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Wednesday, 21 October 1903

Mr WATSON (Bland) - The officer whose case is now under consideration started at a salary of £360 three years ago. That was considered a reasonable amount at the time of his appointment.

Mr Deakin - But he had to take charge of the accounts afterwards.

Mr WATSON - If, as the statement of the Prime Minister implies, the Clerk of Papers was only partially employed in the first instance, I think that the salary of £360 was too much. He was afterwards called upon to do a little more work, and he received an increase of £20.

Mr Deakin - The officer is working not only during ordinary office hours, but has to be in attendance until the rising of the Senate.

Mr WATSON - But his duties are comparatively light during recess. We must also bear in mind the probability of our having longer periods of recess in the future. I do not understand upon what grounds the increase of £40 per annum is proposed, unless an attempt is being made to place the officer upon a footing similar to that occupied by the Clerk of Papers in this House. I think that one increase of £20 is sufficient for the period during which the officer has been in the service of the Commonwealth, and I move -

That the item " Clerk of Papers and Accountant, £420, " be reduced by £40.

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