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Thursday, 6 May 1920


Mr POYNTON (Grey) (Minister for Home and Territories) . - I move -

That the following further sums be granted to His Majesty to defray the charges for the year 1918-19, for the several services here- under specified, viz.: -_

 

These Supplementary Estimates are submitted for the purpose of obtaining art appropriation of Parliament to cover the expenditure made out of the Treasurer's Advance during the financial year which ended on 30th June, 1919.

The practice is that the Supplementary Estimates are prepared as soon as the audit of the year's accounts is finally completed, and the Estimates are presented to Parliament for consideration as soon as possible thereafter.

The Auditor-General's report on the finances of 1918-19 was presented to this Parliament on the 26th; February last. The finance statement then submitted contained full particulars of the amounts included in the Supplementary Estimates now under consideration.

The total amount to be appropriated for ordinary services is £1,016,596, of which £61,532 is payable from Trust and. Loan Funds. The expenditure from revenue is made up as follows : -

 

Owing to abnormal conditions brought about by the war, and to the general and continued increase in the cost of services, the total of these Supplementary Estimates is larger than usual. Some of the items call for brief explanation.

Under the Prime Minister's Department, additional appropriation is required in respect of cablegrams beyond the Commonwealth to the extent of £9,943. This increase is largely attributable to war conditions.

In the Treasury Department, the sum of £68,370 is required above the amount already appropriated for Taxation Office contingencies. Increased activities in the Taxation Office account for the extra amount required. The principal items are - Postage and telegrams (£6,444), office requisites (£3,190), and temporary assistance (£52,645). As a set off against the last amount, there was a saving under the salary vote of £32,240, owing to permanent appointments not being made before the close of the financial year 1918-19. There is also an increase of £9,604 under the . Government Printer for purchase of paper and parchment, and £50,071 and £23,274 are required under Treasury - miscellaneous, to provide a temporary credit under Trust Funds. Go- vernment Printer, and stamp printing accounts, respectively. These increases were mainly due to large purchases of paper.

Under the Department of the Navy, a sum of £50,000 is required for the payment to the credit of Trust Fund, Admiralty account. This amount is needed to meet expenditure on behalf of the Admiralty to the 3lst December, 1918, and is recoverable.

One hundred and two thousand six hundred and nine pounds were required above the amount originally voted for the quarantine service. This was very largely due to the influenza epidemic.

Under the Department of Works and Railways, an appropriation of £11,000 is required to provide a credit in the Trust Fund, Public Works Plant, and Stores Suspense Account. This was for the provision of stores and plant for works under the control of that Department.

In the Postmaster-General's Department, an additional amount of £15,543 is required on account of contingencies. This sum comprises a large number of items, none of which call for special remark.

Under War Services, an extra amount of £300,000 is required for repatriation of soldiers. This is mainly on account of sustenance allowances.

Refunds of Revenue. - This amount - £143,242 - was wholly required for refunds of taxation revenue.

In addition to the items referred to, provision is made under the various Departments for war bonuses granted under Arbitration Court Awards, amounting in all to £52,281.

In regard to Supplementary Estimates for Additions, New Works, and Buildings, the total amount asked for is £44,434. The main items are: - DarwinKatherine River Railway, capital expenditure, £7,568; construction and extension of telegraphs and telephones, £20,123. The balance is made up of sundry small items.

Of the amounts originally voted for payments out of revenue in 1918-19, the following amounts were unexpended: - Ordinary services, £713,557; war services, £3,640; additions, new works, &c., £93,729; total, £810,926. The amounts now asked for total £999,498.


Mr West -Does the £52,000 for Arbitration awards apply to the Postal Department?


Mr POYNTON - It is to cover a War Bonus award.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Motion (by Mr. Poynton) agreed to -

That there be granted to His Majesty to the service of the year 1918-19 for the purposes of additions, new works, buildings, &c., a further sum not exceeding £44,434.

Resolutions reported.

Standing Orders suspended and resolutions adopted.







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