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Thursday, 19 May 1960

Mr HAMILTON (Canning) .- I think that the wording of proposed section 13 (1.) (d) is right and proper. What is the situation generally to-day? Men who work for the Commonwealth Government are taken from all sorts of occupations. That practice was followed by the Labour Government when it was in office. Let us consider the chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Commission. He was appointed in 1940, and he has private interests outside the commission. Would it not be a criminal shame if the country were deprived of his knowledge and culture simply because he owned some property, engaged in farming or did something else? His ability has been proven by the way he has built up the Australian Broadcasting Commission.

The honorable member for Kingston (Mr. Galvin) has dragged out the same old red herring that the Minister of the day will have power to authorize an officer to engage in outside activities. I do not think that even the Australian Labour Party would contemplate allowing a Labour PostmasterGeneral to permit a member of the Australian Broadcasting Control Board to become a director of some competitive show which would complicate his position as a member of the board. That would be in defiance of public opinion and integrity. We must be Australians and grow up. We have to stop scraping the gutter and tearing down the good men that we have.

Mr Cope - Why did not the Government appoint one of them GovernorGeneral?

Mr HAMILTON - That is all right; I might be eligible for that position myself one of these days. I am certain that, irrespective of the political affiliations of any Postmaster-General - Liberal, Country Party or Labour - he would not write down himself, his party or Australia by appointing to this position somebody who tinkered about with a betting bag at a race-course. I know that it is a very remunerative occupation, but neither 1 nor the honorable member for Kingston would be associated with the appointment of a man who was prepared to stand on a box at the races with a bag over his shoulder painted with the sign " Pat Galvin " or something else.

The Opposition is employing delaying tactics. There is always a way to stop abuses should they occur. If any Minister does something that is repugnant to the community, the people's representatives can bring him into line by raising the matter in the Parliament. No government or party or individual can stand up against public indignation when it is stirred in a matter of this kind. I suggest that we leave the provision as it is so that it will be possible for the Minister, irrespective of his political affiliations, to pick the best man available for the position.

The honorable member for Chisholm (Sir Wilfrid Kent Hughes) said we were not told in the Minister's second-reading speech about such things as this. The honorable member is a great friend of mine and I do not wish to contradict him, but I direct his attention to the second paragraph of the

Postmaster-General's second-reading speech in which the Minister said -

The bill which I now introduce, incorporates all the matter dealt with in the previous bill-

That is the 1958 bill, which was not proceeded with in the Senate - except for one item, and also includes additional provisions which experience in the field of broadcasting and television since 1958 has shown to be clearly desirable.

Most of the machinery clauses with respect to the staff were included. If I am wrong in what I have said I am prepared to apologize.

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