[Editor: This article, critical of government bureaucracy, was published in Building and Real Estate (Sydney, NSW), 12 March 1915.]
The expanding Federal public service.
The Federal Ministry made an important innovation recently in the appointments of Commissions. It avoided the average Government Commission of a pack of politicians mopping up fees as spoils of party success and appointed a business man to check Defence expenditure.
A commission of business men should certainly be appointed to investigate the amazing and, apparently, unjustified multiplication of Federal officials. The tide of superfluity always runs to extravagance and ineptitude. A long-suffering public demands that it be stemmed immediately.
Gravest of dangers associated with a bloated Federal public service is the usurpation of powers by self-constituted chiefs of departments. Even under present conditions we know of the difficulty of reaching Ministers of Departments by letter, when the subject matter criticises departmental method.
We have no desire to see a bureaucracy established in Australia, and a Government, claiming democracy as its ruling principle surely should not.
Building and Real Estate (also known as: Building: The Magazine of Interest for the Architect, Builder, Engineer, Property Owner and “The Man Who Thinks”), (Sydney, NSW), 12 March 1915, p. 51