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Tuesday, 31 July 1906

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) . - The Treasurer has pointed out one of the purposes for which this provision is designed, but the question is whether, if we give this power, it will not only cover the case mentioned, but also apply to others in which it will be less desirable to extend such power to the Treasurer. Say that a credit is given for £10,000 towards the end of one financial year. The result would be to lessen the expenditure for the next financial year.

Sir John Forrest - The money would have been spent, of course.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - It strikes me that if , a credit for £10,000 came in at the end of one financial year, under this provision, the Treasurer when he asked Parliament for an appropriation, would require £10,000 less than he would do if that account had not come in.

Sir John Forrest - He would have obtained the appropriation for the year previously.

Mr DUGALD THOMSON (NORTH SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - But if the Treasurer had that credit of £10,000, he would require so much less to be appropriated in the following year. I see eery little objection to the provision from the point of view which the Treasurer puts, but the provision goes beyond his case in the power which it gives. As the AuditorGeneral has drawn attention to the point, it might be desirable to furnish us with his opinion. If the matter in question is merely one of adjusting States accounts, there is not much objection to what is proposed. But the point which I put to the Treasurer is whether the provision could not be used in a way that would go beyond what he intends.

Sir John Forrest - If the clause is allowed to pass, we will afterwards reconmit it. In the meantime, I will look into the matter.

Clause agreed to.

Clause 9 (Extension of time for making surcharges).

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