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Thursday, 26 July 1906

Mr MAUGER (Melbourne Ports) - - I think that every opportunity should be given for the preparation ofthis" information. If those who have been members of Royal Commissions and Select Committees hold the opinion that I do, they will be exceedingly hard pressed before consenting to undertake similar work in the future, because, as. the honorable member for Perth has stated, it means a great sacrifice of time and effort. The return should be valuable, since many members of the public are under the impression that members of Royal Commissions are paid for their services, although, as a matter of fact, only travelling expenses are given, and these when members are travelling in some State other than that in which they reside.

Mr Fowler - Members lose a great deal more than they gain.

Mr MAUGER - The number of sittings attended by a member should be shown in a return of this kind.

Mr Tudor - That information will be given if the motion, in its amended form, is carried.

Mr MAUGER - The Navigation Commission sat for months in Melbourne, and its members' had to give up ordinary business time, and frequently their bed time, to attend to its work, but received nothing in return for their services. The more information given to the public on this subject, the better it will be for all concerned. The honorable member for Dalley need ' not be alarmed at the number of Royal Commissions and Select Committees, because the sacrifices which have to be made by those who are members of them are not likely to make others desirous of a similar experience. I have in my possession quite a number of telegrams, urging me to go at an hour's, or less than two hours', notice te Sydney, or to Adelaide, to form a quorum for the taking of evidence, and compliance with such summonses involved trouble and cost which cannot be estimated and set forth in figures. If we wish to prevent the appointment of Royal Commissions, it will be better to pass a resolution to that effect than to try to do so by the means advocated by the honorable member for Dalley. I hope that the information asked for will be set forth clearly and distinctly, and in as full detail as possible. The members of the Tariff Commission - of the nature of whose labours I know something - the members of the Navigation Commission, and other Commissioners, have done work and made sacrifices of the extent of which the people of the Commonwealth have very little idea.

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