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Thursday, 21 July 1921

Senator EARLE (Tasmania) . - I move -

That, the words "which together with his salary shall: not exceed. Fourteen, hundred pounds a year," be left out,, with a view to insert in lieu thereof the foll'owing word's : " of Two hundred pounds' a year."

I explained on the second' reading that it would be better to fix a. specific amount for the remuneration of the chairman. I take it for granted, first, that it will be an officer very high in the Department who will be appointed as chairman;, but the Minister for Trade and Customs, may find men. in the Department who, although not so high in status, may possess superior talents as investigators), or a judicial mind of a higher quality than is to be found among those Customs officers who are higher in the Service. The salary of. such a man may not be more than £500 or £600 a year; and, if he were appointed as chairman of the Board, his extra* remuneration as chairman would, in. the circumstances, be £800 or £900 a year, which I consider would be- more than -commensurate with thei duties he- would be called on to perform.. My amendment would provide for an allowance of £200 for his services as chairman of the Board, in addition to his salary as a Customs officer. If the Minister or the Committee think that is rather parsimonious,, or cutting it too fine, I am not particular as to the exact amount. I merely want to establish the principle of making a definite allowance for the services rendered by the officer as chairman of the Board, rather than giving him an allowance to make up his salary as a Customs officer to a sum not exceeding £1,400 a year.

Senator Payne - Do you think the clause limits the choice?

Senator EARLE - I think so.

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