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Wednesday, 2 June 1926

Senator LYNCH (Western Australia) . - The salary proposed to be paid is £1,750 a year. I do not object to that, although it is an increase upon the amount hitherto paid. My purpose is to direct attention to the haphazard manner in which salaries have been fixed for certain positions, in some instances without regard to the importance of the duties to be performed. I have in mind the salary of £2,000 a year that is being paid to the Official Secretary in Great Britain for the Commonwealth of Australia. It is well within the knowledge of honorable senators that when that lavish salary - I employ that word advisedly - was given to him, no one was more surprised than he. In this case we are fixing the salary for the Auditor-General, a post that carries far more important duties, at £250 a year below that now being paid to the gentleman I have mentioned. Every one knows that his meteoric rise was due apparently to the fact that he was close to the throne - he was under the eye of the Prime Minister of the day. Every one knows also that the salary paid to him. is far and away beyond the equivalent of the services rendered. Though the AuditorGeneral is, as the Minister has said, the watch-dog of the Commonwealth, he is to get £250 a year less than the Official Secretary of the Commonwealth in London. It is obvious that we should have some sense of relativity in fixing salaries for important posts. I offer no objection to the salary proposed for the

Auditor-General, but I do object to this policy of placing fortunate officials who happen to catch the eye of the Prime Minister of the day in a financial position far in advance of the value of the services performed. I support the bill, and only use this occasion to emphasize that salaries for important positions should bear some relation one to another, and be in keeping with the value of the services rendered.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 3 agreed to.

Title agreed to.

Bill reported without amendment; report adopted.

Bill read a third time.

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