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Thursday, 29 October 1964


Senator CORMACK (Victoria) - I am obliged to my friend, Senator Paltridge, for bis unqualified and gracious reply to the submissions and observations I have made. I am sure that my colleague Senator Wright acknowledges it too. I wish to say to the Minister that I raised this matter with no intention whatever of embarrassing him. It was not until I looked at this Bill that it come to my notice that the principal officers of the Parliament had not been considered. Therefore, I had to raise the matter from the floor of the Senate, without giving prior warning to the Minister of my intention to do so, as is my normal practice. 1 wish the Minister to be clear on that point.

I have in my hand the report of the committee of inquiry into the salaries and allowances of members of the Commonwealth Parliament. On page 45 there is a passage which begins: " Section 0. - Additional Retiring Allowances for Ministers and Opposition Leaders ". I have read the passage and it is manifest that no consideration was given by the rapporteur, Sir Frank Richardson, to the special position that the Presiding Officers occupy in relation to the whole system of the Parliament. I can only assume that, in relation to the Bill we are now discussing, there has been a manifest oversight in the drafting and in the examination by Cabinet of the very special position that these officers occupy in the Parliament. As I mentioned, they are officers without whom the Parliament cannot operate.

I impress most strongly upon the Minister that this matter should be raised with the Government and given the utmost consideration, and that on a subsequent occasion steps should be taken they undoubtedly will be taken as I understand the Minister's statement to see that justice is done to the principal officers of the Parliament.







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