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Thursday, 25 October 1973
Page: 1486

Senator MULVIHILL (New South Wales) - I intervene only to oppose the amendment moved by Senator Wright. I say respectfully to him that history completely refutes the fears which he seems to have. I think the classic illustration of such refutuation would be Arthur Blakeley who was a senior Minister in the Scullin Government in the 1930s. After the defeat of that Government he was appointed by the subsequent Government as a Commonwealth inspector. He .laid down a standard of conduct which became the accepted norm in subsequent years. Here is. a classic case of a man who in a very turbulent period had tasted the fruits of office. It might be argued that such a person might get a sort of curdled mentality. Obviously he had a golden opportunity to vent his spleen on people who contributed to his political eclipse, but he did not. The fact that he served honourably and well confirms the view of Senator Little that Australia wants a pretty wide scope from which to make appointments of this nature. I think all honourable senators have a high regard for the Commonwealth Public Service, but people with practical industrial experience often know, when they walk into an area of industrial operations, by virtue of industrial intuition what they are looking for. There are certain factors which they can sense out.

I think that by rejecting Senator Wright's amendment we will get the best of both worlds. Obviously some people come up through the Public Service" ranks. We all know industrial registrars who have made the grade. The whole history of the Public Service shows that they have been men to whom a person could always go for practical advice. The ranks of Commonwealth inspectors are strengthened by the injection of these specialists who are developed in the trade union movement. I think the most potent reason is that nobody knows, at a given stage in his career in public life, what will happen to him. He can be chopped down in mid air when he has 10, 15 or 20 years of useful service ahead of him. Surely to goodness there is no better place to apply the industrial lore which he has absorbed through his experience than in this field of operations. That is the reason why we will vote against the amendment moved by Senator Wright.

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