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Tuesday, 6 December 1960

Mr MENZIES (Kooyong) (Prime Minister) . - Referring to the last matter that has been raised, I do hope that my friend will keep his impious hands ofl section 47, or section 38, as it will be, because if I may make this remark without prejudice, under my predecessors, before 1949, section 47 was used to bring several people into the Public Service of Australia who, in my opinion, formed after long acquaintance with them, were firstclass. In fact, I would have found it difficult to do business without them.

Mr Crean - Then will you explain in detail the difference between the new clause and the old one? After all, the old section 47 provided for this kind of contingency. Why is it necessary to bring in the new provision?

Mr MENZIES - It gives the power of appointment to the board. That power was previously held by the Governor-General. Section 47 was used in the past to appoint the great bulk of professional people to the service. The appointment of professional officers in the future will be covered by the new section 37, which is to be inserted in accordance with clause 1 1 of the bill. The number of cases that will have to be dealt with under proposed new section 38 will be very much smaller than the number dealt with under the similar provision in the existing act, section 47.

The opportunity has also been taken, while redrafting section 47 and preparing the proposed section 38, to bring the provisions relating to the time within which the report is to be laid before the Parliament into line with similar provisions of more recent acts. I really think that, apart from those few matters T have mentioned, the provision remains the same in substance. If it turns out, on experience, that there is some material change from the old provision - which, I believe, has worked very well - then I will be very willing to hear about it.

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