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Wednesday, 2 June 1926

Senator NEEDHAM (Western Australia) . - I have had an opportunity to glance at this bill, and can see nothing in it to which exception can be taken. I look upon the Auditor-General as I do upon a judge of the High Court; I consider that he should be independent of Parliament unless Parliament feels that he has done something wrong. I realize the urgency of the measure. The sooner the gap caused by the death of the late Auditor-General is closed the better. The magnitude of the work shows the necessity for continuous watchfulness on the part of the Auditor-General, in order that he may correctly advise Parliament. I desire to express my regret at the death of Mr. Israel. All honorable senators will agree that he fulfilled his duties well. He rendered good service to Parliament and to the country. All my life I have advocated a proper recogni tion of a man's worth, and adequate remuneration for his services. The duties of the Auditor-General are such as to justify the increase in salary provided in the bill. I will not say that, even then, having regard to the responsible duties to be performed,the occupant will be overpaid. I agree with the Minister that the Auditor-General should be required, as other members of the Public Service are, to retire at the age of 65 years. Realizing that it is desirable to make an appointment without delay, so that the work may be continued, I have no objection to offer to the measure.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In committee:

Clause 1 agreed to.

Clause 2 (Salary of Auditor-General).

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