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Friday, 22 May 1936

Senator BRENNAN(Victoria- Acting

Attorney-General) [7.57]. - I move -

That the billbe now read a second time.

This bill deals with two matters only, namely, the fees and expenses of members of the Dairy Produce Export Control Board and the licences granted in pursuance of the principal act. The amendments with regard to fees and expenses are designed to meet the case of those members and deputies of members of the board who are also members of Parliament. Honorable senators will remember that there is a provision in the Constitution which prohibits members of Parliament from accepting an office of profit under the Crown. On more than one occasion recently members of Parliament who could render very excellent service on one or other of the boards set up to control our primary industries have not been willing to run the risk of losing their seats, or of incurring other penalties, and consequently their services are not made available. This bill is designed to meet such a position, should it arise. It provides that no fee shall be payable to a member of the board who is also a member of Parliament if he makes a declaration that, during the period for which he is a member of Parliament, he will not accept any fees under section 8 of the principal act. It is not sufficient for a man to say that he does not want the fees; if he is entitled to receive them, he may be regarded as having held an office of profit under the Crown. He must be in a position in which he cannot take any fees. Thebill therefore provides that if he signs a document stating that he does not wish to be paid fees during the time that he is a member of Parliament, that undertaking will be binding and he will be unable to recover any fees. Members of the board who are also members of Parliament will be entitled to expenses, as prescribed.

Senator Collings - They will have to be expenses actually incurred, otherwise expenses could be equivalent to fees.

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