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Wednesday, 21 October 1903

Sir JOHN FORREST - I am informed that officers in the clerical division are put to greater expense than are officers in the general division, and that they travel only occasionally. On the other hand, officers in the general division are always travelling. No doubt the latter statement refers to linemen and those whose duties require them to be constantly moving from place to place. The Commissioner informs me that -

The effect of the proposal to omit the 6s. and 7s. daily" allowance to general division officers getting less than £200 a year will be to largely increase the cost of travelling of the general division officers, as by far the greater portion of travelling is done by officers of this class. As an exemplification of this the case of Victoria may be cited, where for a period of six months the travelling expenses of the general division officersof the Commonwealth service amounted to £2.445, whereas for the same period the travelling expenses of the administrative and clerical divisions amounted to £261 only. It will thus be seen that the reduction proposed in the higher divisions will not materially decrease the cost of travelling tothe Commonwealth, but the raising of the general division rate will largely increase it.

The Commissioner considers that there is noadequate reason for raising the allowance of any officer, as experience shows that positions to which travelling is attached are now eagerly competed for, and not the slightest difficulty is found in filling them. He urges that the adoption of the proposal must be to largely increase the cost of working the services.

Mr Watson - There are periods when it is possible to obtain the services of men at starvation wages.

Sir JOHN FORREST - Appointments in the service which involve travelling are much sought after. If a man were to put up at an inn I do not think that the allowance would be too much ; but a lineman, who, in most parts of Australia, would not think of lodging at a hotel, would do very well.


Sir JOHN FORREST - I have no definite information before me, but I am certain that he is not expected to provide for a horse out of this allowance.

Sir Malcolm McEacharn - Regulation 164 provides for those who have to keep horses.

Sir JOHN FORREST -Quite so. These allowances relate only to personal expenses.

Mr Watson - The allowance of8s. per day will be only for the first week of travelling. It will not apply to subsequent periods.

Sir JOHN FORREST - The matter has been carefully considered by the Senate, and I will accept the opinion of the Committee in regard to it.

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