The following amendment stands in my name:—
Section 4, sub-section (4). To add at the end of the sub-section the words " Provided that such Council shall meet at least once in each year."
That amendment is put down merely to enable the Committee to discuss the section which deals with the establishment of a Statistical Council. Reading through this section, one is struck by the type of man who will be required to advise the Minister on important matters. The duties of such an individual are defined. There is no statement as to the office being a paid office. I can hardly think of anybody of standing in the country who would fill that post. The Executive Council establishes the Statistical Council. What will be the position of the members of that Council? What will their opinions be worth? There is no suggestion that their advice would ever be acted upon. As far as one can see, they could not be a body of men whose advice would be worth having. In other Dominions the collection of statistics is managed by a definite Council established for the purpose. A Statistical Bureau is the body that really carries out the work similar to that embodied in this Bill. The difference between the other Dominions and this country is that this Council will be established and governed entirely by the Executive Council. As a Council it may be of some use, but personally I cannot see what good it will do.