PETITIONS WHETHER PUBLIC SERVANT MAY PETITION GOVERNOR-GENERAL : SUBJECT'S RIGHT TO PETITION CROWN FOR REDRESS
The Public Service Commissioner asks for advice on the question raised in the following minute:
On 17 August 1903, the Crown Solicitor furnished an opinion on this case at the instance of the Comptroller-General of Customs. The appellant has now lodged a petition for presentation to the Governor-General praying that his former status and salary may be restored to him, and the Public Service Commissioner has been asked to advise the Department whether Mr A. has the right to insist upon his petition being placed before the Governor-General.
The reduction in salary was effected by Order in Council of 16 August 1901, prior to the passage of the Commonwealth Public Service Act, and at that time officers of transferred departments were subject to the control of the Executive Government of the Commonwealth.
The question arises, however, whether the provisions of the New South Wales Act of 1895, section 49, were not operative at the time this officer's salary was reduced by way of punishment, and if so, whether he should not have been dealt with in the manner prescribed by that Act.
As regards the right to insist on the petition being placed before the Governor-General, I am unaware of any established practice, but in view of the undoubted right of the subject to petition the Crown for the redress of grievances, I think that the petition ought to be submitted to the Governor-General in Council, with such recommendation as is thought proper.
As to the merits of Mr A. 's appeal, I have no complete statement of the facts, but I see no reason to doubt the correctness of the Crown Solicitor's opinion referred to, which I have perused.
[Vol. 4, p. 130]