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Thursday, 21 July 1921

Senator VARDON (South Australia) . - I am sorry the Minister (Senator Russell) is not prepared to give favorable consideration to the amendment moved by Senator Benny, who, I regret, did Dot move to amend a previous clause which limits the number on the Board to three.

Senator Benny - We can recommit that clause if necessary.

Senator VARDON - A Parliamentary Committee consisting of seven members could be appointed. I believe the object in 'appointing a Committee such as that suggested is to save the "Commonwealth expenditure, and to avoid the duplication of unnecessary Boards. The Minister said that the proposed Board would exercise functions quite -'distinct from those performed by, the Bureau of Commerce and Industry. I believe the Minister for Trade and Customs (Mr. Greene) admitted receiving valuable advice from that Bureau, and if we examine the functions outlined in clause 15 it will be found that the work of the Bureau of Commerce and Industry is similar to that to . be performed by the proposed Board. The members of the Bureau, apart from the Chairman, who receives £1,500 a year, are acting in an honorary capacity. I believe Senator Crawford is a member.

Senator Crawford - I was, but I do not know if I am now.

Senator VARDON - The Council, I understand, has not met for two years, and if reports are issued we should see them. I ask the Minister to seriously consider the amendment, as he knows it is the desire of the majority of the Committee to effect economies wherever practicable.

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