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Tuesday, 27 May 1902

Sir WILLIAN McMILLAN (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But surely it will be possible to leave out all other amounts that are not required.

Sir George Turner - I could not do that without more experience.

Sir WILLIAM McMILLAN - Another question to be considered is, under which department should certain work be carried out ? That is a matter which should have the attention of the whole Cabinet.

Sir George Turner - It is better to have all public works carried out under one control.

Sir WILLIAM McMILLAN - That may be, but I am not at all sure that because the Minister for Home Affairs introduced the Public Service Bill, the Public Service Commissioner should be in his department. I think that he should be in the department of the Treasurer.

Sir George Turner - He is generally under the Chief Secretary; he was so in Victoria.

Sir William Lyne - He was under the Attorney-General in New South Wales.

Sir WILLIAM McMILLAN - One of the principal objects of the Public Service Commissioner should be to studyeconomy as well as efficiency, and it would be much better if he were in close touch with the Treasurer as his administrative head rather than with the Minister for Home Affairs. That, however, is a matter of arrangement. I fully understand the great difficulty of welding and dovetailing everything at first, and we must leave the Executive Government to act with the Public Service Commissioner in creating the service with the full understanding that a time of reckoning will come if, in spite of the warnings of this Chamber, they do not manage economically as well as efficiently. I should like the Minister for Home Affairs to give us his assurance that great care will be taken in the appointment of the high public servant to whom I have referred.

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