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Thursday, 21 July 1921

Senator SENIOR (South Australia) . - Seeing that the Tariff yields annually about £40,000,000, we must recognise that it is scarcely right that a single individual should exercise control over it. What business man or what company would vest in a manager authority to do just what he chose? Yet that is practically the position in regard to one-man control of the Customs Department. 3E intend to support Senator Benny'n amendment. T believe that it is necessary that members of this Parliament should get into closer touch with administrative matters. They should be not merely legislators, but administrators tus well.

Senator Benny - We should accept our responsibilities.

Senator SENIOR - Under this Bill we shall be assuming a new responsibility which I have no desire to shirk. Notwithstanding the statements published by newspapers, I hold that members of Parliament are more than the equal of the men who are to be found outside. I do not believe that we can secure the services of outside individuals who will, give the best that is in them to assisting the chairman of the proposed . Board in returnfor certain fees. Personally, I should have preferred the Board to have been constituted of four members - the chairman, with two members from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate. The creation of such a body would not increase the expense of administering the Customs' Department, and for that reason I shall support the amendment. I am satisfied that its adoption will result in very great advantage to the Commonwealth. It will throw upon members of Parliament the responsibility of doing more than they are doing at present. It will also provide them with a training which will make them better fitted to discharge their parliamentary duties in the future.

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