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Wednesday, 4 May 1932

Mr GANDER - What does that sum represent?

Mr LYONS - That is the total additional default of recent months. In every case the demands made upon the Premier and Treasurer of New South Wales for payment of the money were ignored. The Commonwealth, therefore, made arrangements to meet those obligations as they fell due. Of the total interest in respect of which that State has defaulted, £3,235,000 was payable overseas, and £713,000 in Australia. The gross default" to date, after allowing for the Commonwealth contribution under the Financial Agreements, but excluding recoveries wider the Enforcement Act, is approximately £3,200.000. The recoveries under the Enforcement Act to date are approximately £440,000.

Mr A GREEN (KALGOORLIE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - That is a mere bagatelle.

Mr LYONS - It is a substantial sum in view of the definite refusal of the Government of New South Wales to meet its obligations honestly. The net amount outstanding is now £2,760,000. The growth of the default and the defiant attitude of the Government of New South Wales have increased the seriousness of the situation. What is occurring is damaging not' only to. the Commonwealth and New South Wales, but to every other State and to the nation as a whole, and the damage may be irreparable unless we recover for the taxpayers of Australia that which is .their due. Therefore it is the duty and the intention of the Government to take each and every step that may be found necessary to make the remedy complete. As soon as this bill is passed-

Mr Martens - The Government will introduce another.

Mr LYONS - If necessary, yes. If the honorable member is not anxious to recover for the taxpayers of Queensland that which they have paid- on behalf .of the State of New South Wales, the Commonwealth Government is. This bill will be followed immediately by motions to attach further revenues of the Government of New South Wales, and the Government will adopt such other steps as may be necessary to ensure the recovery of all amounts due to the Commonwealth.

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