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Tuesday, 12 December 1911

Senator MILLEN (New South Wales) . - In my opinion, Senator Lynch has earned the very warm thanks of the Committee for having directed our attention very forcibly to the marked difference between the Public Service Act and this Bill. That was, I take it, the sole purpose of his remarks.

Senator Lynch - The similarity between the two measures.

Senator MILLEN - In the Public Service Act we dealt with groups of public officers, and laid down a general principle. But this Bill deals with an individual officer. I challenge Senator Lynch, or anybody else, to show me any provision in the Public Service Act, or any other Act which we have passed, where an increase of salary has been given retrospectively. Some exception has been taken to the suggestions from this side that there is something about this appointment which requires explanation. We have a Bill brought in ostensibly to place the Public Service under the jurisdiction of the Arbitration Court, and it is made the excuse and the means of paying an increased salary to an officer for some months which have elapsed ; in other words, to make his appointment retrospective. In view of these circumstances, those who oppose the clause, quite apart from the merits of their opposition, are entitled to ask for a more ample explanation than has been forthcoming, as to why this officer, out of the hundreds in the employ of the Commonwealth, has been singled out for such remarkably singular treatment?

Senator Mcgregor - Because the position is exceptional.

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