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Wednesday, 1 October 1902

Mr BAMFORD (Herbert) - I am in sympathy with the honorable member for Tasmania, but I do not think the people of the Commonwealth desire to sweat their servants. It is only the Ministry who have shown an inclination to do that. I think that Members of Parliament are being sweated by Ministers. The Minister for Home Affairs has my sympathy on this occasion, because I think that the attitude which he has taken up is a reasonable and proper one. Some honorable members seem to think that the Chief Draughtsman will occupy a more important position than that of the Superintendents, and should, therefore, receive as high a salary, but in my opinion he will occupy a position requiring technical rather than general professional ability. He will have no designing to do, and no responsibility. If it were proposed that the Commonwealth should launch out into the construction of expensive buildings, his position might be a different one, but all that will, have to be done will be to prepare plans and specifications for additions to post-offices and other existing buildings, many of which are merely wooden humpies. Perhaps it might be right to give the Draughtsman £400 a year, but certainly not more than that. Most of us have expressed our belief in the day-labour system, but if that system is to be carried out efficiently Parliament must have thoroughly competent and trustworthy men to superintend the work being done. Such men will hold very responsible positions, and could save more. than the amount of their salaries.

Mr Sawers - Some members of the committee may have expressed their belief in the day- labour system, but others have not.

Mr BAMFORD - I was not referring to conservatives, whose views never progress, and who are relics of an almost prehistoric age.

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