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Wednesday, 3 June 1942

Mr PERKINS (Eden) (Monaro) . - Whilst I do not go so far as the honorable member for Cook (Mr. Sheehan) in this matter, I too am at a loss to understand the reason for the increased salaries. It does not seem to me that the position of chairman of the commission calls for a man of outstanding ability. We are making altogether too much of the control of broadcasting. In the United States of America, where broadcasting is a much bigger matter than it is in thi3 country, they are not humbugged with a commission at all. I believe that we would be better off here if we had no commission. We have a wonderful asset in radio; it has enormous possibilities, but we hamstring our efforts at development by appointing a commission to control it. It looks as if we shall have a commission to control the manufacture of sausages before long. I am not one of those who think that national utilities need necessarily be controlled by governments. For instance, our railways are owned by the State, and controlled by railway commissioners, but I believe that private enterprise would have done a far better job. We pride ourselves on our postal department, but it is nothing wonderful to those who have travelled in other countries and seen how things are done there. Our postal service is not to be compared with that in many other countries, even some of the minor countries of Europe. I know that that is not the genera] opinion, but it is true, nevertheless. When I was a member of a previous government, I constantly opposed proposals for the enlargement of the broadcasting commission. I regard the commission as a humbug, and a tax on the people, and I am convinced that the remunerations proposed in this bill are too great, having regard to the work which is to be done.

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