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Friday, 26 September 1902

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) - I should like to hear something about the item "Clerk, £325." I wish to know whether it is the intention of the Government to allow the office to remain as it is, or whether they intend that the secretary whom they propose to be appointed at £600 a year shall do the work ?

Mr DEAKIN - It will be necessary to leave this item as it stands until we are able to arrange a transfer. Until that is done the officer will continue to be paid out of this vote. As soon as the work in the department of the Minister for Home Affairs so develops as to require an officer of the standing of this clerk he will be one of the first to be transferred. After that his place will be taken by an officer paid at about the minimum salary of £100 or £110 a year, engaged to do mechanical work.

Mr Tudor - Does that mean that until an appointment can be made in one of the other departments we shall have two men doing one man's work in connexion with the Executive Council 1

Mr DEAKIN - The opportunity is almost certain to arise before the close of this year. In fact, it may arise within a month, because the Electoral Bill is just on the point of being passed, and that will call for the appointment of at least two or three officers of some standing, who will have important work of a clerical kind to do in connexion with the administration of the measure. When that begins, the gentleman who is now filling the position of Clerk to the Executive Council can be transferred. Then, again, the staff of the Public Service Commissioner must be completed within the next two or three months, and there is a probability of an opportunity for a transfer arising there. The first opportunity will be taken, and there is every reason to believe that an opportunity will arise within the next month or two.

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