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Wednesday, 21 October 1903

Mr GLYNN (South Australia) - If this matter had been pressed upon a former occasion, I should have felt compelled to express my disapproval of the reasons advanced by the Prime Minister, in support of the increases. He placed honorable members in a very awkward position by practically calling upon them to affirm the principle that, whenever a recommendation came from the Senate with regard to its own officers, we should accept it without demur.

Mr Deakin - Unless it were unreasonable.

Mr GLYNN - Whilst I should be guided to a large extent by the wishes of theSenate in dealing with the officers of that Chamber, I should object to any rule being laid down upon the subject, because I regard the obligation of this House in regard to the finances as far stronger than that which attaches to the Senate. Then, again, members of the Senate might yield too readily to the importunities of their own officers, and it is desirable that some check should be placed upon their actions. The same remark would apply to honorable members in this House, and the Senate should be free to exercise a similar restraint upon us. I should be very loth to do anything that might be regarded a.s a surrender of our right in this regard. The Prime Minister has now abandoned the reasons which were originally urged by him, and I am prepared to accept both his reasons and his conclusions. I do not think that, where such a small amount is involved, we should doanything that might lead to trouble.

Mr Watson - Does the honorable and learned member* think that we should increase these salaries every year ?

Mr GLYNN - No; I think that we should have considered the whole of the salaries of the officers of both Houses. We fixed the salary of the officer occupying a similar position in this House at £420, and we are now asked to place the officer of the Senate upon a similar footing. Against this it is urged that the Senate .official has not quite so much work to do ; but I would point out that his full services are engaged. | I do not care to discriminate too closely be- ; tween the salaries of officers when there is j only some slight difference in the amount of . work they have to do. I hope that the wishes of the Senate will be acceded to.

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