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Thursday, 23 November 1905

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH (Western Australia) - I do not gather from Senator Stewart whether it his intention to reduce equally the salaries of the secretaries of all the other Departments?

Senator Stewart - Certainly, if I succeed in having this reduction made.

Senator STANIFORTH SMITH - It would be invidious on our part, if, on the impulse of the moment, we reduced the salary of the Secretary of one Department, and not the salaries of the secretaries of other Departments. The Secretary for External Affairs has, I think, the whole of his time occupied with his duties; and I do not regard a salary of .£800 as too high for a position of the kind. Under the reclassification scheme, the Public Service Commissioner removed this and similar officers from the clerical division, and placing them in the administrative division, fixed the salaries at .£800. Under the circumstances, I do not know whether it is competent for us to make «. reduction ; but, if so, such action would be invidious, and possibly lead to injustice, unless we proceeded on some general policy. Senator Stewart admits that he knows nothing of the work of this official ; and the fact that the Commissioner acted with full knowledge, is some reason why we should not now make amy reduction.

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