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Thursday, 7 May 1970

Mr SPEAKER -Is leave granted? There being no objection, leave is granted.

Mr DOBIE - As the 116th Report is the first report presented by your Eighth Committee in relation to Treasury minutes, it would seem appropriate that honourable members should be reminded of the basis of the Treasury minute arrangements which have operated since 1953 when the Committee presented its first report to the Parliament. Upon tabling in the House by the Chairman and in the Senate, by a member of the Committee, a copy of each report of your Committee is forwarded to the Treasurer with a request that he consider it and inform the Chairman of action taken to deal with your Committee's conclusions. It should be mentioned that as part of the tabling procedure, copies of all reports are forwarded to the Prime Minister, to Mr Speaker, to the President, to the Leader of the Opposition, to leaders of the Government and Opposition in the Senate and to each Minister whose department has been reported on.

The Treasurer's reply comes in the form of a Treasury minute and is examined by your Committee. Should your Committee find during that examination that there are recommendations and conclusions not fully dealt with or which are subject to a further minute, explanatory discussions are held with officers of the Department of the Treasury. When your Committee is satisfied with the Treasury minute, it is published, together with the conclusions of the report to which it relates, in a subsequent report to the Parliament. This is the background to the report being presented today. In reporting a Treasury minute to the Parliament your Committee, acting on behalf of the Parliament, reserves the right to make comment on the Treasury minute as it thinks necessary. Such comments, taking the form of Committee observations, are included as the final chapter of the report. The need to make such observations, however, has arisen on only 10 occasions in the past 17 years. You Eighth Committee believes that the Treasury minute arrangements have proved their value over the years as an important element in ensuring that, through your Committee, the Parliament maintains an important and significant role in the financial administration of the Commowealth. The 116th Report affords further evidence in support of that view. I commend the report to honourable members and move that it be printed.

Ordered that the report be printed.

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