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Thursday, 21 November 1968

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Mr DUTHIE (Wilmot) - Everybody has been attended to under these Bills that are now before us, and previous Bills dealing with parliamentary salaries and allowances, except three forgotten men in the two Houses of this Parliament, and I just want to make a brief plea on their behalf this afternoon. I refer to the three Deputy Whips, two in this House and one in the Senate. These three men are the Deputy Government Whip, my colleague the honourable member for Hunter (Mr James), and Senator Poke of Tasmania. The office of Deputy» «Whip» on the Opposition side has been in existence for only about 4 or 5 years. I was the first to raise the appointment of a «Deputy» «Whip» in our Party, and my suggestion was agreed to. Ever since a «Deputy» «Whip» has been elected to help me. The «Deputy» «Whip on the Government side does a very good job in assisting his Whip with the business of this Parliament. The omission of an allowance for Deputy Whips is very unjust. Some of the proposed changes are very generous indeed, but the Deputy Whips have not even received a scrape off the plate. This omission is most unfair; I think it is wrong. The Opposition has previously put to the Government that an allowance should be paid lo the Deputy Whips, but this has not been granted.

I have not had sufficient time to check on whether or not Deputy Whips in Parliaments all over the world are paid an allowance. In all walks of life most persons classified as deputies are recognised as such and they are given a financial status. Such people deserve a financial status. The Whips are placed in a very invidious position when they have to be away from this place either through sickness at their home or through their own sickness. A fortnight ago when my mother died I was absent from this

House for 3 days spread over 2 weeks and my deputy was required to carry out the work which I would have had to do if I had been here. I was being paid for work which was being done by my deputy. Is there any justice in that? I. believe that the Deputy Whips should be recognised by being granted a special allowance. If they are not, then why have Deputy Whips? Why fool around with them? Why worry them? Why should we give them this work at all? Everyone except the Deputy Whips is paid for the job which he does in this place.

The Federal Parliament has been in existence for the past 68 years but Deputy Whips are still not paid an allowance. When honourable members accept their increases under this Bill let them remember that the Deputy Whips are working without payment for the extra work they do. The Deputy Whips also act as tellers whenever there is a division. They have to be present for all divisions. These men are the unpaid servants of this Parliament. I enter a firm and sincere protest at the way in which they are being treated under this Bill.

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