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Tuesday, 26 July 1921

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The objection which I raised has not been met. The Government have indicated willingness to accept an amendment to the effect that the members of the Board shall not receive more than £1,250 per annum. My objection to the Board is not a merely monetary one.. In my view, it will be an altogether useless body, and

I shall not hesitate to vote for the rejection of the Bill at the third-reading stage. But, if the Board is appointed, it will be far better to pay fixed salaries than a sum for each sitting. Senator Crawford has put the case well. It may be taken almost for granted that the two non-official members will be selected from among Melbourne's business men.

Senator Crawford - The adoption of the amendment would widen the field of selection.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes. I do not think the right type of man could be obtained for £1,250 a year. A business man of ripe experience would not devote the whole of his time to this work for that remuneration.

Senator Crawford - It has been suggested that the Government might secure the services of retired business men.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes; men who are satisfied with what they have already made in business.

Senator Wilson - Why give such jobs to men who do not require them ?

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - We need the bestmen.

Senator Wilson - Derelicts are not the best men.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - I have in mind a man who is not a derelict, the Honorable George Swinburne. He is one of the leading business men of Australia.

Senator Wilson - I would not call him a retired man; he is a very active man.

Senator THOMAS (NEW SOUTH WALES) - Yes ; but he retired from business to become an InterState Commissioner, not for the sake of the salary, but because he thought he would be of service to the community. As I have said,' I am entirely opposed to the appointment of this Board ; but if it is to be appointed, I think it will be better to pay its members fixed salaries than to pay so much a sitting.

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