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Friday, 22 June 1906

Senator KEATING (Tasmania) (Honorary Minister) .- In the Public Service Act we have provided a method for appointments . to the Public Service, as well as transfers, dismissals, suspensions, remuneration, and everything, of the kind.

Senator Givens - Will that Act apply to appointments to be made under future Acts?

Senator KEATING - Yes.

Senator Givens - I doubt it.

Senator KEATING - If the GovernorGeneral proceeds to exercise the power which is given by this Bill, he will act in conformity with the provisions of the Public Service Act and regulations thereunder. He will not go outside those limits. That is the law of the land in regard to appointments to the Public Service. The Bill contains a provision that the GovernorGeneral shall have power to appoint a Government Meteorologist, and in order to overcome any doubt which might exist in the mind of any one as to the provision being intended to be limited to the appointment of a single officer certain words were inserted. To my mind it does not matter much whether they are in the Bill or not, but it certainly assures honorable senators that it is not intended to confine the provisions of the Bill simply to the appointment of one central officer, who shall be dependent upon States services. I would oppose as strenuously as Senator Givens a proposal to give to the GovernorGeneral personally or to the Governor-General in Council the power to appoint any officers to any branch of the Public Service in a way not in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Act.

Senator Millen - Will the Minister say how the appointment of Government Statistician was made, for that is exactly parallel to this case.

Senator KEATING - Applications were made for the position.

Senator Millen - To the Public Service Commissioner?

Senator KEATING - He approved of the appointment before it was made.

Senator Turley - There were a number of applications made.

Senator Millen - Did they go through the hands of the Commissioner?

Senator KEATING - -I understand so.

Senator Millen - I wish to know whether the Government or the Public Service Commissioner dealt with the applications, because the answer will be a guide as to what will happen under this Bill.

Senator KEATING - I understand that that is the position. I do not anticipate for one moment that this Bill will be at all in conflict with the provisions of the Public Service Act.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Report adopted.

Motion (by Senator Keating) proposed -

That so much of the Standing Orders be suspended us would prevent the Bill from passing through its remaining stage without delay.

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