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Tuesday, 28 November 1905

Senator DOBSON (Tasmania) - I quite admit that there is some truth in what Senator Keating says that it would never do to employ none but permanent officers in this Department, when the amount of work to be done is greatest. The number of officers employed must be regulated by the average quantity of work to be done. But I have called attention previously to the enormous amount we are paying away under the headings of " temporary assistance " and "petty cas,h and incidental expenditure." For instance, £460 is set down for temporary assistance, and ^400 for inci'dental and petty cash expenditure. On the very next page of the schedule, under the heading of " Electoral Office," there is a vote of £700 for temporary assistance, and £100 for incidental and petty cash expenditure. Right through the schedule the same items appear. The Minister might get a clerk to go through it and take out all the items relating to temporary assistance and petty cash expenditure. He would find that the expenditure under these headings amounts to some thousands of pound's. It is a mistake to allow such enormous sums of money to be spent practically without check by Parliament. We ought to know the details..

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