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Thursday, 20 May 1920

Mr BOWDEN (Nepean) . - I think that I ought to place upon record my attitude towards this Bill, especially as I have paired upon it with the honorable member for Wentworth (Mr. Marks), who is absent through .illness Certainly I do not intend to impute motives to other honorable members who may view the Bill in a different light from that in which I view it. I recognise that if I had to depend solely upon the parliamentary allowance which is paid to honorable members I, would be bankrupt within six months. But I have always regarded that payment as an allowance rather than as a salary. When I was in this House some ten years ago, my experience was similar to that which has been narrated by those who have spoken in favour of the Bill. When I quitted this Chamber I was some £800 ot £900 worse off than when I entered it, and during all that time I might have been making money had I been able to attend to my own business. But, having had this previous experience, and recognising the sacrifice which was involved, I deliberately accepted the position which I now occupy at the present allowance, and I will not be a party to any proposal to increase that allowance. During the recent campaign, when I was asked whether I would oppose an increase of the present payment during the life of this Parliament, I told my committee that, in view of the necessity for economy, I would do so. From that decision I cannot deviate. I shall, therefore, vote against the measure.

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