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Tuesday, 30 September 1902

Sir WILLIAM LYNE (Hume) (Minister for Home Affairs) . - The appointment referred to by the honorable member is not a new one. The amount named has been voted upon two different sets of Estimates.

Mr McDonald - There is nothing in the Estimates to show that it is not a new appointment.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - Honorable members will remember that a discussion upon the question of the appointment of a secretary to the Minister took place some fifteen or sixteen months ago, when the appointment of three or four secretaries to Ministers was dealt with. Although some honorable members seem to think that I am extremely extravagant, I have been endeavouring, as far as possible, to economise. The working capacity of the department is not taxed to the extent that it will be in a very short time, and I have not used any part of the £450 set apart for this office. I have managed to obtain another clerk, whose time was not quite fully occupied, to do the work which will have to be done by-and-by by a clerk drawing this' salary. It is because of that fact that the item appears on the Estimates as if the appointment were a new one. If the honorable member turns to last year's Estimates, he will find that the item was voted there.

Mr. BATCHELOR(South Australia).I think it would assist the committee very much if the Minister would say whether any of these items show an increase upon lastyear's estimates.

Sir WILLIAM LYNE - I think the only increase which has been made is one of £18 to a messenger performing double duties. He acts not only as a messenger, but, when I have work to do elsewhere, carries out clerical duties. He receives £125 a year, and I think the increase I have named is the only one which appears in my estimates. I have given that increase, because the young man has done very good work and saved a great deal of expense by being able and willing to act as a messenger as well as a clerk.

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