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Thursday, 27 March 1941

Senator ALLAN MacDONALD (Western Australia) . - Without wishing to repeat the arguments that I advanced on the second reading of this bill, I oppose the appointment of two more part-time commissioners to a part-time job. I am unable to understand what the Postmaster-General (Senator McLeay) has just said with regard to the extension of the science of broadcasting. We all know that the technical services associated with broadcasting are in the hands of the Postmaster-General's Department, and are not controlled by the Australian Broadcasting Commission. To say that by adding two more members to the part-time commission, better management and regulation will be brought about is no argument at all. For that reason, if for no other, I oppose the proposed increase of the personnel of the commission.

I repeat that I fail to see why the nominee of any political group should have some particular attribute fitting him to be a member of the commission. I oppose any suggestion that because a man happens to belong to the Trades Hall or to any other political group, he should be appointed to the commission. The Postmaster-General is entirely wrong in putting such a suggestion forward, and I am opposed to it.

SenatorFRASER (Western Australia) [2.56]. - I am opposed to increasing the personnel of the commission. I fail to understand the logic of Senator Allan MacDonald's argument in regard to the appointment of a Labour representative, just as he fails to understand the Minister's argument. I do not agree that the appointment of a Labour representative would be a political move. Senator Allan MacDonald said, in effect, that no political representative had been placed on the board, but with that I disagree. Practically every man appointed to the commission by this Government has had political experience in the ranks of the party of which the honorable senator is a member.

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