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Thursday, 14 July 1904

Mr AUSTIN CHAPMAN (Eden) (Monaro) . - I have no desire to prolong the debate, but, in view of the magnitude of the work, and the. large number of persons affected by the classification, the Minister might have stated distinctly what, in his opinion, is the proper method of bringing grievances under the notice of the Commissioner. If all grievances are to be ventilated in this House, members have a very big task before them. It appears to me that the better course would be to make our public servants understand that the Act provides a certain method for approaching the Commissioner, and that they must avail themselves of it before complaining to members of Parliament. We know, and I believe most of the officials are aware, that the representations made to the Commissioner will .receive full consideration at his hands. If we do not lay down some such rule, many nights will be wasted in the discussion of the classification scheme. I reserve to myself the right to fully criticise the Commissioner's work ; but I do wish not to do so until he has had an opportunity to consider the representations which will be made to him from all parts of Australia. I do not indorse the remarks of the honorable member for Parramatta in reference to the speech of the honorable member for Darling. I understood the latter to take exception, not so much to what was said by the honorable member for Lang in regard to particular salaries, but to the fact that his speech revived the old State jealousy of New South Wales and Victoria. I hope that honorable members will discourage, as much as possible, comparisons between those two States. It should be remembered they are not the only States in the Union. It was rather amusing to hear the way in which the honorable member for Parramatta lectured the honorable member for Darling for a lecture which was not a circumstance to his. The only satisfaction I received from the speech of the former gentleman was that it showed that he is back to his old form. I hope the Government will make it clear that they expect the public servants of the Commonwealth to approach the Commissioner, not through Parliament, but in the manner provided for bv the Act.

Mr. SYDNEYSMITH (Macquarie).I am sure that the Public Service Commissioner will not take exception to any remarks which have been made by honorable members in this debate. I have known him for a good many years, and can bear testimony to his fairness and ability. The Government could not have obtained a


better man for the position. Every officer who appeals to him will receive justice, and no one could ask for more than that. One satisfactory feature in connexion with the classification is that the Commissioner has adopted an altogether different principle from that which has been followed on similar occasions in New South Wales. In no case does he seem to have reduced the salary of an officer.

Mr Batchelor - A good many reductions have taken place through the discontinuance of allowances.

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