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Thursday, 7 July 1921

Senator PAYNE (Tasmania) - Iregretthe smallamount ofsupport accordedmyamendment,although Iquite expected a divergence of view upon what is an innovation. The position ofthe

Service to-day is serious. The public are not gettingvaluefor the money spent upon this 'huge organization,and I have moved my amendment because I believe that it would prove a step in the right direction. That has been the only consideration which has actuated me. It should be takenfor granted that the Public Service organizations - embracing, as they do, as large a proportion of keenly intelligent men asany other association or group of associations in theCommonwealth -wouldtake care to select arepresentative who would be accepted by the public asfair and competent. If there were complaints, however, Parliament could amend the Act at any time and withdraw the privilege of the Service to have a direct representative upon the Board. Senator Drake-Brockman referred to the fact that the Board will be equipped with powersof delegation. Clause 14, which deals with that matter, provides that if a permanent head or chief officer requiresthat a recommendation of any member of the Board shall be referred to thefull Board,that recommendation shall not be regarded as a recommendation of the Board unless the full Board has indorsed it. The Minister (Senator Russell) implied that, in endeavouring to make out a case for my amend - ment, I indicated that the New Zealand Board included on its personnel a direct representative ofthe Public Service organizations. I did not refer to New Zealand. In the pamphlet issued by the High Council of the Public Service organizations, it is stated in an explanatory note, that a representative of the New Zealand Public Service is directly appointed to the Board. I do not say that that is not so, but I have not found corroboration of the statement. The argument that no Public Service organization is mentioned intheBill is hardly worth replying to, because, . as already pointed out, thematter can easilybe dealtwith,byrecommitting the definition clause. I think Iwasjustified in submitting this amendment, because it would not beinthe interests of the public servants to abuse the confidence of Parliament apposedin them by giving them direct representation on the Board of Management, and Ifelt that what we gave we could take away at any time.

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