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Thursday, 9 December 1971
Page: 4509


Mr DALY (Grayndler) (1:16 AM) - We have just listened to a remarkable speech from the Treasurer (Mr Snedden), the man who lectures on wage restraint and arbitration. J have here a report on the Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Act. lt shows that the Treasurer receives $29,100 per annum. It was recommended to be increased, in the report of Mr Justice Kerr, to $34,650, $5,550 extra. The Leader of the Opposition thought that the man who preaches wage restraint would have given up that $5,550 and struggled along on his $29,100. We thought he might have had a little compassion. But, no. He is one of the men who said: 'I want my extra $5,550. I cannot live on my $29,100.' Next year he will be going into the national wage case to argue against the workers receiving any increase. What hypocrisy at the highest level. What contemptible conduct by the Treasurer of this country.


The CHAIRMAN (Mr Lucock - Order! The honourable member for Grayndler knows, as I pointed out to the honourable member for Hindmarsh, that under the Standing Orders he should not make any reflection on any member of the House in regard to his motives. I suggest to the honourable member for Grayndler that he should withdraw the remark.


Mr DALY - I withdraw the remark. The Treasurer speaks of wage restraint and of arbitration. Let us look at this Government's approach to arbitration and at the conduct of the Treasurer on the matter he raised a few moments ago in relation to the Opposition. Mr Justice Kerr brought down a report. This arbitration was emasculated by a slight majority of a docile Cabinet, of which the Treasurer is one. Then, after not accepting the report of the Treasurer, without bringing anything to the notice of the Opposition whilst it was deliberating, not knowing any of the details, the Treasurer almost hammered down the door of the room of the Leader of the Opposition (Mr Whitlam) and said: Take it or leave it.' He said: Tn 5 minutes time the Prime Minister is to introduce the Bill. Take it or leave it, or he will not introduce it.'


The CHAIRMAN (Mr Lucock - Order! The honourable member for Grayndler is developing this into a full scale debate on a subject that was presented to the House and on which the House has not proceeded. I suggest that the honourable member for Grayndler should not make a full scale speech on this matter at this stage of the proceedings.


Mr DALY - I respect your ruling, Mr Chairman, but I point out to the Treasurer that he accused this Party of playing politics with Parliamentary salaries. Surely I am entitled to reply to that and say to this House today-


The CHAIRMAN - Order!


Mr DALY - I will just make passing reference to it. The Treasurer and the Deputy Prime Minister of this country threatened 3 members of the Opposition and said: 'Take it or leave it' in relation to an arbitration report that they had emasculated and sought to ram down our necks. But look at them struggling along on their $29,000 and $30,000. They are the wage restraint party. They say that the worker on his $50 is disturbing the economy. But these great men, these mcn of high principle - the Treasurer who lectures us will lead the Government into the courts to argue against the national wage case for workers - these are the men who refuse to give up a few thousand dollars and live on their $30,000 and yet they clamour for people in this country to accept wage restraint. The very day that they refused people in this country wage increases, in another place they introduced a measure to give $6,000 and $7,000 per annum increase in salaries to people who are struggling along on $22,000 and $23,000. This is the situation we face today and this is the Government that seeks to lead this country. 1 have never seen in all my years in this Parliament such a docile and incompetent Prime Minister, a hand picked Ministry, yes men to the core, prepared to sacrifice completely all the interests of the people of this country.


The CHAIRMAN - (Mr Lucock)-Order! I again remind the honourable member for Grayndler that the subject matter before the Committee is the Salaries (Statutory Officers) Adjustment Bill 1971, and the Committee at the moment is cosidering the Senate's amendments. 1 point out to the Committee that there has been sufficient discussion on the matters that ure outside the amendments before the Committee.


Mr DALY - Mr Chairman, I get back to the $6,000 and the $7,000. I think the people will be interested to know that if they re-elect the Government - I understand they may have an opportunity early in the new year - whose members advocated $6,000 and $7,000 increases for people in another place, the Prime Minister will want $51,000 per annum as a salary and will expect workers to take $5 or $6 a month or a year, as the case may be. They will think we will want a Treasurer who cannot live on $29,000 per annum and run the country.


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honourable member for Grayndler knows that this has no relevance to the subject matter we are discussing.


Mr DALY - Mr Chairman, your decision is remarkable in view of the fact that the Prime Minister, the Treasurer and the Leader of the Opposition all discussed this, and if you persist in your attitude I will have to move dissent from your ruling.


The CHAIRMAN - Order! 1 pointed out to the honourable member for Graydler that I considered there had been sufficient discussion on these matters. I would suggest that there has been sufficient discussion on these matters from both sides. I do not want this discussion to proceed to a full scale discussion in regard to. the Parliamentary Salaries Bill.


Mr DALY - Mr Chairman, I know it is embarrassing to you, but we on this side of the Parliament have had charges made against us, and 1 personally do not intend to desist from pursuing this line. If you rule against me and refuse to let me reply to the Treasurer I will move dissent from your ruling.


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honourable member for Grayndler will resume his seat. The honourable member has mentioned this subject matter on more that one occasion. He mentioned it at the beginning of his speech. I suggest at this moment, as 1 have already suggested to the honourable member, that the subject matter has been covered sufficiently. If he persists in this line I will have to ask him to resume his seat.


Mr DALY - Mr Chairman, with due deference, I intend to persist with what I have to say. I do not intend to be told how I can reply to a Government that is hypocritical in its approach to all these matters, preaches wage restraint on the one hand and then extends wages increases to its favoured friends and sets a tragic example by refusing to restrain in any way their own wage increases. It takes every piece of economic blood from the average worker


The CHAIRMAN - Order! The honourable member for Grayndler will resume his seat.

Motion (by Mr Uren) proposed:

That the honourable member for Grayndler be further heard.


Dr Patterson - I second the motion.







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