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Tuesday, 8 November 1904

Mr TUDOR (Yarra) - I intend to vote for the amendment simply as an indication that I take exception to the increases generally to the higher paid officers. The Minister of Home Affairs has referred to the qualifications of the Examiner, who, I have always understood, is a gentleman of high abilities, capable of worthily fulfilling the duties of his office, but it is strange that he has not said a word about the Registrar.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Home Affairs) - I referred to the proposed increase of salary in his case when the Estimates were before us last week.

Mr TUDOR - Although I have been in the Chamber throughout the debates, I have not heard the honorable gentlem'an refer to the qualifications and duties of the Registrar, but, of course, I accept his assurance. I am not greatly alarmed by the outcry in the press as to alleged extravagance on the part of the Commonwealth, but if behoves us, I think, to- be very cautious. If we provided for all these increases, it might be held by the Appeal Boards, who have yet to deal with a number of appeals, that Parliament had practically agreed to the classification, and that the increase should be paid in each case. Those who were appealing to the board would certainly use such an argument.

Mr Reid - We have a tribunal which knows a little better than that.

Mr TUDOR - In addition to that fact, we know that in the event of the classification being finally dealt with before the end of the financial year, these salaries would date from July last - from the time of the classification. It is to be regretted that an opportunity was not afforded us to deal with the classification before being called on to consider the Estimates. Had that course been followed, every honorable member would have known exactly what he was doing in voting for these Estimates. I do not intend to vote for increases which I consider to be too high, though I do not say that I shall vote against all increases. I shall vote for the reduction of £20. proposed by the honorable member for Maranoa, in order to express my disapproval of the increase of the salary of the Registrar.

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