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Thursday, 15 July 1926

Senator GRANT (New South Wales) . - The statement of the Leader of the Senate is not satisfactory. I remind him that the framers of the Constitution fixed the salary of the Governor-General, stipulating that it was not to be reduced during the term of office of any occupant of that position. Similarly, the total expenses of the Public Works Committee and Public Accounts Committee, which are not to exceed £2,000 per annum in each case, were fixed by Parliament. The fees for members of royal commissions or select committees are also fixed. Parliament should know the salaries to be paid to the members of this commission. If, as has been freely stated, the chairman of the commission is to be paid £5,000 per annum, his salary will exceed that paid to the Prime Minister. While I think that the Prime Minister is insufficiently remunerated for his services, seeing that his allowance of £2,500 per annum is only £400 more than is paid to the President of the Senate, I consider that no officer should be paid a higher salary that is paid to the Prime Minister. It is also undesirable that the Government should have a free hand in the matter of travelling and other expense.a for members of the commission. No company would leave the salary payable to its manager a matter for conjecture. We on this side objected to the appointment of a commission, believing that it would lead to overlapping, but our views were disregarded. Now we are asked to leave the Government free to pay to the members of the commission any salary that it pleases. I hope that the Leader of the Opposition will move an amendment to provide a definite salary for the members of the commission.

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