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Thursday, 17 May 1973
Page: 2254

Mr SNEDDEN (BRUCE, VICTORIA) - My question is addressed to the Prime Minister. When in Opposition the Labor Party strongly argued for an inquiry into the Commonwealth Public Service. Both Senators Murphy and Willesee put motions before the Senate seeking inquiry by Senate committees into the structure, recruitment and management of the Public Service. It is reported that the Chairman of the Public Service Board now requests an inquiry. I ask the honourable gentleman: Will he appoint a full ranging inquiry into the Commonwealth Public Service? If he is unwilling to do so, will he state the reasons?

Mr WHITLAM (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) (Prime Minister) - The Government has appointed a royal commission to deal with half the Public Service, namely, that half which is employed in the Australian Post Office. I hesitate to say what the Chairman of the Public Service Board has suggested. He has in fact suggested inquiries into two particular aspects arising from the creation of additional departments and the desirable amalgamation, accordingly, of others. I ask the right honourable gentleman to wait until the Cabinet considers this matter. The papers have been circulated. I would hope that we would get down to it on Monday. I do not feel I can say any more at this stage. Half the Public Service is the subject of a wide ranging royal commission. There are two other particular aspects, which the Chairman has recommended at my instigation.

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