CLERK OF THE PARLIAMENTS
WHETHER TITLE MAY BE ABOLISHED OR REASSIGNED
COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE ACT 1902
The Prime Minister forwards to me for advice:
- A letter by the Clerk of the House of Representatives to the Speaker, pointing out that the duties of'Clerk of the Parliaments' are practically in relation to the Senate only, and that the only case in which the Clerk of either House can be said to act for the Houses jointly is in certifying copies of Bills submitted to the Governor-General for assent-a duty which is at present performed by the Clerk of the House in which the Bill originated-and submitting-
- That the office of Clerk of the Parliaments is not necessarily held by the Clerk of the Senate.
- That more than four-fifths of the work of the Clerk of the Parliaments are performed by the Clerk of the House of Representatives.
- That, as the senior officer, and the officer doing nearly all the work of the position he should hold the office of Clerk of the Parliaments.
- A letter from the Speaker to the Prime Minister, expressing approval of the above submission, and asking for advice as to his power of giving effect to the proposal, and the methods he should follow.
There do not appear to be any functions cast by law or by standing orders upon 'the Clerk of the Parliaments' as such; and in my opinion there is no legal necessity for the Clerk of the Senate to have that title. It is open in my opinion for the Governor-General in Council, by action under the Public Service Act, to alter the title of the office in the Senate Department from 'Clerk of the Parliaments' to 'Clerk of the Senate'; and also if thought advisable to give the Clerk of the House of Representatives the substituted or additional title of 'Clerk of the Parliaments'. Although there appears to me no necessity as a matter of law or otherwise for retaining this title at all.
[Vol. 6, p. 417]
(1) Senator,Vice-President of the Executive Council.