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Friday, 16 July 1926

Senator PEARCE (Western Australia) (Vice-President of the Executive Council) . I move -

That the bill be now read a second time.

As honorable senators are aware, when the Estimates are presented in another place, the practice is immediately ' to introduce a bill to authorize the expenditure of. 'money out of revenue on new public works and buildings, bo that no time may be lost and no break occur in the continuity of construction policy. The purposes of the bill are to grant and apply the sum of £296,734 out of the ConsolidatedRevenue Fund for the services of the year ended the 30th June, 1927, for the purposes of additions, new works, buildings, &c., and to appropriate such sum. The total amount which Parliament is asked to provide is £20,207 less than the expenditure of. last financial year, and £26,552 less than the amount voted for 1925-26. . The. amounts required for the various services are relatively small, and provision is made in the bill under three parts, as follows: - Part I., departments and services, other than business undertakings and territories of the Commonwealth; Part II., business undertakings; and Part III., territories of the Commonwealth. The principal items for which provision has been made are : - Reserve o f naval stores, including ammunition, ordnance, torpedo stores, and coal and oil fuel, £118,000; . machinery and plant for manufacture of munitions not now produced in Australia, £12,789 ; new buildings, alterations, and additions, and construction of launches and vessels for the Department of Health, £41,385; construction of buildings and roads, engineering services, and water boring, &c, in the Northern Territory, £66,500. It will be seen that relatively few new works have been provided for in this bill. It does not cover the works which are to be provided for from loan funds. A separate bill for works from loan will be submitted later. Ministers will be glad to furnish honorable senators with information concerning details of the works referred to when the bill reaches the committee stage. In view of the necessity to carry on ihe works programme without delay, I ask the Senate to proceed with the consideration of the bill forthwith.

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