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Friday, 16 August 1912

Senator McGREGOR (South Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . - I move -

That this Bill be now read a second time.

This is a very short Bill for the purpose of bringing the Commonwealth Fleet under the provisions of the Audit Act. When the original Audit Bill was passed, the Australian Fleet was scarcely in contemplation, and therefore no provision was made for the peculiar circumstances that must exist in every navy in comparison with other portions of the Public Service. The object of this Bill is to make the same provision with respect to the Australian Navy as exists in connexion with the Imperial Navy. It will enable the captains of vessels to pay their men, as is done in the Imperial Navy, without it being necessary to get receipts, and also to obtain credit, in a manner different from that which is necessary in the ordinary Public Service. All the transactions will be subject to a report by the Auditor-General, but the same hard-and-fast rules will not apply to the Navy as apply to other portions of the Public Service. I am sure that every honorable senator will realize the necessity for passing the Bill owing to the different circumstances which now prevail.

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