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Wednesday, 14 March 1928

Senator NEEDHAM (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Defence, upon notice -

1.   Will the Minister state what Federal Minister entered into the agreement with Mr. M. L. Shepherd regarding his salary?

2.   Was such agreement made with the sanction of Cabinet?

3.   Why was such agreement made?

4.   Will, the Minister state the full contents of such agreement?

5.   If not, why?

6.   Has a similar agreement been entered into with Mr. Trumble regarding his salary?

Senator Sir GEORGEPEARCE.The answers are 1 to 5. The appointment of Mr. M. L. Shepherd as Official Secretary in Great Britain of the Commonwealth of Australia was approved by His Excellency the Governor-General in Council on the6th January, 1921, with salary at the rate of ?2,000 per annum. The Prime Minister at the time of Mr. Shepherd's 'appointment was the Right Honorable W.M. Hughes, and the papers show that the decision to recommend Mr. Shepherds appointment for the approval of the Governor-General in Council was made by Cabinet. The papers do not, however, contain a record of any definite agreement having been entered into regarding Mr. Shepherd's salary, but the terms of the approved Order in Council are definite on this point.

6.   The arrangement decided upon by the Government, with the concurrence of the Public' Service Board, and agreed to by Mr. Trumble, was that Mr. Trumble should receive the salary of his former position, viz., ?1,350 per annum together with an allowance at the rate of ?650 per annum whilst occupying the position of Official Secretary in Great Britain, making his total remuneration ?2,000 per annum.

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