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Thursday, 29 November 1973
Page: 2273

Senator WEBSTER (VICTORIA) - I direct a question to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour. Does the Minister have any reservations in regard to the constant criticism of members of the Public Service, particularly those in high office who hold significant responsibility and who are constantly denigrated by the Minister for Labour as being fat cats? Does the Minister consider, now that simple backbench members of the Australian Labor Party have been projected into positions of responsibility which return a salary of at least three times that of a simple member of the House of Representatives or senator, that he and they may also be considered to be among that class of person which the Minister for Labour seeks to denigrate? Did the Minister for Labour state yesterday: 'They are getting all sorts of fancy conditions and the taxpayers are paying for it. I think the taxpayer is just about fed up with mollycoddling.'? Does the Minister believe himself to be in this class?

Senator BISHOP - I doubt that this so-called question is in fact a question. It seems to me that it is not a question but an argument between the honourable senator and the Minister for Labour about statements that Mr Clyde Cameron has made. I suggest that if the honourable senator can make his remarks relevant to a question he should place it on the notice paper for reply.

Senator WEBSTER -Mr President,I seek to prompt the Minister. The Minister's reply was that if I sought to make it relevant I could place the question on the notice paper. I am seeking to have the Minister's comment as to whether this is fair criticism of the Australian Public Service.

Senator Murphy - Mr President,I submit that this is not a proper question asking for information. The honourable senator now says that he wants the Minister's comment on something. He is clearly asking for an opinion. This is an aggravation of his previous question.

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