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Wednesday, 2 November 1904

Mr PAGE (Maranoa) - I move -

That the item "Registrar£420 " be reduced by £20.

When the Department of the Public Service Commissioner was created, I joined with several other honorable members in urging that we were embarking upon an expenditure, the dimensions of which we little dreamed. What has since transpired has absolutely justified that prediction. Every year that has passed has witnessed an increased expenditure in the office of the Public Service Commissioner. For instance, last year the Registrar received a salary of £400, but now it is proposed to increase it to £420. Similarly, the Examiner, who was formerly in receipt of £350, is recommended for an increase to £400. In the same manner, it is proposed to give a clerk, who is in receipt of £260 per annum, an increase of £50.

Sir George Turner - That is the effect of the classification scheme.

Mr PAGE - Where is the classification scheme going to land us? We have not yet had an opportunity of discussing it.

Sir George Turner - The officer in question would probably receive that increase as an ordinary increment under a State Act of Parliament.

Mr PAGE - I could understand an officer receiving an increase of £20 a year, but I cannot understand why he should make a " jump " of £50. I intend to oppose every item contained in this division.

Sir George Turner - These amounts will not be paid unless the House approves of the classification scheme. In such circumstances, all that the officers will receive will (be the increments which they would have received in the ordinary course.

Mr PAGE - I can quite understand the position of the Treasurer. If it were an. annual increment' of £20-

Sir George Turner - Nothing . beyond annual increments will be paid until the House has had an opportunity of approving of the classification scheme.

Mr PAGE - At the time these officers were appointed the Public Service Commissioner regarded the salaries payable to them as ample, and yet within twelve months he recommends an increase of nearly £1 per week to an individual who is receiving £350 a year. The proposal is preposterous. I trust that honorable members will guard the Treasury a little better than they have been doing.

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