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Tuesday, 26 July 1921

Senator BOLTON (Victoria) .- The Minister has told us that the proposal to appoint to the Board two business men, who would be remunerated with a fee of £5 5s. a sitting, was put forward by the Government as likely to give the public confidence in the Board; but I do not think that it would have that effect. He said that if the Board were constituted of permanent officers the public would regard it as a bureaucratic affair, the mysteries and secrets of whose administration could not be penetrated. I do not think that the public regard the branches of the Government Service in that way. On the contrary, they consider that they get good service from the Government officials. If the Board is to give the results expected of it, its members must devote the whole of their time to its business, and be responsible to the Government for the proper performance of their duty.

Senator Russell -i did not say anything against the Public Service; I said that there would be a prejudice on the part of the public against a Board all of whose members were departmental officials.

Senator BOLTON - It may be found, after a 'few years, that the members of the Board have become so expert that, like the Board of Trade in England, they may be intrusted with many responsible duties, and the Board may thus become a very valuable institution. I hope that the amendment will be carried.

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