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Thursday, 3 July 1941

Senator COLLINGS (QueenslandLeader of the Opposition) . - A series of proposals will, I understand, be submitted to the Senate for the appointment of parliamentary committees, and it is not necessary for me to speak at length regarding them. We all know that the appointment of these committees has been the subject of previous negotiations, and that the representation on them of the Government and of the Opposition has already been decided. A point on which I bad some doubt has been satisfactorily cleared up in the House of Representatives. Slight doubt arose as to the position of chairman of each of these committees, and the Government agreed in the House of Representatives that the chairman of each committee should have a casting vote, not on matters of policy but only on matters of procedure. My remarks on this message apply to each of the others that will be considered. I suggest that, as far as possible, secretaries or other necessary assistants, such as typists, whom the committees may require in connexion with their work, should be selected from persons already employed in the parliamentary service. It would not be fair if those who have already qualified for service here should be displaced by persons from outside the service, unless there is a. shortage of qualified persons. In all other ways the Opposition is in complete agreement with the proposal contained in the message. It hopes that the work of the various committees will prove valuable, and will be put in hand promptly, so that the war effort may be improved.

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