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Tuesday, 12 December 1911

Senator RAE (New South Wales) . - I think that there can be no sympathy with any idea of having an underpaid officer in this position. It is a very onerous and important office, and one which should command a good salary, in order that a good man may be obtained. According to repute, and judging from what I hear, no better man than the present occupant could be chosen for the position. At the same time, I must express my astonishment that a Bill which is practically introduced for one purpose - that of bringing public servants under the provisions of the Commonwealth Conciliation and Arbitration Act - contains several clauses dealing with the status, salary, and increments of this officer.

Senator Sayers - Why not let the salary come up on the Estimates every year?

Senator RAE - I should very much prefer that course to be taken. No argument has been offered why this position should be treated differently from other onerous and important positions in the service. Whatever the qualifications of the present occupant may be - and I believe that they are of the highest grade - life is short, and we do not know when a person very much less capable may have to be appointed to the position. I certainly dissent from this method of making provision for an office in a measure which was brought forward for another purpose. It would be much more advisable to leave this, with other offices of a similar character, to be dealt with on the Estimates. I do not wish to delay the progress of the Bill. I think that the Government will carry the provision ; but, in my opinion, it is out of place in a Bill of this kind.

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