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Thursday, 7 July 1921

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - I am indebted to Senator Drake-Brockman for. informing me that the Public Service organizations are unknown to him. If such is the case, the next deduction to be drawn from the honorable senator's statement is that there is no such thing as a Public. Service. The honorable senator called attention to the fact that the proposed Board would act as a Court, but it would not be a Court in any sense, because the members of the Board are not to be advocates for one side or the other. They would act as administrators or managing directors of a commercial company. I cannot understand why it should be suggested that if one man were chosen as a representative of the Public Service the efficiency of the' Board would be in any way impaired, and one of the opponents of the proposal submitted the strongest argument in favour of it. Senator Thomas, told us that the men who have been controlling the Service were drawn from the ranks of the Public Service; these men had never done a day's work in any other sphere of activity. Is it to be feared that if one man were nominated by the public servants and the other two by the Government, chaos would prevail? Senator Fairbairn suggested that the members of_ the Board should be selected from hardheaded business men.

Senator Fairbairn - Two of them should be.

Senator SENIOR - If it is , to be feared that the representative of the Service would watch the interests of public servants to the exclusion of others, it could also' be said that the representatives of the Government would support only the interests of those who nominated them, in which case the Service would not get a fair deal. I cannot see how a . representative of the Service occupying a seat on the Board , of Management j would weaken, the authority* Senator:' Drake-Brockman. called attention to the;: power of.- delegation,, bratcm. . the. clause.dealing with tjhist mat-tear- it is laidu down, that the. powersr of delegation can . be revoked in writing, and such: powers are distinctly limited to the. State* iooj. which- they are: to be used- and the object for which they are to> be employed. Senator Duncan said that the membera of the- Public Service numbered only 20,000 out of a population of o,,000,000 ; but he: must remember that many of the public servants are married men- with wives and. children, whose interests are similar. It is absurd to suggest that a representative from the General or Clerical Division would represent only the employees in that division. If a man. were chosen from the Public Service he would endeavour, to voice the best interests of the Service.

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