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Friday, 25 November 1910

Senator GIVENS (Queensland) .- It is rather unfortunate that during the closing hours of the session we are unable to elicit information regarding the destination of a vote.

Senator McGregor - To what item does the honorable senator refer?

Senator GIVENS - To all the items connected with the new service.

Senator McGregor - Mention one.

Senator GIVENS - Seeing that the other branch of the Legislature is waiting for the Senate to transact its business, it is impossible for me to discuss the various items. But I would point out that, according to the Treasurer's Budget, it is anticipated that the revenue and expenditure during the current financial year will about balance. As this Bill will involve an additional expenditure of about £[500,000, we are entitled to know whether the Government expect that the revenue will be sufficiently buoyant to enable them to meet that expenditure, and, if not, how they propose to meet it. I do not cavil at any of the items contained in the Bill, because I do not know anything about them. lt provides for an entirely new Department, and one in regard to which we have not yet been able to obtain any information. Possibly we shall have to wait until next year before we can scrutinize these accounts. As the Bill under consideration is the last with which we shall have to deal this session, I again appeal to the Vice-President of the Executive Council to say why he cannot table the return as to members' salaries which was ordered by the Senate upon my initiative yesterday. The public have a right to know its contents, and ought not to be asked to wait twelve months for the information.

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