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Wednesday, 16 November 1927
Page: 1447

Senator THOMPSON (Queensland) .- I move-

That all the words after " a," first occuring, be left out with a view to insert in lieu thereof the words " Superintendent under the direction of the Commonwealth Bank Board."

In my second-reading speech I said that it would be a mistake to have a separate commission to control the savings bank. In my opinion, the business of the savings bank would be better conducted as a branch of the Commonwealth Bank under the management of a superintendent who would be subject to direction by the Commonwealth Bank Board. The proposed amendment which the Minister has circulated would perpetuate a system which I believe to be wrong. Originally, I was under the impression that the Commonwealth Bank Board had refused to have anything to do with the new housing scheme on the ground that the additional duties would impose too great a strain on its members. I thought then, as I do now, that they should be capable of undertaking the control of that work. All that is necessary is for a superintendent, or manager, of the savings bank branch to be appointed, and that he shall be subject to direction by the board as to policy. The principle of appointing a new commission is unsound, and should not be embodied in this legislation.

Senator Reid - The proposed amendment circulated by the Minister meets the position mentioned by the honorable senator.

Senator THOMPSON - No. It leaves power for commissioners to be appointed by the Government at any time. My amendment provides definitely that the savings bank branch shall be a department of the Commonwealth Bank under the control of the main Bank Board. An institution conducted on those lines is a more businesslike proposition than that suggested in the proposed amendment that has been circulated. While I cannot hope for other than the usual stereotyped reply from the Minister, "I regret that I cannot accept the amendment," I hope that this will receive the serious consideration of the committee.

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