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Tuesday, 6 December 1927

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - In discussing matters of purely domestic concern, involving an expenditure of a few thousand pounds, this committee has spent about two and a half hours. In saying that I make no reflection on the Chair;" but I point out that, if we devoted the same attention to the balance of the Estimates, involving the expenditure of many millions of pounds, the task would occupy us for about nine years. I should like to gain some information respecting certain allowances to be granted to the staff of Parliament. We have provision for child endowment, a special Canberra allowance, an additional day's pay on account of leap year, and a cost of living adjustment. I should also like to know whether similar allowances are made to other sections of the public service far removed from the central eye and other sections of the community. It is time that this Parliament considered the claims of the taxpayers who Have to find the money to enable these allowances to be .paid. I know that, in raising this ' question, I am following an unpopular course, bat it is time that some one brought it forward. We are entitled to ask whether the men to whom these allowances are to be granted, and these salaries paid, are better or worse off that if they were in private employment outside. In my opinion, notone of them would be better off to-day if ho were in private employment. I claim to be as good a friend of the Public Service as is any other person. The public servant is entitled to an adequate return for his services; but in considering him we must not overlook the claims of the taxpayers. This Parliament should endeavour to hold the halance fairly between the man who pays and the man who receives. As one who has supported increases of salaries in the past. I feel that I am entitled to speak as I have done. Has any one previously heard of a leapyear allowance? I shall be interested to hear the explanation of the four allowances to which I have referred.

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