power to make recommendations or suggestions to the heads of Departments. If the heads of Departments do not agree, or if subsequently the Minister does not agree, the members of the Board can appeal to Parliament. It will be a good thing for Parliament to toe consulted when there is a dispute between the Board and a Minister.

Senator Keating - The next appeal to Parliament will be to abolish the Board.

Senator RUSSELL - If the Board can appeal to Parliament, their power is practically unlimited. Although it has been said that the Board is not strong, I do not know anything that they could not do in regard to the control of the Service with the co-operation of Ministers, or withthe supportof Parliament. I do not know how they could be given greater powers, unless they were actually made Ministers themselves.

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