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Friday, 11 December 1914

Senator MULLAN (Queensland) . - I understood Senator Pearce to say that no increments would be paid until the General Appropriation Bill had been passed. That statement is in conflict with the utterance attributed by the press this morning to the Prime Minister, who is reported to have said yesterday -

The measure was necessary if the House was to adjourn until April. The Bill did not in any way touch the increments in the ordinary Estimates, except as regards salaries up to £210.

Senator Gardiner - They are fixed by Statute.

Senator MULLAN - But we have to pass them.

Senator Pearce - They are made, not by a vote of Parliament, but under the Commonwealth Public Service Act.

Senator MULLAN - Still, they cannot be paid until appropriated by Parliament.

Senator Pearce - They have been. It has been the practice in many cases to do so.

Senator MULLAN - With the appropriation by Parliament?

Senator Pearce - Yes.

Senator MULLAN - Then are we to understand that all increments to officers below £210, irrespective of division, will be paid?

Senator Russell - Practically automatically.

Senator MULLAN - Will that apply to all classes of the Commonwealth servants ?

Senator Russell - No.

Senator MULLAN - Personally, I think they ought to be paid in the lower grades, although there may be some controversy about increases in the higher grades.

Senator Russell - Up to about £210 increments are practically .automatic. Others depend upon recommendation.

Senator MULLAN - Then they will practically all be paid?

Senator Russell - Yes, below that amount.

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